What causes heart disease part XXXIV (part thirty-four)

9th August 2017

Looking for the contradictions

Here was my mantra. ‘If I can find an absolute contradiction to any hypothesis, I shall discard it, and start again.’ I have to tell you that this shiny, bright eyed scientific idealism has had to bite the dust. Primarily, because it can be very difficult to know what a contradiction looks like – for sure.

If Newton had found that every so often apples did not fall from a tree, instead they accelerated upwards and into space, the theory of gravity would not have been born – because it would have been wrong. If your hypothesis is that all swans are white, then the finding of a single black swan immediately negates your hypothesis.

However, in science, refutations are rarely so clear cut. In biological science, there are so many things going on, so many variables to consider, that we are more in the world of weather forecasting, rather than Newtonian physics. There are few absolutes, no completely hard and fast rules.

This, of course, has allowed those who believe in the ‘cholesterol hypothesis’ to shape shift, twist and turn, and adapt the hypothesis to fit any facts. Never, ever, can they be pinned down. Never, ever, can the hypothesis be refuted by any single fact, or even a combination of facts. Believe me, I have tried. It is like attempting to nail mercury, firmly, to the table.

Take the hypothesis that a raised cholesterol level causes heart disease. Already, I imagine, you can see this fragmenting before your very eyes. What do you mean by a high cholesterol level. Total cholesterol? Low density lipoprotein (LDL) level? The ratio of LDL to HDL? Are you looking at LDL-C or LDL-P. Are you considering VLDL levels, what about oxidised LDL, or small dense LDL, or light and fluffy LDL.

That, without trying, is nine ‘cholesterol’ variables. And the possible combination of nine variable is nine factorial. This allows 362,880 possible combinations of ‘cholesterol’ that could be tested. In truth, I didn’t really try very hard there with ‘cholesterol’. I could add in at least sixteen variants of HDL (that I am aware of), including apoA-1 Milano (the super-protective form of HDL – allegedly). Which give us another sixteen ‘cholesterol variable).

9 + 16 = 25 variables (assuming they act independently)

The factorial of 25 is 1.55×1025   or: 15,511,210,043,330,985,984,000,000.00

As you can see, there is not the remotest possibility, ever, of trying to work out how all the forms of ‘cholesterol’ may interact. Even if you created theoretical models and fed them into a computer, you would be there for a very, very, long time.

Equally, there is no possibility of refuting the causal impact of any single cholesterol factor. And, if you did manage to pin anything down, the broader issue of ‘definition’ will simply be altered.

Just trying to look at the apparently simple concept of a high total cholesterol level itself. You would think it would be possible to say that there is an average level, a high level and a low level. This would allow you to say that the average total cholesterol level of everyone in the world (who has had their cholesterol level tested) is five point three (5.3mmol/l). [I just made this figure up]

Thus, anyone above this figure could be said to have a cholesterol level above average. Or high. And vice-versa. Just as you could measure the height of everyone in the world, and find an average. However, this cannot be done. Well, it could be done, but it has not been done, and I suspect it never will be done. Because, in the case of cholesterol levels, average is most definitely not considered ‘normal.’

Here, for example, is what is said about cholesterol levels on the Benecol website:

‘The government recommends that healthy adults should have a total cholesterol level below 5 mmol/L. In the UK, three out of five adults have a total cholesterol level of 5 mmol/L or above, and the average cholesterol level is about 5.7 mmol/L, which can be a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.’1

Thus, the average cholesterol in the UK is not normal. It is ‘high’ enough that it is a risk factor for heart disease. So, average is not normal. Is 5mmol/l normal? Well, Heart UK (The UK cholesterol charity – funded almost entirely by the pharmaceutical industry), makes this statement:

‘Total Cholesterol (TC) – this is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. Ideally it should be 5 mmol/L or less.’

Which would suggest that anything below 5mmol/l is fine and normal? But if you have diabetes, you should have a cholesterol below 4.0mmol/. Diabetes UK lists the following blood lipid (cholesterol) targets as a guide for people with diabetes:

  • Total cholesterol: under 4.0 mmol/l
  • LDL levels: below 2.0 mmol/l2

Which means that four is actually better than five – thus five is high? And if you have had a heart attack it is recommended to get cholesterol levels below 4.0mmol/l. Ergo, a level of 5.0mmol/l must be causing the developing of heart disease. So, five is not actually normal. It is high.

The general consensus, though never very clearly stated, is that, whatever your level of cholesterol, you will gain benefit from lowering it. Which, logically, means that any level of cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. Thus, there is no optimal level. I have seen it argued that the optimal level for cholesterol is 1.5 mmol/l. 3

Setting the level at this point means that, apart from a vanishingly small number of people, everyone in the western world has a ‘high’ cholesterol. Therefore, you can never argue that a high cholesterol does not cause heart disease, because everyone who suffers from heart disease has a high cholesterol level. In contrast, no-one with a ‘normal’ cholesterol level suffers from heart disease.

With cholesterol levels, we have the following situation:

 

High                                                                                           = high

Average                                                                                     = high

Low                                                                                            = high

Very low                                                                                    = high

Very, very low                                                                          = high

So low that you cannot find anyone with this level*        = normal

When confronted with logic like this, the cholesterol hypothesis is perfectly protected from attack. It is a non-refutable hypothesis. As Karl Popper said, if you cannot construct your hypothesis in such a way that it can be refuted, it is not science a.k.a. nonsense.

Which is why, in the end, I decided on another approach entirely. Replace the cholesterol hypothesis with something that actually fits the facts without the need for endless distortion of facts, and reality. Also, to try to create a hypothesis whereby data could be found to refute it.

At present, just to repeat myself for the final time, the cholesterol hypothesis is that a high cholesterol level causes CVD. This cannot be refuted, because there is no such thing as a normal cholesterol level. All levels are high. Res Ipsa Loquitir.

1: http://www.benecol.co.uk/cholesterol/understanding-your-number

2: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-health-guidelines.html

3: http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/43/11/2142

*or at least, so few people exist that no study could ever be done

203 thoughts on “What causes heart disease part XXXIV (part thirty-four)

  1. Jean Humphreys

    There you go! When I was being bombarded by adverts for pretend foods that would save my life, and they told me that “two out of three people have raised cholesterol” I used to say “Hairy spherical objects- I ‘m a democrat, and I’ll stay with the majority”

    Reply
  2. William Bowles

    What a fabulous number to conjure with!

    The factorial of 25 is 1.55×1025 or: 15,511,210,043,330,985,984,000,000.00

    The last time I checked my TOTAL cholesterol number was 7.1 (didn’t get the LDL,HDL etc) but I don’t have what you would call a high cholesterol diet (whatever that is) but I do have a reasonably healthy diet; no junk food, no processed food at all, minimal sugar (a little honey on my fruit and a tiny amount of unrefined sugar in my tea), lots of veggies, fish and fruit, so my diet can’t be blamed for the ‘high’ number. I have a glass of wine maybe once a month (on average), don’t smoke (though I used to, gave up 10 yrs ago). I do some exercise (walking plus some tailored manouvers for my worn out joints). My GP then said, after giving me the 7.1 number (which I had NOT asked to be done but she had it tested anyway), that it “must be naturally high”, whatever that is. In fact, ten years ago, I had it measured and it was 7.1 then, or rather, the GP had it measured.

    Clearly, as the good doctor points out there are a myriad of factors involved BUT, out of all them, it’s pretty obvious that certain things increase the odds of having a heart attack and they include junk food, smoking, drinking (a lot), sugar, stress, exile? sedentary life. I think these seem to be the major factors involved. Given the right context ie, the individual variations in all of us, that some, maybe many, are more likely to have a heart attack than others, if they fall into some kind of combination of factors listed above.

    Beyond this, what else is there? Only pills apparently. So aside from the mountains of money being made by the few selling pills to the many, perhaps it’s the Western obsession with attaining some kind of immortality? It would seem that capitalism walled us off from ourselves, from Nature. From the inevitability of death.

    Reply
    1. Errett

      I agree Mr. Bowles—we could all benefit from a little review of Stoic Philosophy—–

      Stoicism has just a few central teachings. It sets out to remind us of how unpredictable the world can be. How brief our moment of life is. How to be steadfast, and strong, and in control of yourself. And finally, that the source of our dissatisfaction lies in our impulsive dependency on our reflexive senses rather than logic. Tchin-Tchin

      Also–concerning big numbers—-from Stephen Meyer’s book “Signature in the Cell—-probability that the “average” protein 100 amino acids long was randomly created in the primal soup—1X10 to the power of 41,000.

      Reply
  3. Frederica Huxley

    Ha! To which there is no answer, as Sir Rory would say to defend his cholesterol corner: “You cannot prove me wrong”.

    Reply
      1. Bill In Oz

        In which event, the paper must be automatically ‘suspect’. And so dismissed. Until such time as the raw date is made available to others pursuing scientific research.

        This is how science progresses.

        If the Pharmaceutical companies will not be part of the process, their ‘meds’ should not be part of any medical standard nor indeed subsidised by public health programs.

  4. roger

    A possible contradiction: If free cholesterol in the blood is the cause of arterial blockages then infarcts should be occurring all over the body from a fairly young age. I don’t think they do.

    Reply
  5. Franklin

    There is something significant to a properly formed argument. By avoiding traps such as a “deferral to authority” and so on, we are then free to address the facts head on. However, recognizing an argument that has been properly formed is, quite possibly, a lost skill. Information is presented as “facts” and people have become accustomed to simply accept them as facts without question. Maybe we do have sufficient data to generate an answer on CVD, maybe not. However it seems we can form a proper argument and attack the problem on both the scientific and the logical sides. If I live long enough, it will be interesting to see who comes to the correct answer first.

    Reply
  6. Mary

    I love your logic Dr. Kendrick. Or, your expose of blatant illogic. Keep up the good work. Some of us are listening and spreading the word.

    Reply
  7. Mr Chris

    Dr K
    When I told my lipidist that at untreated 5,3, I was at the average so what was wrong with that?
    He said he did not to see me again. Which I was going to say anyway, so now I save both Time and money and am happy.
    Whats not to like?

    Reply
    1. Jennifer.

      After 4.5 years free of medications, and thus free from the accompanying blood tests and questionnaires associated with statins etc…..can some mathematician work out how much time I have gained by just getting on with my life?
      By being on statins etc, it would appear that the small increase in life-expectancy (and of deteriorating quality ), has been far exceeded by the time saved trooping up to the surgery for endless examinations. Not to mention the increased quality of my life, free of such toxins.
      5 years ago I felt close to the end….but now I am so busy and interested in all sorts of things, that the improvement to life quality without those dreadful statins, is beautiful.

      Reply
      1. celia

        Hi Jennifer, I so totally agree with you. I’ve been off the statins for 4 years now thank goodness. But having spent so long researching I find I can’t stop. Also I’ve lost a lot of people to cancer lately, and turned to this topic. Just reading a fascinating little book by Dr John Kelly “Stop Feeding Your Cancer”. He’s putting into practice the research presented in “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell. In 8 years his patents have shown amazing results by just changing their diets alongside having the conventional treatments. Of course, he can’t get any “experts” to listen to him. Well, what would you expect?

