9th April 2018
‘Primum non Noncere’ – first do no harm.
Over a decade ago, in 2007, I was sent a link to a World Health Organisation study which reported the following:
‘The WHO Foundation Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring (Uppsala Monitoring Centre [UMC]) has received many individual case safety reports (ICSRs) associating HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor drug (statin) use with the occurrence of muscle damage, including rhabdomyolysis, and also peripheral neuropathy. A new signal has now appeared of disproportionally high reporting of upper motor neurone lesions.’ 1
This reported has niggled at the back of my mind for a long time. There are few conditions that can match ‘upper motor neurone disease/amyotrophic later sclerosis’ for sheer bloody awfulness. Here I quote from Wikipedia:
‘Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND), and Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a specific disease which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Some also use the term motor