      2. Jennifer

        Yes, Celia, it is good to get the bug of researching something so worthwhile. Nutrition has been shown to be so important.
        In my youth, whilst learning the fundamentals of Home Economics, I used to wonder what on earth it mattered about adding herbs and spices to various foods….and it seemed such a pretentious hobby, making things like salad dressings from scratch, when in fact there were plenty of ready made sauces on the shop shelf. Why did I have to learn how to make bread? (the newly available sliced loaf was on the baker’s shelves by then). Why dirty my hands peeling spuds….there were lovely clean packets of mush which just needed water to reconstitute into something to pour the ready made gravy over. We had nice meals at home, but I look back now and think my Mam had to work miracles to feed us well. I am now learning about all aspects of food production and food science and safety, in relation to good health, which seemed more natural to those cooking at home in the last century. Yes, food production at home is time consuming, but so worthwhile. I think we have been ‘sold a pup’ in the last 50 odd years, in the form of convenience foods. I am using books from the 1950’s/60’s for recipes, and updated versions explaining the nutrition and science behind those popular, filling meals we thrived on.
        In March 2013, I went low-carb and no-meds, until my health recovered. I am now re-introducing the carbs my mother used in the post war years…..legumes….and I have an understanding of how they provided healthy, substantial meals. i am no longer afraid of carbs, because I have learned how to manage them…..it is the toxic chemicals in processed, artificial foods which i believe are the cause of much ill health.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Jennifer: Three cheers for all you’ve said! It is not only the toxins in food, but the lack of nutrients. More than a century of chemical agriculture has depleted most soils of the minerals we need to sustain our health. The U.S. Congress held hearings about the dangers of depleted soils in the 1930’s!

      4. Jennifer.

        Gary, the Dust Bowls of the 1930s ought to have been a lesson learned about how not to manage soil. Ignoring those effects has led to the dire consequences for nutrition repeated now around the globe. My Father grew crops ( just enough for family consumption), using the rotation method and seemed to have an inborn understanding of why it was the correct thing to do. He certainly didn’t get his knowledge from books, ( he never owned many); similarly, my Mother didn’t get her knowledge of feeding the family from books. The two of them (educated to elementary standards in comparison to modern times), were from an era fortunately not influenced by the tosh that big agribusiness has thrust upon societies around the world. Traditional, natural expertise has been downgraded, to the extent that it is almost forgotten. I say ‘almost’, because with a bit of research, the Internet is a great resource for unearthing stuff from the past.
        The cumulative effect of the chemicalisation of everything we use in life ( in food, pharmaceuticals, industrial dyes, pesticides, fertilisers, ad infinitum), together with the denaturing of foods by excessive heat, just must be doing something bad to human and animal species.
        I don’t wish to deter anyone,( Dr K in particular), for searching to explain the cause(s) of CVD and such like, but quite honestly, I think the challenge to keep up with the many detrimental influences forced upon mankind, is increasing at an exponential rate. Let’s hope Darwin was right, and evolution will cope; the alternative, as the saying goes….”we’re all doomed”.

      5. chris c

        I was privileged to know my Gran’s cooking (suspiciously like that immediately toxic “clean eating” we are being warned against – things like rabbit casserole with vegetables from the garden and mushrooms from the horse paddock down the road) my mother who cooked similarly simple fare, my ex-wife and numerous friends who introduced me to dishes of all nations and even my early experience of veganism and now largely cobble together two kinds of meal

        1) things that are quick to cook and require a minimum of pots, like a slice of lamb’s liver and a giant mushroom lightly fried in EVOO, seasonal green vegetables boiled briefly and several slices of grilled bacon

        2) things that can be left to cook with minimal intervention – stir fry some bacon, mushrooms, multicoloured peppers, chillies, garlic, olives, and ground beef, add oregano, paprika, tomato puree, halloumi and water and leave to simmer, return when nearly done and boil some other seasonal green veggies – my replacement for pasta

        I always remember mother returning from the supermarket with an “instant meal” which required waiting until the oven had reached high temperature then baking for 45 minutes. Well OK maybe more instant if we’d had a microwave but I let my Ex keep mine.

        No prizes for guessing which has more nutrition.

        Reminds me of an old Soft Machine song from the sixties

        It begins with a blessing
        And it ends with a curse
        Making life easy
        By making it worse

  8. Andrew Larwood

    Thanks Malcolm for another interesting insight into the cause of heart disease. Interestingly on the last episode of “Inside Health” Radio 4, entitled ” Time now for another installment of our mini-series Inside Clinical Trials. This week Dr Margaret McCartney and Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, discuss moving the goalposts, one reason why so few clinical trials result in real changes in practice that benefit patients.”

    I recommend readers of your blog listening or reading the transcripts because it supports everything you’ve said about clinical trials…………….http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0901fr4

    The conclusion by the presenters is as follows:
    “Carl Heneghan:

    One of the issues I say to people now is I ask just two questions: I say does it make a difference and if so by how much. And if you can’t answer them two things we shouldn’t even be using it, shouldn’t be looking at it and it shouldn’t be published in a journal.

    Margaret McCartney:

    And we should be asking what actually matters to patients in terms of what works. So the study I mentioned you lose a little bit less protein in your urine, is that an effect that the patients notice, well actually you might notice if you get an increased death rate of taking that drug. So unless you’re measuring things of value to patients you really may as well not be doing it at all.”

    Reply
    1. Jennifer.

      Andrew, here I am again….harping on about how I ultimately gave up taking many prescribed toxins, 4 years ago(..apols for those on the blog who have read my story.)
      I wanted my GP to consider the potential effects of poly-Pharma inflicted on me for the 10 or so years of consumption, as I was, by then, 65 years of age…..and as I understand things, the old liver doesn’t take kindly to such bombardments.
      Without going into detail:-
      one drug displayed an increase in risk of pancreatic cancer.
      one drug increased the risk of urinary bladder cancer.
      one drug increased osteoporosis.
      one drug caused vit. B12 deficiency.
      One drug increased type 2 diabetes.
      One caused abdominal bloating, thus requiring the need for another medicine.
      I had been told I had type 2 diabetes, and was put on the wretched NHS dietary regime. Now, I realise that all I truly had was an intolerance to excess carbs…..and as such the advice ought to have been CUT THE CARBS!
      But no. It was to give me medicine after medicine after medicine. Well, what do we expect a recommended 55% carb intake to do?
      I was so poorly.
      It culminated in me being hardly able to walk because of the pains in my shoulder girdle…the whole of my frame was taking the strain. Sleep was affected.
      After meals, I was so tired, I had to rest for an hour to cope with bloating.
      I was told I would require insulin, if things did not improve.
      The GP saw absolutely no reason to even attempt reducing the meds. But I believed that the interactions of so many drugs on my aging body could be at fault, and started my research!
      So, under threat of inducing a “cardiac event”…..I came off EVERYTHING ( except an antacid), and have never looked back.
      So…… who decides on an absolute diagnosis?
      Who decides that a particular medicine is the solution, for such a diagnosis, especially if the diagnosis is based on rocky groundwork….as I believe the GTT has been shown to be.
      Who decides that doubling the dose will improve the outcome?
      Who decides that adding yet another drug to the already long list, will improve the outcome?
      I will tell you…COMPUTER SAYS!
      Never mind LOOKING AT THE PATIENT.
      Never mind CONSIDERING THE INDIVIDUAL.
      I look around me and see folks appearing older than their years, using walking sticks as they hobble in obvious pain, and wonder to myself…

      How many have been seduced into taking statins?
      How many have developed type 2?
      How many are taking anti-hypertensives?
      And how many are dependent on anti-anxiolytics because they are worried to death by the countess drugs (and tests) they are told they need to survive?

      I am sorry if I sound cynical, but I got into my downward spiral due to poor diagnostic tools, and the take-over of the medical/ nursing profession by whizzy computer programmers!
      End of rant.

      Reply
  9. JDPatten

    I saw my GP a week ago for my annual physical. He wanted blood tests. I asked him what he contemplated doing with the cholesterol results, reminding him that I would not be taking statins – in any case. “Well,” he says. “…in that case, there’s no sense in testing.” And that was that.

    Those of us who’ve been following you, Doctor K, since Roman Numeral I, get it.
    Cholesterol is useful for generating our hormones. (What a strange seeming way to get our vitamin D! But that’s what works.) Cholesterol is useful for generating our precious little gray cells that allow us to think – if we choose to. Higher levels seem to give the elders among us a slight longevity advantage. (A definative-ish list would be interesting.)
    So, why lower it from where it’s happy to be??

    OK, next??

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      JDPatten: My GP no longer asks for the cholesterol tests. Real doctors listen to the patient, and I’ve been hammering the cholesterol hypothesis when I see her since I read Dr. Ravnskov’s book, “Ignore the Awkward!’ six or so years ago. She did order a metabolic panel since I’m taking the potassium supplement, and she wants to know its effect on my kidney function. I think the K and extra salt has likely improved my kidney function (salt restriction places a burden on the kidneys), so I’m fine with that test.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T

        JD and Gary, I couldn’t agree more.

        I no longer attend my surgery for ‘prevention’ tests and won’t give them blood. I now see ‘preventative medicine’ as a means of increasing customers for pharma. The less medicine we have, the healthier we are.

  10. Gilles

    Hello Macolm,
    Have you heard of Dave Feldman who manages to vary his cholesterol in three days? It would be very interesting to read your opinion on this subject.
    Forgive the mistakes, I run a translation software but I can very well read you.

    thank you,
    Gilles from Montreal

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I have heard of him. I keep meaning to look up how he does it. One always has to remember that the cholesterol test is, basically, a mathematical model. It does not actually measure cholesterol, per se. So making it go up and down may represent an ‘artifact’ of the way that total cholesterol is calculated. Or it may not. Will have to try and work out what he is going. As I have often said to patients. If you got your cholesterol level checked in two laboratories, at the same time of day, it can vary massively. Many lipoproteins can only really be separated out through differences in specific gravity, so you need an ultracentrifuge, for starters, and no-one does this.

      Reply
      1. JR62

        Dave Feldman ate a lot of calories in a form of fat three to five (?) days before test. After a lot of tests cholesterol curve was mirror image of fat intake curve. You must see his video.

        I wonder if this phenomenon is known by big pharma scientists but kept secret. Telling people to cut dietary fat rises cholesterol. So when one has next visit to doc, values are even higher and one is so scared he/she accepts statin recipe with relief.

      2. BobM

        I saw Dave Feldman’s presentation at KetoFest in CT (USA). He uses three days of low or zero calorie, followed by three days of high fat. He can achieve a large drop in LDL using this. He also gets a change when he exercises intensely. I can’t remember whether it goes up or down though. His theory is that fat you eat gets utilized within three days, dropping LDL. Meanwhile, the fat/LDL your liver produces goes up relative to the fat/calories you’re taking in. So, if you eat a lot of fat, you basically shut down the liver process, leading to an LDL reading that’s substantially lower.

        He’s verified this using volunteers who attended KetoFest. Not everyone experiences the same drop, but most do. The p value was quite low. He had all subjects tested using the same laboratory.

        I personally have verified that fasting causes my TC (total cholesterol), LDL, triglycerides to skyrocket while lowering my HDL. (Made mistake of getting “official” test after 4.5 days of fasting: all values were bad; that’s what lead to a real test where I took one sample after 12 hours of fasting and one sample the same week after 4.5 days of fasting, to verify what had happened..) All of these are temporary changes. I have not used his protocol, though I plan to do so, just to see if I can also confirm it.

        So, if you have “high” TC and LDL, you can consider using his technique to lower these values for your test. Of course, it’s just manipulation, but since many doctors are itching to prescribe “life saving” statins, it might be worth it.

        Dave gets the special tests done, where you get all the fancy data, including subfractions of LDL and HDL, LDL-p (LDL particle count), etc. I think for him LDL-p also goes down using his technique.

    1. John Barr

      Are you Timothy O’Dowd practising medicine in Australia? It would be nice to know there is another believer in my area

      Reply
  11. Mark Johnson

    The lowest total cholesterol I came came across was an individual, aged in his mid 30s who ate next to nothing, and even less fat. His cholesterol was about 2 / 2.5. We joked that he’d live forever. Within a few years he developed a quite severe neurological condition and ended up walking like you’d expect someone aged about 110. He looked about 110 as well. He became very poorly but without a solid diagnosis. I’m firmly of the belief that his super low cholesterol levels just weren’t healthy for him.

    I would have thought that cardiologists would realise that cholesterol can’t be the cause of CVD when the blood levels of heart attack victims show cholesterol levels all over the place. If cholesterol was primarily causal you’d expect it to be high in the majority of cases. Although Dr Kendrick’s latest post shows that whatever the cholesterol level is, modern medicine will likely claim it’s too high!

    And of course there’s the famous WHO graph which plots CVD, cancer, all cause mortality etc against cholesterol levels and the resulting curve clearly shows that generally speaking, a higher cholesterol level is protective. You can’t surely argue against that.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      You can, if you want. You can argue that higher cholesterol levels are prevalent in richer countries. Richer countries have better health care systems, so the overall death rate is lower. It would be lower still if we got the cholesterol levels down. I don’t agree with this argument, I consider it utter nonsense, but it is an argument that is difficult to refute.

      Reply
      1. Mark Johnson

        |

        You can, if you want. You can argue that higher cholesterol levels are prevalent in richer countries. Richer countries have better health care systems, so the overall death rate is lower. It would be lower still if we got the cholesterol levels down. I don’t agree with this argument, I consider it utter nonsense, but it is an argument that is difficult to refute.

        I took another look at the WHO graph because I hadn’t really considered that, but it would appear to be entirely spurious to propose such an argument. It doesn’t appear to be (generally) true that richer countries have higher cholesterol levels than poorer countries. For example, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda have low cholesterol levels and high mortality. Japan, France, Germany have “high” cholesterol levels and significantly lower mortality. I know you could argue that Germany has better healthcare than Uganda and that’s the reason for the decreased all cause mortality but it would be then specious to extend the argument to cholesterol. You could just as easily argue that the increased sunshine in Uganda is a killer or wearing Ledehosen in Germany is protective. All associations.

        But thinking about pharmaceuticals, wouldn’t the ultimate argument be that the new PCSK9 inhibitors are spectacular at reducing cholesterol levels but yet have had no effect on CVD?
        Shouldn’t this on its own now clearly show that the cholesterol hypothesis is bunkum? The pharmaceutical industry has clearly disproved the hypothesis all by itself, albeit inadvertently!

      2. MGJ

        In such cases, the data cannot provide proof, for the reasons you give ;just a guide. Instead the theory must stand or fall on the merits of its own premises, logic and internal consistency.
        This is something that Von Mise and Hayek pointed out in the equally fraught case of trying to ‘prove’ an economic theory.

  12. AH Notepad

    “Inside Health” on BBC Radio 4 today had an interesting article about educating children in health matters. It seems children are able to cope with the complexities of all the shades of grey that make up healthfulness, or lack of it. It is the adults who have to have things in balck or white. I wonder if it is this attempt to make the cholesterol hypothesis that caused its downfall. The same would apply to the other modern conditions, and that simplifying them makes them impossible to understand.

    Reply
  13. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Malcolm,

    “As Karl Popper said, if you cannot construct your hypothesis in such a way that it can be refuted, it is not science a.k.a. nonsense.”

    I love this one as one of the best from Popper.

    Reply
  14. Tom Welsh

    “… the average cholesterol level is about 5.7 mmol/L, which can be a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease”.

    “Can” be a risk factor? Surely something either is a risk factor or is not a risk factor? What does it mean to say that something “can” be a risk factor?

    Reply
      1. Jan B

        Dammit, chris c – I’ve been whistling/humming that Mash theme tune ALL DAY. Can’t get it out of my head. Grrr.

  15. Mick Smith

    I would be more concerned with high blood trigs and heart disease rather then the Cholesterol Cleanup Crue

    Reply
    1. James

      And yet how remiss of both my late (deceased, cancer) original, and current (much younger) Cardiologists, to have never mentioned this. I cannot think of a more useful and unequivocal test for an interested, motivated and questioning patient.
      Or Pilot.
      Nor did either bring “Enhanced External Counter Pulsation” – EECP / ECP – therapy to my attention, only stumbled across it months AFTER my CABG x 5, which is not proving as beneficial as I’d been led to believe.
      But the doctors made money, the private hospital made money, the Radiology made money and Pathology did hundreds of tests… Plus, the Australian government made money from the above taxes. Only the Big Pharma didn’t make an extra profit, as no ‘statins were involved before or after.

      Reply
  16. Gary Ogden

    And irrefutable in any case because the trial data are hidden. Besides the damage to their careers and status, they would be mortified were their subterfuge to be exposed. Like climate science, in which raw data have been “adjusted” to fit fit models which don’t concur with actual temperature records. But what a mess we have made of Medicine. People are living longer, but are sicker, especially the children, as vaccine zealotry has become Kafka-esque in Australia, Italy, and France, not to mention the U.S.A., while its damaging effects are fully suppressed, except in Japan. On the other hand, it is good to belong to the internet cult. We are surely healthier than the Nissenites. Likely happier, too. We have fully-functioning brains, and we eat real food! One adverse effect of propaganda (for the propagandists) is that the more ridiculous it gets, the easier it is for thinking people to see through it. Dr. Kendrick, your blog has unquestionably enhanced my own brain function, as I now have much greater clarity in the nature of science, and its limits. Of little I am certain, but of this, I am: the best way to avoid heart disease is to live life to the fullest (and be skeptical of everything, except most of what mom said).

    Reply
    1. Mr Chris

      Gary
      Interesting too the report on UK health said that that people are living longer but the extra years are often spent in poor health. Since its the end years that cost health services, i think there is á paradox here.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Mr Chris: Seems to me I read that 90% of healthcare costs in the U.S. are for those in the twilight years. I would prefer reasonably good health for almost all the journey. Death is unavoidable, so they say, but a life lived fully is a choice. My weekly hikes in the giant sequoias are humbling. Massive, ancient, they almost never die except by toppling over. The oldest are aged 3,200 years, and the third largest 12m in diameter. They are surrounded by beauty. They need fire to reproduce, and are almost never killed by it. They endure millennia of deep snow in winter and relatively dry summers. They teach patience.

    2. chris c

      Have you too noticed that everything the statinistas and cholesterol cultists accuse us “internet cult members” of is actually a realistic description of THEIR OWN behaviours?

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        chris c: Yes! It is religion. Like vaccination. Worshiping the God of money. Funny thing is, it is we who cite actual science, and they who get by with logical fallacy, propaganda, and fraudulent science (CDC) alone.

      2. Anna

        Now just take that a step further into the international and foreign policy news and you’ve got a good picture. My own policy is to take what they say and turn it 180 degrees, and it’s probably close to the truth. Watch for projection.

  17. KidPsych

    Perhaps fun reading…

    https://theskepticalcardiologist.com/2017/08/02/why-are-the-dutch-so-heart-healthy-and-happy-and-tall-part-i-is-it-their-diet/
    “After multivariable adjustment for lifestyle and dietary factors (model 4), a higher intake of energy from SFAs was significantly associated with a 17% lower IHD risk (HR per 5% of energy: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.74, 0.93). The Dutch Paradox: Data shows that the Dutch are eating lots of saturated fat from dairy and meat, but it appears to be lowering their risk for heart attacks.”

    Reply
    1. Antony Sanderson

      Thanks KidPsych – an entertaining, enlightening read. . . A lot of food, preferably saturated, for thought.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        The other side of the coin is the Israeli Paradox – they eat lots of “Heart Healthy” seed oils and have high levels of CVD.

        In fact the “paradoxes” seem to outnumber the “not-paradoxes” by a substantial margin. I wait for the Mainstream to see them as DATA. This could take a while.

  18. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    When I approached this issue about cholesterol some years ago now, as an old researcher of metallurgy – thus from the outside, it immediately struck me how nonsensical it was to demonize one of the most essential building blocks of our physiology. The parallel with getting rid of too much “bad blood” by the practice of letting was all to obvious for me. I guess that medicin has, in essence, always been a religious activity; and obviously it continuous.

    Now, I just wonder when and how the present cholesterol insanity can be abandoned.

    Reply
    1. Bill In Oz

      But Goran, the practice of phlebotomy ( blood letting ) does have one interesting effect : it lowers blood iron levels. In older men and women post menopuase, blood iron levels ( especially ferritin ) rise. There are research studies that examined this and concluded that high ferritin iron levels are damaging to the heart and involved in aging and Azheimers disease.
      As a result there are people who decide to donate blood whenever their blood ferritin iron level gets too high ( above about 100 ) My younger brother is one of them. As for me my own ferritin blood level is usually around 50 so I do don’t do this. But if it did get high I would certainly do so.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Bill in Oz: Very important point. I asked my GP last time why she had never tested ferritin. She said she only does it with suspected anemia, and that if mine was high she would know by other means (which I presume would be findings in the metabolic panel or symptoms). But knowing this makes me feel good about giving blood for the metabolic panel. Here in the U.S. they don’t allow blood donation for those past 65.

      2. Bill In Oz

        Gary Niacin ( Vitamin B3 ) is a chelator of iron. Exercise also helps maintain iron ferritin levels at a safe level. I know this from personal experience from my own iron ferritin levels in blood tests. When I tool 1000 mg of Niacin a day, my ferritin levels dropped.

        One of the main issues with iron is that it is ( by law ) added to virtually all flour sold in the USA & Australia and elsewhere. So if any of us are eating breads or cakes or pasta, ( even good whole grain foods ) then we are also getting ‘iron fortified’ as well, even when it’s not listed as an ingredient.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Bill in Oz: Thanks for the information. Do you no longer take niacin? I’ve never taken it, but I do exercise vigorously, and don’t eat anything with flour.

      4. Bill In Oz

        Yes Gary I still take it. It is uefulin that it increases HDL-C values in the blood and also chelates iron. Unlike you I do eat some bread and often here it is ‘fortified ‘ with iron by law. There is an exemption for certified organic flour ( and so organic breads ) but it is often hard to source.

        Niacin used to be expremely cheap. But last week when I got a new supply the price had increased by over 100%. I suspect that the discovery by the Victor Chang institute in Sydney, that B3 can prevent miscarriages and birth defects, has sparked a huge increase in demand.

    2. Anna

      What really bothers me is seeing how much of human endeavor is driven by false belief systems with little merit and little real examination. Oh, I am waxing philosophical this morning.

      Reply
    3. chris c

      Yes, why would we manufacture “cholesterol” specifically to kill ourselves? And why evolve the mevalonate pathway just to develop drugs to shut it down?

      Already waiting in the wings (I suspect)

      “Oh sorry, we were wrong about the saturated fat. But it WAS the meat all along, only it was the TMAO and NEU5gc. So go Vegan! (Do NOT look at the insulin, nothing to see there, move along now . . .)

      Reply
  19. Josephine Pretty

    Both of my parents had ( high cholesterol and took nothing for it). My father lived to be 92 and my mother 99. My Aunt always ate animal fat but still ate very little she lived to be just 3 weeks short of 100.

    Reply
  20. David Bailey

    Malcolm,

    I think you have really hit the nail on the head – but I think the head is much broader than just cholesterol/CVD, it covers all the various ‘blaming sciences’. Any science that sees its goal as being to place blame on something (cholesterol, CO2 in the atmosphere, minute concentrations of chemicals found in the environment…) – rather than actually construct something, is clearly at risk of descending into a combinatorial explosion similar to the one you describe. That doesn’t mean these sciences aren’t necessary, or are always invalid, but clearly extreme care is needed to ensure that those doing the research have no axe to grind, and are not receiving bribes of one kind or another.

    A clearly related issue, is the Bonferroni’s principle, which roughly states that if you trawl through lots of data looking for any correlation that comes up at the 5% confidence limit (say), you are pretty much certain to find something to report in a paper – “Evidence that X may cause Y”. Once you have the correlation you can start inventing a complicated justification for it. “It is possible that X binds to enzyme Z, and lowers its ability to regulate the level of W, which has been postulated to cause Y…..”. Of course, you are supposed to allow for the Bonferroni’s principle one way or another, but it is obviously extraordinarily tempting for a researcher to ‘forget’ that he tested 100 potentially blameworthy chemicals at the same time!

    I.e. a fog of hypotheses, can combine with the problems associated with trawling for evidence, an explosion of possible variables, and monetary biases (bribes) to make much blaming science worthless.

    Reply
    1. gillpurple

      Either that or put the blame onto patients. It’s discouraging when they’re trying to address the obesity/type two diabetes issues with more of the same. “Remedy” isn’t working so patients must be going something wrong, let’s get them to try harder.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        Blaming sciences – what an excellent concept!

        I would love to know what the doctors, nurses and especially dieticians blame when they themselves become obese, diabetic, etc.

        I’m patiently (pun intended) waiting for Giles Yeo to come up with a valid explanation for his postprandial glucose numbers from his experiment with a CGM. I predict “we didn’t know before that nondiabetics run high BG, and now we do”

  21. mediapenguin

    The problem is now, as with salt, is that the headlines are now so deeply ingrained that those who do not look behind those headlines are already brainwashed. I attend a creative writing workshop when someone said they had been diagnosed with high cholsterol and were taking statins. I initiated a conversation about how much he knew about the debate and it it is an argument you cannot begin to have – most people have it drilled into them that eating fat in stuff like butter is a heart attack on a plate. I don’t see how this tanker can be turned round.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I am more optimistic. I know quite a few people – including a doctor – who have returned to butter – as of course, we have. I think part of the truth is that ‘ordinary’ people have always been sceptical of all the medical propaganda being pushed out.

      Reply
    2. Anna

      I sometimes point out to people that while saturated fats are solid at room temperature, it is vegetable oil that they make varnish out of. It is the dried steamed vegetable oils on the cover over your stove fan (if you’ve got one) that makes those varnish-hard spots. Saturated fats never do that. They remain soft.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        I think the saturated fats do go hard, as can be seen on well used baking trays that have been smeared regularly with butter or lard.

      2. Jean Humphreys

        Yes animal fats do stick to the pan – I regularly use a roasting tin that comes from my a’s kitchen, so it was in use from the 1930’s if not earliert. It has wire handles which are now immovable. Since it was always used to roast meat, it is coated with animal fat, which at its thickest has carbonised and become part of the pan. If it had been used to roast anything with vegetable fat, the fat would not have washed off any more than the dripping did, but it would have turned to a nasty toffee-textured substance. That is what it does. It will not be shifted, but the animal fat carbonation could be remove with a chisel. But I don’t think I will bother – it doesn’t go anywhere.

    1. Antony Sanderson

      Thanks for the Eades blog reference . . . An enjoyable read.
      I have seen the Dave Feldman video before, but was grateful for a refresh.
      The Feldman video was the clearest account of how ingested fat is dealt with. It was a revelation that the big chylomicron particles are manufactured in the intestinal cells then carry fat through the blood system and delivered it directly to the cells, bypassing the overworked liver .
      The chylomicron remnants are absorbed in the liver, broken down and recycled. Meanwhile, if there has not been enough dietary fat (love to know the sensing mechanism) the liver starts manufacturing fats from glucose and parcels them up into VLDL.

      According to the Feldman logic . . . the more dietary fat available, the less VLDL is manufactured, the less cholesterol will be carried around by VLDL particles. Of course, since the blood test measures the triglycerides fats in the VLDL, LDL particles – the more of these particles you have the higher the TG levels.

      Reply
  22. Randall

    A number of studies have found that, at least in people older than 60, high cholesterol is associated with lower death rates. https://medium.com/the-mission/higher-cholesterol-is-associated-with-longer-life-b4090f28d96e Older adults with high LDL-C live longer than peers with low levels of same cholesterol, say experts https://www.news-medical.net/news/20160627/Older-adults-with-high-LDL-C-live-longer-than-peers-with-low-levels-of-same-cholesterol-say-experts.aspx treating with statins a ‘waste of time’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/06/12/high-cholesterol-does-not-cause-heart-disease-new-research-finds/

    Reply
  23. xtronics

    There are many drugs that lower cholesterol ( LDL is the common metric) – but only one does ANY good if measured in all-cause-mortality.. I would say that falsifies the LDL theory. (Only statins appear to do a tiny bit of good – NNT of 83 if used for 5 years is nothing to brag about).

    On the other hand – if you go past the observational bit and look at oxLDL – there is good research that shows that monocytes and particularly macrophages have receptors that respond to this oxidized bit – podding the macrophages to engulf oxLDL particles. These macrophages become foam-cells that can pinch off an artery. BUT BUT BUT – statins don’t lower oxLDL. ( it is rather easy to lower via diet – avoid PUFA’s and have some polyphenols).

    My hunch is that statins do their tiny bit of good by increasing calcification of unstable plaque. I don’t think they prevent the cause of heart disease.

    So if I tentatively accept the narrative as the best guess of today – that heart-disease is probably caused by elevated insulin (plus a co-factor or 2?) and cortisol bits from stress.. What is the best way to reduce the causation of the disease? It would be to reduce insulin – by diet(low carb) – resistance training (Rippetoe has a excellent strength training program). And reduce stress somehow..

    The existing damage is also a problem – probably a good idea to keep oxLDL low – ( They don’t test for this as Statins don’t help – Yet there are tests – Shiel labs has a rather low cost one that no one uses ).

    So I have lowered my oxLDL to the lower 5-percentile by diet (low PUFA – particularly Linoleic acid ( which forms 4HNE – that promotes insulin resistance as well ) and going out of my way to get polypheols – olive-oil, many spices etc.

    At the same time lowering PUFA in the diet long term is likely to help some people lose weight – which is a risk factor for several other diseases.. See this and this .. Of course the medical community has been preaching an ungrounded narrative that encouraged eating a food substitute better suited for making linoleum.

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      When you consider how often people choose to discontinue their chronic medication, a theoretical NNT of 83 for 5 years translates to a practical NNT in the hundreds, if not thousands.

      “Like adherence to antihypertensive therapy, adherence to statins and antiplatelet agents is poor, as are the outcomes associated with nonadherence. Within 6 months to 1 year after having been prescribed statins, approximately 25% to 50% of patients discontinue them; at the end of 2 years, nonadherence is as high as 75%.” — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068890/

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: I must say this paper reads like a pharma sales brochure: “Although these medicines are effective at combating disease. . . .” Right. Which medicines? Which diseases? Is this why the people of the world are so healthy? What about preventing disease in the first place? I say, show me the science, real science, not tobacco science. Most disease today in the developed world is lifestyle disease, much of which is still promoted by the medical industry (such as the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, et cetera, ad nauseum), and in the developing world by poverty, malnutrition, and poor living conditions, just as it was during the heyday of infectious diseases. Unfortunately there is no drug for stupidity or greed, the diseases of KOL’s.

    2. Errett

      utrition. 2014 Sep;30(9):1055-60. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.01.010. Epub 2014 Feb 15.

      Early endothelial nitrosylation and increased abdominal adiposity in Wistar rats after long-term consumption of food fried in canola oil.

      Bautista R1, Carreón-Torres E2, Luna-Luna M2, Komera-Arenas Y2, Franco M1, Fragoso JM2, López-Olmos V2, Cruz-Robles D2, Vargas-Barrón J3, Vargas-Alarcón G2, Pérez-Méndez O4.
      Author information

      Abstract
      OBJECTIVE:
      The aim of this study was to establish whether the long-term consumption of reused canola oil contributes to the development of dyslipidemia, obesity, and endothelial function.

      METHODS:
      Canola oil was used for one frying cycle (1 FC) of corn flour dough or reused 10 times (10 FC). Rats received chow diet (control) or supplemented with 7% raw oil (RO), 1 FC or 10 FC oil (n = 10 per group). Food consumption, blood pressure (BP), and body weight plasma glucose, plasma lipids were monitored. Vascular reactivity was analyzed using aorta rings stimulated with phenylephrine and acetylcholine. Nitrotyrosine presence in aorta rings was analyzed by immunohistochemistry.

      RESULTS:
      After 10 wk of follow-up, visceral adipose tissue was significantly more abundant in 1 FC (7.4 ± 0.6 g) and 10 FC (8.8 ± 0.7 g) than the RO (5.0 ± 0.2 g; P = 0.05 versus 10 FC group) or control group (2.6 ± 0.3 g; P = 0.05 versus all groups). Despite similar plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, and BP among groups, a significantly reduced acetylcholine-induced vascular relaxation was observed in the three groups receiving the oil-supplemented diet (47.2% ± 3.6%, 27.2% ± 7.7%, and 25.9% ± 7.6% of relaxation, for the RO, 1 FC, and 10 FC, respectively; P < 0.05 for all versus 62.4% ± 9.7% of the control group). Endothelial dysfunction was concomitant with the presence of nitrotyrosine residues at a higher extent in the groups that received heated oils compared with the RO group.

      CONCLUSION:
      High canola oil intake over 10 wk was associated with increased adipose tissue and early endothelial dysfunction probably induced by peroxinitrite formation. Such deleterious effects were significantly potentiated when the consumed oil had been used repeatedly for frying.

      Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

      Reply
  24. Bill In Oz

    Off topic but lso on topic : I saw my GP of 17 years again earlier today. Now he is happy with my blood pressure. We talked about my lipid levels & cholesterol. But still wants me on statins. Believes I will have a heart attack shortly.
    I said they do not help and have major side effects for many people on them. I also said that he is misinformed by Pharmaceutical companies. His reply was “Rubbish”.

    So now I am here asking around for a GP with an open mind who is up on the recent research and not blinded by pharmocorp propaganda.

    Or do I simply go “Undoctored” ?

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      All you need to do, is say ‘No!’ to your GP. If you do that politely, nothing awful will happen, and you may have helped to educate him a little. If you are happy with your GP in general, there is no need to change – certainly I am still with the same doctor who prescribed statins to me about 7 years ago. Now he knows that I don’t want statins after what they did to me, and that is fine. Remember, that it isn’t really their fault. They need to know vast amounts about all sorts of illnesses, but it is fairly easy nowadays to learn more than them about one specific area – they can’t achieve that level of expertise in all the problems they have to deal with, when they are being fed misleading guidelines.

      Reply
      1. Bill In Oz

        Hi David, Gill, HW, Dearieme, Gaetan, Thanks for all the responses !
        I have been saying “No thanks ” to statins since February. And simultaneously I have been providing him with information ( paper & by email ). He has read none of it. In fact said that the email was spam. Also that the information I provided is ‘Rubbish”.

        Also at the consult before last, I requested a script for low dose viagra ( based on the information that Dr Kendrick has provided ) and he declined. In fact he said that viagra is a very old drug that is less effective than statins ! ) Now I know that that is indeed ‘rubbish’.

        In other words his mind is completely shut to any new research or thinking.

        Here in Oz we do not have a National Health Service such as in the UK. Virtually all doctors operate in private practice and are paid by their patients with a partial reimbursement to the patient by the Australian government via our Medicare program. So, my thinking is that how we choose to spend our money can have an impact : discourage the bad and encourage the good !

        I note that Mark Johnson made a reference to seeking a GP qualified in “Functional medicine” . I will certainly do a search & see what turns up.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Bill in Oz and everyone: One of Australia’s finest, Dr. Gary Fettke, has apparently decided he’s not going to shut up. Good article by Marika at FoodMed.Net. Anyone interested in how vegetarianism became so prominent (it wasn’t on merit) would find it a good read.

      3. Bill In Oz

        This is great news. I did not know. APRA is finding itself the centre of controversy with trying to silence Fettke. Already they have been questioned by in hearings of a committee of the Australian Senate. And I suspect they wish that they had no taken this complaint against Fettke on. APRA supposedly acted on the complaint of an unknown complainent. But we have our own powerful sugar industry lobby here, committed to preserving the livelhoods of the sugar growers and the sugar processing industry. It is a huge industry in Queensland.

      4. Gary Ogden

        David Bailey: I agree. After all, one of the reasons people go into medicine is the desire to help, to heal. Some are imperious, some incurious, some have an over-large view of their value and expertise, but I think many are thoughtful, and educable, and really do listen to the patient.

      5. AhNotepad

        From Gary Ogden:
        Bill in Oz and everyone: One of Australia’s finest, Dr. Gary Fettke, has apparently decided he’s not going to shut up. Good article by Marika at FoodMed.Net. Anyone interested in how vegetarianism became so prominent (it wasn’t on merit) would find it a good read.,

        It gets better, http://foodmed.net/2017/03/19/ahpra-rats-abandon-sinking-ship-after-fettke-ban/ tells about the number of resignations from the AHPRA following Gary Fettke’s “ban” . Should give the “nutritionist” food for thought having stirred up this problem after her nose was put out of joint.

      6. Bill In Oz

        I gather that AHPRA writ does not extend overseas. So Fettke cannot be punished by de-registration as a health professional if he is speaking overseas. And we do live in an globally inter connected world…

        I have had a few interactions with a ‘qualified’ nutritionists via a blog site here in Oz. Invariably eating low carb & low sugar, and eating saturated fats, she considered ‘heresy’. When I kept citing the research sources contradicting her view, she stopped replying.

      7. Bill In Oz

        I have been doing some research towards finding a GP who is not a ‘statinist’. There is one who practices in Adelaide. However because of his approach he is so popular that he booked out solid for weeks, even months ! This is good as it indicates that many people are resisting statinism here as well.. But a bit problematic as it means waiting quite a while…. 😦

      8. chris c

        “I have had a few interactions with a ‘qualified’ nutritionists via a blog site here in Oz. Invariably eating low carb & low sugar, and eating saturated fats, she considered ‘heresy’. When I kept citing the research sources contradicting her view, she stopped replying.”

        Oh they do that all over the world. Blocking, banning and arguing from Authority is commonplace.

        There ARE some good ones but you have to dig a bit to find them.

        UK dieticians mostly hero worship this guy

        http://angry-chef.com/blog

        You Just Couldn’t Make This Up

      9. AH Notepad

        The Angry Chef seems to have a trumpesque rabble rousing approach. If someone can’t present a case in a calm sober way, it is not a sound case IMO. Maybe he’s right, and I prefer to inhabit blogs like this one, where I can believe much of it, but learn more about how complex the system is, and accept I might be wrong frequently.

    2. gillpurple

      Bill. Sounds like your GP is a true believer in the cholesterol mythology, unfortunately. If, otherwise, you like him as your GP, and would prefer to keep seeing him can you put it to him that you and he will agree to disagree? You are allowed to decline treatment/medication and GP’s guidance for communication/consultations with patients makes that clear. Can’t remember what it’s called off the top of my head.

      Doctored or undoctored – where I come from that’s a reference to whether male animals have been castrated or not!!

      Reply
      1. Bill In Oz

        “Undoctored” in a new term popularised by Dr William Davids in the USA. He recently published a book entitled simply ” Undoctored”

        Very very prescriptive eliminating nearly all grains, even whole grains….

      2. chris c

        William Davis was recently slated on TV for being part of the “lunatic fringe”.Er, he is a Real Doctor achieving Real Results in Real People. Ted Naiman, David Unwin, etc, likewise.

        Giles Yeo, who slated him, has recently “discovered” that his blood glucose goes up to diabetic levels or only slightly less after eating carbs. Many of the other critics of non-mainstream thought are far from slim too, yet they resolutely fail to see what is staring a lot of other people in the face. Or the mirror.

        “In other words his mind is completely shut to any new research or thinking.”

        George Henderson in New Zealand, among several others, has been turning up plenty of old research which has since been ignored as not fitting into the low fat/cholesterol mythology. Half a century later and some of it is now being rediscovered by modern researchers.

        Even a dietician recently found an old book on reversing obesity which fits neatly with other old tomes on diets for diabetes that actually work, etc.

        Entire trains of study have been derailed by the neverending focus on “cholesterol”

    3. HW

      Bill, I’m in the UK, but I meet with exactly the same attitude from the medical profession. I’ve been been in poor health for decades, but in that time I’ve met only a handful of doctors who were so open-minded as to be willing to learn from their patients. It’s a very rare attribute. As Goran says in a comment above, the practice of medicine is, at heart, a religion. We do indeed need to go “undoctored”.

      Reply
    4. Bill In Oz

      We are afflicted with a new ideology : “Statinism” and many in our medical establishments have converted to this new faith.
      They have become statinologists. They pose a significant health threat to our societies. And financial threat to our financial security.
      And unfortunately they like true believers everywhere, they believe they are doing good. Even as their patients suffer major side affects.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Bill in OZ: How right you are. It is religion, not science. In some ways medicine has gone completely off the rails, at enormous cost now, and much greater cost looming in the future. In the U.S., schools are having to cut enrichment programs because the numbers of, and costs of educating those with an educational disability are growing so rapidly. The children are increasingly ill.

    5. KidPsych

      Bill, I like to keep an open mind about all of this, which led me to this site: https://theskepticalcardiologist.com/coronary-calcium-score/
      He’s certainly more on board with prescribing statins than Dr. Kendrick, but he uses a rather thoughtful lens when considering treatment. At the core of his diagnostic work is relying less on lipid panels and more on calcification of arteries and heart. Perhaps a more thorough assessment would benefit you (and your doctor)?

      Reply
      1. Bill In Oz

        Kidpsych, I looked through that web site you recommended. Yes he suggests good diet, lowering stress, exercise. And hat is good. And there are a couple of interesting articles as well – for example the one on potassium.
        But he is still basically a statinologist working off the chloresterol hymn sheet.

    6. Judy B

      My husband and I went “undoctored” some time ago as far as the check-ups, tests and inevitable prescriptions. We were sternly warned that we were risking sudden death from not treating our “high” cholesterol. We remain healthy and active. (Of course, if we actually needed medical care, we would seek it… )

      Reply
    7. Gaetan

      I haven’t seen a gp in 20 years, i don’t care about blood cholesterol and other non-sense. I am healthy, i sleep well, i eat as much as i want, not overweight, why would i see one?

      Be happy you have ablood pressure, otherwise you’d be dead! of course i am kidding but, maybe you need to see a GP for unrelated cholesterol issues. Good Luck, otherwise if you read this entire blog (dr.Kendrick) you will know more about CVD than most GP.

      Reply
  25. JDPatten

    Dr Malcolm,

    Who is it that monitors comments in your stead?
    “…sorry for the delay in replying to your comment. I have been on holiday for a week and someone else was approving comments, but did not think they could respond to yours.”

    Some of us, sometimes, write a comment or question to you yourself, with the expectation that you’ll at least see it. It would be good if you could give us fair warning of when you’ll be away or inconvenienced (Who needs Holiday more than such a busy guy?!) – and when you’re back.

    Reply
    1. Clathrate

      Dear JD, that is not a fair request to make and my opinion is that you should reconsider your request with a view to retracting it (though you might be planning to burgle Dr K when he is on holiday). If comments were not moderated every time Dr K was away, people might start thinking all sorts of things as to the reason why or wondering why their comment was not published (plus I bet my last shilling that every comment will be read when back). Regards, C.

      Total aside. I’ve been away, working abroad, trying to educate colleagues (I try to answer questions and not initiate them). A senior Norwegian was in the group. As I was deficient in eggs during the trip, I was on my 7th one day – 4 at breakfast and 3 later in the day – I could see the horror and thoughts that I was drowning in fat and cholesterol. No matter what debate and defence is made, these guys ‘know’ that that amount of cholesterol is going to put me six feet under (joking aside, it wouldn’t surprise me if I’m reported to HR for substance abuse) (p.s. the biggest laugh is that the shocked Norwegian is the one on meds). The battle ahead is long.

      Reply
      1. Bill In Oz

        JD, when I read your request the other day, I was perplexed but knew not what I could say.

        But I can now make a comment:

        This super duper interconnected high speed world we live in, makes it easy to forget simple humanity.The human need for time out, for a break, for a holiday, whatever. And i imagine that someone working as a doctor in general practice, like Dr Kendrick, faces this as an urgent need.

        I was thinking about the GP I have been seeing for 17 years the other day. He works 5.5 days a week. He starts at 9.00 am & usually finishes at 6.00 pm. On top he has hospital visits. Consultations are usually 10 minutes or 6 an hour.. That’s about 280 patients a week. Plus manage the practice which is owns.

        Frankly if I was doing this I would,be ‘rice pudding between the ears’. And that may explain why he is a statinologist. With no time or brain space to think outside the box, he just goes by what he was taught in Oxford in the 1980’s and what he’s picked up on the fly ever since.
        In that context my efforts to ‘re-educate him’ arn’t worth a razoo !

        Moral of all this ? Lets be thankful DR K is managing this blog for us dissidents & wish him a happy holiday. 🙂

      2. JDPatten

        No retraction forthcoming.
        Those of us who’ve been with Dr M since Roman Numeral I have commented with the expectation that he himself would view them. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time that “someone else” is mentioned. Granted, at this point it would be a super-human task to monitor everything-all-the-time and still be a GP. Fine. I just want to know where I stand – if it’s the good doc who sees directly what I’ve written, or someone else.
        Of course, this all makes no difference if I’m just chatting with another commenter – such as now.

        (I trust that “burgling” is your notion of dark humor.)

      3. Peggy Sue

        JD, my first thought when I read your comment was, if I were as well known as Dr Kendrick then I most certainly would NOT broadcast a forthcoming vacation on the www because of the very real risk of being burgled. You hear of it happening all to frequently these days and we all tut to ourselves and think ‘how could they be so silly’.
        The only alternatives would be (a) the comments grind to a halt for a period of time which would be very sad and we would all be worried or (b) Dr Kendrick has got to keep an eye on things when he’s supposed to be having a well-earned break and that is not really reasonable (unless he wants to of course).
        This way comments are moderated in Dr Kendrick’s absence yet all the extremely interesting conversations between commenters are still allowed to flow. Makes perfect sense to me.
        This blog is the first item I turn to when I log on in the morning and I love it when there is either a new ‘episode’ or the comments total has increased (I don’t get regular updates in my inbox). It’s become such a fixture in my life over the last 2-3 years that it’s all too easy to forget that there is a real person behind it all!

      4. JDPatten

        Peggy,
        I’d venture to guess that ost people here appreciate transparency in cardiovascular research and diabetes, vaccination, diet – etc, etc – research and reporting. After all, it was the likes of Keyes’s obfuscation that resulted in half a century’s worth of misguided and damaging health protocols. (Transparency in politics would be good too, yes?)
        Why not transparency here? Why not a minimal introduction to Dr Kendrick’s stand-in? We’ve gotten to know Dr Kendrick quite well. Don’t you want at least an idea of who it is that first sees the results of your very personal intellectual and emotional struggles with your very personal health concerns when Doc K can’t be on the spot?
        No one is suggesting that these comments be interrupted.
        I leave it to you to puzzle out matters of UK crime.

      5. Peggy Sue

        I’m sorry JD, I think I understand what you mean. It’s comments from contributors such as your good self that I really value the most and it is all too easy to take them for granted without thinking what lies behind.

        But no, I don’t personally feel the need to know any more detail about the stand-in moderator as I feel that is all they are doing. I do not expect Dr Kendrick to join in on every thread, even when comments are directed his way (great when he does though).

      1. Clathrate

        Reply to PeggySue above (sorry couldn’t do it directly under post as wasn’t a ‘Reply’ button) – my sincere apologies, I accidentally gave you a ‘thumbs down’. I’m like you in that I don’t have the regular updates but love coming on here most days to check the new comments.

        Another side story, during a tea room conversation at work today, a colleague mentioned that his missus had told him off for regularly eating two eggs a day because his cholesterol was over 5. I think he thought I was a madman when I told him that I’d be gutted if I had a cholesterol level lower than 5 (I do know mine and it is what I’ve read is the average of the Swiss). I was also met with amazed silence when I let him know that taking in more cholesterol with food meant that his liver would now make less (no way was I then going to go into the implications for other things such as cancer {e.g. Ann Nutr Metab 2015;66(suppl 4):1–116}, not to mention a host of other things). [The side side story to this side story is that he let it be known that his missus is nurse – not that this came as a surprise – which I guess was his way of letting me know that I’m a nutter.]

    2. James

      I insist that Dr Kendrick take himself / Family away at regular intervals to both re-charge his overworked batteries, and to sacrifice himself in the finest traditions of Experimental Science, ie, to make himself the ‘Lab-Rat’ of difficult and dangerous trials… His dietary regime is clearly one, as is his recent ‘advice’ that partaking of a suitable wine in the company of good Friends should be regarded as a healthy and positive activity.
      This could only have been proved – to his and our satisfaction – by diligent application of the Experimental Model. Doing the trial in France is only logical…
      I congratulate him on his dedicated selfless-ness.
      Yesterday, we put the hypothesis to the test and partook of a small bottle of boutique beer my son had hidden in the family fridge. The result was encouraging and shall be repeated (in the interests of Science) – when the stock replaces itself,!

      Today I had a good laugh reading through the lead post.
      I feel better now !

      Reply
  26. Mark Johnson

    .

    So now I am here asking around for a GP with an open mind who is up on the recent research and not blinded by pharmocorp propaganda.

    Or do I simply go “Undoctored” ?

    Maybe look for a GP qualified in functional medicine?

    Reply
  27. dearieme

    ‘If I can find an absolute contradiction to any hypothesis, I shall discard it, and start again.’

    What if CVD isn’t a single disease but a small bunch of diseases with similar symptoms? Then there might be no unique cause.

    Reply
    1. Bill In Oz

      Gary, Dr Milton was right to abstain on the vote to approve. There is a need. for more information before any ‘informed’ decision can be made.
      I also think that the ‘demographics’ of this issue is important. Who gets Hep B in the USA ? Young or old ? And were there any significant age differences between the trial and the control group ? These type of questions need to analysed and answered before any approval is given.
      It would also be very useful to know why there was such a significant difference in the heart attack rates in the 2 groups.

      This reminds me of the huge differences in the trials done by Dr Morrison in 1966-73 when he tried Chondroitin sulfate. The patients in his trial group of 60 men had a heart incident rate which was just a small fraction of the control group. Yet the members of each group were treated exactly the same otherwise.

      An analogy that just of occurred to me : it is the people who are close to the cliff’s edge who fall off. Perhaps the new Hep B vaccine by triggering additional stress and inflammation, push people closer to the edge ? Contra wise do chondroitin sulfate or potassium or viagra, work by reducing stress and inflammation, and so take people away from the cliff edge ?

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        I think every child born in a hospital in the US immediately gets a Hep B shot. Even when they are born to a Hep B negative mother.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Bill in Oz: I agree that the abstention was warranted. This article raises some odd questions. What was the age of the study population? If there were so many MI’s, they must have been adults, yet the HEP B vaccine is given almost universally in the U. S. on the day of birth (before 1991 it was given at age 12-13). About 1% of pregnant women test positive for Hep B. Hep B being blood-borne, the other 99% of infants are at no risk, and for a significant percentage of them antibody titers fall dramatically long before they are of the age to engage in sex or IV drug use. Important to note that vaccine safety studies are conducted at a lower standard than those for drugs. They are short-term, with no meaningful followup, and they are never tested against a true placebo, always either another vaccine (as this one) or the vaccine minus the antigen.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Anna: Not encourage, they force it upon all in California, West Virginia, and Mississippi. Parents no longer have the right to make medical decisions for their children in those three states. Australia, and now Italy and France are doing this, as well. The British put their foot down and stopped of this sort of population-wide medical experimentation in 1907, led by the good people of Leicester and such luminaries as Alfred Russell Wallace.

      4. James

        No, no Bill, we can’t have that! -Who knows, – next thing these (heart) diseased and demented patients will be taking up Mountain climbing and indulging in Fun Activities at 20,000 feet.

        All without statins or PSCK9 meds…Back down here on the flat land… there’s a trial going on over here in West Oz, testing a ‘legacy’ anti-inflammatory GOUT medication… for heart patients. Seems that some non-pharma organizations are looking seriously at the root cause(s)

      5. Mr Chris

        James
        What sur wrong with L Carnitine as a gout cure? Non patentable but according to research effective.

    2. chris c

      Actually, all swans are black except for the white ones.

      This SHOULD flag up a major investigation – HOW does the vaccine do this? Which pathway(s) are affected?

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        chris c: There will be no investigation. Vaccination is religion. Investigative journalism hardly exists any longer. Both print and broadcast media are so dependent on ad revenue from the pharmaceutical industry that even asking questions about vaccine safety and efficacy is no longer permitted in the U.S. The CDC itself runs a vast PR and media operation using hundreds of millions of our tax dollars.

  28. jbarnesbaker

    Re the Feldman video mentioned above (it is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZu52duIqno): It is absolutely amazing that after 40 years of our health agencies and government telling us to cut down of fat, especially saturated fat, to lower or cholesterol, that no one ever did a very simple test to see what the effect of eating saturated fat actually has on cholesterol! As Dave shows, you can normalize your cholesterol in 3 days by eating a lot of saturated fat!

    Reply
  29. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    In the complex web of physiology there are still some common denominators. One of these are oxidative stress.

    As a subscriber to Dr. Mercola’s newsletters (sometimes still controversial in my eyes) I received one these this morning which I again found very interesting though this was about the effect oxidative stress on mental disorders.

    “How to Help Heal Mental Disorders With Nutrition”

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/08/13/heal-mental-disorders-with-nutrition.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20170813Z2&et_cid=DM154737&et_rid=13545942

    Here it is an interview with William Walsh, Ph.D.

    “I started off in the hard science. I was an experimentalist,” Walsh says. “I worked, in the beginning, in the nuclear field … with places like Los Alamos, the Institute for Atomic Research and University of Michigan Research Institute. I wound up at Argonne National Laboratory. While working as a scientist there, I started a volunteer project at the local prison, Stateville Penitentiary.”

    Myself also trained in the “hard core sciences” I tend to listen to these types of guys since the are not trapped by the religious believes permeating the medical “science”.

    Reply
  30. Jean Humphreys

    “I would love to know what the doctors, nurses and especially dieticians blame when they themselves become obese, diabetic, etc”.
    Quote from Chris C
    Have you looked lately at the average hospital nurse? Mind you, they don’t help themselves by choosing a size smaller than they ought, but the way those ill-cut uniforms hug the rolls of belly and back fat is quite unpleasant to see.
    Rolling up to my 70th, I am one stone heavier than when I left school. I have been heavier. A statin and a carefully followed low fat diet made me nearly 4 stone heavier. Eighteen plus months of digoxin, with all the nausea and digestive upsets brought me back into clothes that I am so glad I didn’t throw out. And now that I can eat properly, the weight just doesn’t seem to come back.
    And the nasty toxin did nothing for my heart rate – it took a different doctor and a pacemaker to sort that.

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Jean, I’ve wondered that myself. Some of the most prominent dietitians who’ve persecuted Tim Noakes look several stone overweight. According to their own way of thinking, they are just greedy or lazy.

      Reply
  31. Anna

    So what else is new? In the saturated fats article linked above:

    “It is striking that the authors of the three review papers supporting the AHA’s stance on vegetable oils all report receiving funding from one or more vegetable-oil companies. “

    Reply
  32. Caroline

    On being ‘undoctored’: recently heard that my fit and healthy 96-year-old great-uncle hasn’t seen a doctor for 50 years. He saw no need 🙂

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      I think a section 34 restraining order is required for these snake oil salesmen. They are frauds, unfortunately supported by either a fraudulent or misled establishment. The stress caused by worrying over a non-disease will do them more harm than any supposed condition.

      Reply
    2. Bill In Oz

      Britain is being ‘statinized’ by the NHS !

      I am very glad that I do not live there.

      Dr Kendrick, I notice while reading the Daily Mail link above that hypertension ‘can be treated by losing weight, cutting fat and salt intake, reducing alcohol and caffeine and exercising more.’
      Do you have any comment on the less caffeine aspect of this ? Elswhere I have read that coffee and tea have anti aging effects.
      Also the article says “If blood pressure is very high, patients are given medication to relax the blood vessels. These include ACE inhibitors or angiotensin-2 receptor blockers.” There is no mention of potassium which you suggested in one of your posts as beneficial for the heart. There is very little around on the web about potassium and the heart. At least little that I found useful. Do you have any general thoughts on this issue & which is better – potassium compared to ACE inhibitors & Angiotensin-2 blockers ?

      Reply
  33. Charlie

    Talking about dogma on health. Here is one PhD pointing to a radical contrarian view on Alzheimer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. It also talk about how it also affect CVD.

    Stanley Bronstein Interviews Dr. Edward Friedman
    DR. EDWARD FRIEDMAN
    Dr. Friedman’s interest in health led him to major in Biology at Brown University and to obtain a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Theoretical Biology at the University of Chicago. He never considered pursuing a medical degree because he found the idea of being trained in how to use drugs to treat symptoms a waste of time.

    All of his recent publications challenge the accepted dogma of the medical establishment. He considers it a challenge whenever he reads a medical article that describes results as paradoxical or counterintuitive. From their point of view, this means that the results are not what they were taught to expect. From Dr. Friedman’s point of view, this means that the model that they were taught in medical school is fatally flawed.

    In the case of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and Alzheimer’s, he could not rest until he had developed models that fit all of the known facts, including articles that claimed to find paradoxical results. His research involves categorizing the known properties of the hormone receptors and identifying which receptors help cancer grow and which ones help kill the cancer cells.

    http://superchangeyourlife.com/interviews/interviews-edward-friedman/

    His home page:

    http://www.math.uchicago.edu/~ed/

    Reply
  34. Bill

    Front page Daily Mail in the UK today: “WAR ON HEART DEATHS’. Looks like they will hunting us down and force feeding us Statins and blood pressure medication in the future. It’s going to save thousands of lives every year. Might be good for people with Atrial Fibrillation I suppose. Dr Kearney the shill for this particular sales pitch reckons there are a conservative 6.75 million UK citizens in grave danger as we speak. I suspect that this is part of the recent push to get those BP and cholesterol medication sales back on track. The NHS is already digging a black hole for itself this I fear might hasten it’s demise. Since statins and BP are of little efficacy and have side effects which will continue to emerge , I’m sure, over the coming years the idea that this latest wheeze could save lives and money is, well, doubtful. But I’m sure the majority of people who don’t do their own research will probably comply and then wonder why despite all the right meds and the right diet according to that authorities they feel like s***.

    Reply
    1. chris c

      “Save lives” for what? So we can get cancer, Alzheimers and a bunch of other worse ways to die? Oh wait, these will mean we will need even more and more profitable medications, provided by the private firms which will by then have bought out the NHS, many of which don’t seem to work very well either.

      I wonder how long before the Government decides to block public access to PubMed, for our own good of course. Can’t have patients actually reading Science now, can we?

      Reply
  35. AhNotepad

    From the AHPRA rats and sinking ships story I saw this comment:

    “Ben Fury says:
    23RD MARCH 2017 AT 10:41 AM
    People need to get this through their heads:

    Reversing symptoms does NOT equal cured.
    If you were CURED, you could return to eating the same junk food diet that got you in trouble in the first place without negative results.
    Doesn’t work that way.
    A smart diet can REVERSE the SYMPTOMS of diabetes. If you get your A1c down to 5.5, you are not CURED of diabetes. You have almost normal blood sugars.
    NOT cured. IF you continue to eat smart, you get to continue to have good blood sugars.
    But that is NOT cured.
    If you were CURED, you could go back to eating sugary junk food and your blood sugars would remain normal.
    Will NOT happen. NOT cured. A reprieve. But NOT cured.”

    I think this is an incorrect statement as type 2 diabetes is not a disease, it cannot be caught or passed on, it is a condition caused by incorrect nutrition.

    Am I wrong?

    Reply
    1. Stephen T

      Calling it ‘reversed’ or ‘cured’ hardly matters. It’s the health benefits that matter.

      We need to give diabetics ‘smart’ dietary advice instead of the utter nonsense most currently get.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Stephen T., you are so correct.
        Having addressed the causes of type 2 diabetes, and getting almost miraculous results (in my own case, without any medical help), it would be a daft thing to go back to a regime which caused the condition in the first case!
        Call it a cure, or merely management of type 2, I will never return to the ( dare I say it?) sinful, dangerous garbage advised by modern ‘dieticians’. Suffice to say, my own food research over the last 4 years ….including many directives on this great blog….have restored me to good health.
        I do not need to define my state of health as having been ‘cured’ or ‘reversed’ from whatever was the cause, ( type 2, according to my GP)…but as a bit of a boring foodie nowadays, folks can’t fail to see that my good-food regime must be the answer to a lot of bad health. ( sorry Big-Pharma…good food regimes will most certainly interfere with your profits, along with those of the processed food industry)

      2. chris c

        IMO there are two sides to “diabetes”. One is insulin resistance (or if you prefer, sensitivity) which is common in the majority of the population, and when properly controlled by an appropriate diet is an adaptive feature. Modern diets switch it on and lock it on, but it can relatively easily be locked off again (“epigenetics”). In a minority of the population this does not seem to occur, they remain insulin sensitive whatever.

        The other factor is pancreatic damage, the edge case being Type 1 where the beta cells are killed by an autoimmune response, but in Type 2 the beta cells may be crucified by overuse generating excess insulin to overcome the chronic IR, and by certain drugs. Once they are gone they don’t regrow. However an undamaged pancreas has huge redundancy so this may take a while. Theoretically “diabetes” is not diagnosed until at least 50% of the betas have fallen off the perch, but in the absence of IR you can still generate enough insulin to cope with a reduced carb intake for the rest of your life.

        Other mechanisms exist – MODYs are monogenic, and various pathways are affected in the different types. What I – and a small but significant number of others – seem to have is dysfunctional rather than missing beta cells, or a broken control mechanism – incretins? loss of feedback between beta and alpha cells? – another “rare” form of Type 1 involves an autoimmune attack on the insulin itself, etc. etc.

        I’m leery about claiming a “cure” which may lead to patients going face down in the carbs again. I tend towards the Joseph Kraft view that disordered insulin precedes the disordered glucose often by many years, and leads to yet further endocrine and health problems as a lot of Real Science is discovering – and rediscovering – in the face of opposition from paid shills who just call themselves scientists.

        Fin.

    2. Martin Back

      If the condition no longer affects you but will return if conditions favour it, it is “in remission”.

      Reply
      1. Antony Sanderson

        Martin, I am not sure that the notion of remission is necessarily appropriate here.

        There are a lot of people who are pursuing an unhealthy lifestyle . . . overeating, consuming excessive amounts of sugar, high consumption of industrial vegetable oils . . . leading to systemic inflammation, increasing insulin resistance and overweight. A large proportion of these people will either be T2 diabetic or be knocking on the door and are pre-diabetic.

        If any of these people move away from their unhealthy life-style . . . insulin resistance goes down (or insulin sensitivity goes up if you prefer), weight goes down etc . . If they had become T2 diabetic they can come off their meds; or if knocking on the diabetes door they can step back.

        In particular those who have been most successful in going back on their unhealthy path have sought to cut the carbs. (In terms of diabetes this is what makes sense).

        These people developed their pathology because of lifestyle choices . . . (there is almost certainly a genetic element that will come into play, making some more susceptible than others, perhaps changing the speed of the trajectory)

        If any of the ‘cured’ went back and followed the same original path that led them to they ‘illness’ in the first place . . . it would be no surprise to find they developed T2D again. Ben Fury would say they have not been ‘cured’ – in fact he shouts it out: not CURED! and adds . . . ‘If you were CURED, you could go back to eating sugary junk food and your blood sugars would remain normal” Crazy statement . . . this is what got them to their ill state in the first place. They might be able to eat the sugary foods for a few years, with normal blood sugars, but you can be sure they would rejoin all the others eating the same sugary junk food on their way to T2D – we know, they have a track record.

        In a perverse way you could say the people destined to T2D through poor lifestyle were in a state of remission before they started on their life’s journey of nutritional poor choices and only returned to this state of remission when they changed their lifestyle, and were back to where they started. Remission is not a useful concept here.

        The idea of the impossibility of T2D reversal assumes that once T2D has be reached irreversible metabolic control changes have taken place . . . that the only way glycemic control is achieved is through keeping to a low carb diet. This begs the question: How much permanent damage has occurred, damage that stops normal glycemic control?

        From a personal point of view, from being registered T2 diabetic for a number of years I now have had low HbA1c scores (34 mmol/mol) for over 2 years. So, I say to people that I am no longer diabetic. I do know that earlier this year, after a big restaurant meal, finishing off with a gorgeous chocolate rich sweet – an hour later at home, curious to see how the GL was, found it to be 5.4 mmol/L . . . this compared with getting typical levels of 10-12 mmol/L 4 years ago.

        On this basis it looks like have got back some of my metabolic flexibility – dealing with sugar better. This looks a little more than just remission.

        Am I cured? I do not know . . . I have been thinking about this for a few months, thinking of ways to show this one way or another. (Where can I get a insulin Kraft test in the UK?)
        What I do know is that you cannot say categorically that T2D diabetes definitely cannot be cured (no clear evidence, only assertions); but equally I have not come across studies which measure the extent of any recovery from T2D. (Unless we can take insulin sensitivity as a surrogate measure)

        AhNotepad said it all far more succinctly when talking of Mr Fury’s end statement:
        If you were CURED, you could go back to eating sugary junk food and your blood sugars would remain normal. . . . .Will NOT happen. NOT cured. A reprieve. But NOT cured.

        AhNotepad: “I think this is an incorrect statement as type 2 diabetes is not a disease, it cannot be caught or passed on, it is a condition caused by incorrect nutrition.”

      2. AhNotepad

        In my view, that would be only if you subscribe to the religious dogma. My cunning view is that type 2 diabetes is an inevitable result of abuse of the system. Too much carbohydrate consumed will damage the working parts, and if you stop consuming the carbs, the system may recover. I might compare it to a thumb bruised by hitting it with a hammer. If you stop hitting it, it may get better. If it gets better and you resume hitting it, it will be bruised again. I don’t see that because you stop hitting it it is “in remission” nor do I think it’s bruised condition is any form of disease.

      3. sundancer55

        @ Anthony Sanderson: I disagree with a couple of points in your post. First of all, I don’t believe in “pre-diabetes”. You’re either diabetic or you’re not. You’re never “sort of” diabetic. It’s kind of like being “sort of pregnant”. But being diagnosed as pre-diabetic sets you up to be diagnosed as full-fledged diabetic within a certain time-span which the doctor deems appropriate. It’s hogwash. T2 diabetes can, in almost all cases, be treated with diet and a nice long walk every day.

        Second of all, I do not believe in the term genetic. That word is so totally overused these days it’s almost criminal. Every time you go to a doctor you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork, even though they already have everything about you on files stuffed into their computer systems. But, you see, they have to “remind you” that you have a *family history* of medical problems – which they then can use to connect the dots to your “current issues” so that when you’re finally diagnosed you will succumb to the “modern” way of treating your issue with useless PHRMA drugs and unnecessary surgeries – or whatever. MD’s throw around the word genetic as if it means something big, when in actuality most diseases and disorders are not hereditary at all, and some of these diseases were hardly even heard of 100 years ago. And that’s where the genetic “con” comes into play. Toxic food, toxic medicine, dehydration, inflammation – – those types of things are breeding more health problems than ever before and all the quacky MD’s are blaming your genes. Your INHERITED genes, no less. I mean, really – – – how much junky crap do you have to consume (in one way or another) before it dawns on a person that it’s their diet and lifestyle, not their genes that are causing the suffering?

        The number one way for MD’s to ensure that their patients aren’t consuming decent foods and good quality natural vitamins and minerals to PREVENT diseases is to convince them that all their health issues are “inherited”. Nothing you can do about it, they say. Pfffft. More hogwash. Whether these lies are coming downstream from the BIGMED journals or whether doctors have their thumbs on the fact that pushing pills is a beyond huge income-producer, it’s mostly still just lies, or at least the truth stretched out like a fat rubber band just waiting to break.

        There are many disorders which are now being found that are NOT associated with genetics. Alzheimers is one. High cholesterol is another. Osteoporosis is another. Heart disease is another (as you can tell from reading Dr. Kendrick’s columns). Cancer is another. All of those are not caused by genes we received from our parents, and therefore is rarely (with possible totally rare exceptions) inherited. Even if someone in your family, for instance, has been diagnosed with some disease and even if more than one person in your family has been diagnosed with the same disease, that doesn’t correlate to anyone else in the family having it or developing it.

        It’s much more likely that weakened immunity from exposure to, or actual intake of toxins (generally heavy metals) lead to chronic health conditions which sometimes show up at an early age and for others, not until later on in life.

        My theory may make sense to some and not to others. But I believe it’s true.

      4. Antony Sanderson

        Again AhNotePad . . . Great clarifying analogy . . . you have really hit the nail on the head . . . er . . and definitely not the thumb?

    3. Bill

      Is insulin and all the implications it has a ‘cure’? Before insulin the only treatment was diet. I have a diabetic cook book dated 1916. If you have a nut allergy you don’t eat nuts. Why then, if you are sensitive to carbohydrate in all it’s forms to people think they can eat what they like and shoot themselves up to counteract the reaction they have? Bit like using an epi pen every time you eat nuts that you know you can’t have ‘cos you’re allergic.

      Reply
  36. D. Waldron

    Dr. K I love your newsletters. I was just wondering if you have ever explored the connection between high cholesterol and hypothyroidism. I kind of stumbled on this because of my own health issues. I live in the US so my measurements are different from yours in the UK. I used to have a cholesterol level in the 220 range. I developed diabetes and also found I was hypothyroid. I also had what is now called fibromyalgia pain. I was overweight and totally miserable. I eventually found a doctor that would treat me with natural desiccated thyroid medicine. I happened to notice that as I lost weight and increased my thyroid medication my cholesterol level plummeted down to 140 at one point but is now at 160 due to gaining back about 25 pounds in weight. I have also read somewhere that anyone diagnosed with high cholesterol should have their thyroid checked and not just for the TSH level but a complete thyroid panel. I have also read that women should never take statin drugs but I don’t remember the actual reason. Probably because they were only tested on men to begin with and our hormones are different. I hope you check out this connection between the thyroid and cholesterol. Thyroid hormones also are supposed to protective of the heart.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I have looked at this on many occasions. I have not seen a clear explanation as to why low thyroid = high cholesterol, but it does. I think many people would reduce their cholesterol levels if they have their subcinical hypothyroidism properly treated.

      Reply
      1. sundancer55

        Properly treated with Lugol’s iodine. Read Dr. David Brownstein on that subject. Some of his books available at amazon, or his web site. Just do a web search. I only use it externally but my levels are back where they’re meant to be, and I feel much better than I did a year ago when I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I took a shot in the dark and this low iodine thing was a big part of it, evidently. I think the rest of job-related stress.

      2. chris c

        Yes! A Consultant, now long dead, told me this was well known in the past, the first thing he did when he saw high “cholesterol” was order a TSH. Then this stopped being true back around the eighties, presumably when “metabolic syndrome” /IR became such a common problem. May be worth perusing elderly literature.

        I have personal experience of the opposite, hyperthyroid dropped my LDL as much as a statin, and overtreatment sent it back up again. No explanation from the doctor except that “it just does”

  37. Stephen T

    Antony Sanderson, concerning the debate about diabetics being ‘cured’ or ‘in remission’ when they change their diet and dump the junk. If all diabetic symptoms disappear, you come off all medications, lose weight and become healthy again, the name of this huge improvement might not matter much, but perhaps it does have some relevance.

    Some object to ‘cured’ because the symptoms will return if you return to the sugary junk and refined carbohydrates. I find ‘in remission’ unhelpful because it implies you don’t have control and diabetes might suddenly and inexplicably return when it decides to do so. That’s not the case for most people.

    Maybe ‘reversed’ is the sensible word that accurately describes the disappearance of anything connected to type 2 diabetes. It implies control and that a change came about because you took action. It carries with it the implication that if you go back to your old ways, you’re heading back to diabetes.

    ‘Reversed’ carries with it the useful implication that we have both control and responsibility.

    Reply
    1. Antony Sanderson

      Stephen, concerning the cured diabetes issue. . . I like the ‘reversed’ description . . . I normally say “I am no longer diabetic” . . . but saying “I have reversed my diabetes” does sound as if you are in control of things. (But do not tell the other half)

      Reply
    2. Martin Back

      I think “in remission” is a helpful concept because it implies that diabetes is lurking and can always return, therefore A) keep doing what you’re doing to keep it at bay, and B) keep a vigilant eye out for symptoms that diabetes has returned.

      It might not technically be possible for diabetes as currently defined to be in remission. In which case, redefine the disease. These days everything seems to be a syndrome. I suggest AGISS for Acquired Glucose and Insulin Surplus Syndrome.

      Reply
  38. Randall

    Q10 and selenium supplements halve chance of fatal cardiovascular disease. “A 10-year evaluation of cardiovascular mortality in an elderly Swedish healthy population that was given dietary supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 over a period of four years, indicated a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality by 50% and a post-intervention persistency of protection against cardiovascular mortality,” the Swedes summarized. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0141641

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Randall,

      Thank you for reminding me since I have been cheating on Q10 and selenium for a while but I, for one, shouldn’t!

      The main reason is that my weekly “pill box” is just full of other vitamin supplements so I couldn’t get these two pills into the box.

      I am thus a strong believer in supplements since our food today is so rampantly depleted of essential nutrients (mainly due to soil destruction through modern agricultural practices) and you can make a long list on items lacking from magnesium to selenium. This is also well known by our authorities, otherwise there should not be requirements for “fortification” of certain essential elements in our basic foods.

      E.g., today me and my wife made a simple test (a taste test) on our zink status and it was crystal clear that both of us were severely depleted so I guess I need to get a bigger “pill box” to add such a supplement as well.

      Reply
      1. Bill In Oz

        Goran, I am intrigued. How does one do a Zinc taste test ?

        You are certainly right about mineral deficiencies in our food because of the way that modern industrial farming treats soil. And selenium i s one of the minerals which can easily be depleted in soil due to continuous cropping without any replacement beyond Nitrogen & maybe Phosporus.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Göran Sjöberg: Oysters. I get my Zinc from oysters (from the tin) a couple of times a month (87mg/100g, cooked). And selenium from 1 or 2 Brazil nuts each day. One of my main concerns about pill supplements is that most of the ingredients now come from China. You’re right about soil depletion. It is rampant. This is why I nurture the health of my garden soil and grow nearly all the vegetables I consume. I realize that is difficult to do year-round in Sweden. What of all the wonderful seafood you must have access to? Probably smart to hedge your bets and supplement with pills, just to be sure.

      3. Jennifer.

        Gary. I live in the North of England, with no garden and gave up an allotment when we found the volumes of produce too much. We now grow salad greens indoors, using water alone to sprout all sorts of seeds and beans; we acquired the Freshlife sprouter, a Light Garden, sprouting glass jars and similar items from the Internet, and we have fresh veggies / herbs all year round without getting cold and wet in the long winter months. The kitchen is a bit cluttered, I must admit, but the smaller volumes of produce are quite sufficient to meet our vitamin and mineral needs.

      4. Gary Ogden

        Jennifer: Great! Smart move for those who are unable to garden outside. My kitchen is a bit cluttered, too, but I don’t let that stop my having fun there. I do wonder how it is possible to grow mineral-rich food without the root/soil interface with all the associated microbes, particularly the fungi, which deliver minerals to the plant in exchange for a bit of glucose. Do the sprouts uptake minerals from the water? Do the seeds contain them to begin with?

      5. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Bill,

        The test is incredibly simple.

        It is called Zincatest and we bought it from Lamberts.

        It is a solution of zink sulphate and you take a little of the solution diluted i water and swirl it around in your mouth for a short while. If it tastes like nothing you are severely depleted of zink. If you immediately experience a strong unpleasant taste you are not at all depleted.

        Funny – while we both experienced severe depletion, no taste, yesterday and accordingly immediately took supplements we today experience a clear improvement – a definite taste #2 on the scale of four we guess.

      6. JDPatten

        My wife and I take a tiny blue capsule of 15mg zinc and 1mg copper daily. Every day. It fits in our “pill boxes” very easily – with plenty others.

        It’s recommended to take the copper with the zinc to avoid copper deficiency. The zinc is recommended, along with magnesium, B2, and boron, so that the D capsules behave properly. Everything effects everything else, right?

        A cold virus treatment that my wife swears by is to suck a zinc formulated lozenge every few hours at the first sign of sniffles. More power to her. It doesn’t seem to work for me for the rare cold I get.
        Everybody’s different, right?

        What we do agree on is that the lozenges taste horrific and spoil meals hours later.

      7. Bill In Oz

        Thanks Goran… But I think I will just eat oysters. The tinned ones here are readily available and not that expensive. And as Gary said Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium..

  39. Gaetan

    It seems that, with so many contradictory studies i read constantly, the truth or at least what constitute a healthy diet might never be known. Or maybe it is that human beings are so different that they all require different diet to function properly. Just a few excerpts below;

    Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets

    “They also found that vegetarian populations have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

    Meats, Processed Meats, Obesity, Weight Gain and Occurrence of Diabetes among Adults: Findings from Adventist Health Studies

    “Conclusions: Our findings raise the possibility that meat intake, particularly processed meats, is a dietary risk factor for diabetes.”

    https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/121365

    Diabetes And A Paleo Diet

    https://paleoleap.com/diabetes-and-paleo-diet/

    Ketogenic diet for type 2 diabetes: Does it work?

    “A ketogenic diet helps some people with type 2 diabetes because it allows the body to maintain glucose levels at a low but healthy level. The reduced amount of carbohydrates in the diet helps eliminate large spikes in blood sugar, reducing the need for insulin.”

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317431.php

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      The range of conclusions probably reflects the underlying assumptions of those doing the research or those who are sponsoring them.

      Because meat and saturated fat has been deprecated for some time, I would suggest that any association between meat and diabetes is caused by the fact that people who ignore dietary advice probably eat more meat and more sugar (usually in separate courses!).

      Reply
    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Gaetan,

      I am for sure a “carnivore” with my LCHF life style philosophy but I think it is possible to achieve the vegetarian way if though harder. The most important part, both ways, is to increase the saturated fat part (keep away from the PUFAs) reduce the carbs AND protein since in excess it is rapidly converted into glucose and stored away as fat if not used up.

      On this subject I just read an interesting book “The Plant Paradox” by Dr. Steven R. Gundry who is stressing the importance of our gut biome and not feed the “bad guys” through bad carbs but rather with good saturated fats and very limited amount of meat (if any), preferably then wild caught fish meat (Swedes are in a good position here!) or possibly from grass fed beef.

      Gundry sees the core of our present health problems related to the chemical “warfare” plants, who don’t want to be eaten, carry out and for that purpose create havoc in our intestinal system. The chemicals they are used are proteins called lectines (never heard of them before reading the book!) that can sneak through leaky gut walls. Undercooked, ore uncooked, beans are well known way to create such a havoc.

      I must say that this book shook me for quite a while until I realized that he is basically proposing LCHF but with a vegetarian touch.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Gaetan,

        It struck me now that I, especially as an LCHF carnivore advocate, should certainly have known about the lectins in the vegetables and the havoc they can produce in our digestive system. It was my wife who now reminded me about a favorite book of mine; a book that I actually read twice a couple of years ago. It was “The Vegetarian Myth” written by Lierre Keith; an American writer, feminist, food activist, and environmentalist.

        Being handed the the book I now read an extended and well informed section about how lectins may harm us immunologically. Lierre Keith had for sure experienced enough from this “veggie warfare” as a vegan during twenty years. Her “moral” turning point was when she realized with full force that it is impossible to live without killing.

        My only excuse for having forgotten this important part of the puzzle is that our physiology is so incredibly complex so one tends to get lost when trying to find a healthy way in our metabolic maze which is not less complex.

        I don’t want to think of forgetfulness relating to age ore poor nutrition 🙂

        Anyway I will certainly now reread “The Vegetarian Myth” for the third time – it is a great book – Lierre Keith combines poetry and science in the same vein as Rachel Carson dug into sixty years ago.

      2. Bill In Oz

        Goran I too bought Gundey’s ‘The Plant Paradox’ book a few months ago. For a few weeks I was thrown at sea by all his warnings against all red meats, all legumes and all grains and lectins. But as I researched more I found that it is all largely alarmist.
        1 :There are lectins in virtually all plant foods. So effectively they are unavoidable. ( And by the way plant foods have always been a part of the diet of the human species. We have evolved to eat them and digest them.
        2: The one diet which supposedly helps towards a long healthy life is the Mediterranean Diet. But if Gundey’s prescriptions are followed, this is completely demolished. Duhhhh ?

        There are a few individuals who have gastrointestinal problems/troubles for specific indivual reasons. And his message may have some relevance to them. But for most people without such issues, such a restricted diet is completely unnecessary.

        I was further put off by Gundey’s bossy and frankly bullying manner in the book and his online videos. And how he has a complete range of special formulated supplements ( no ingredients listed ) available at quite high prices, for his scared followers.

        I smell a scam.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Perhaps. But I have seen evidence for, and against, this idea. Clearly something about the thyroid gland, thyroid hormone, TSH, that impacts on cholesterol levels, but I have never seen a good explanation.

      Reply
  40. Bill In Oz

    Dr Kendrick, having read and enjoyed your book “The Cholesterol Con”, I decided to buy your second book “Doctoring Data”. I usually buy such items via Amazon. And when I looked there it was listed as available for sale. However when I went on to process the purchase, I was told that it could not be delivered to my postal address here in South Australia or to my residential address. Very bizarre !

    So I ordered it via Columbus Publishing website. I did this reluctantly as it uses paypal. I have had trouble with paypal,in the past and prefer not to deal with it. But on this occasion I did.

    But I wonder also what Amazon is up to, refusing to sell your book to me.

    Reply

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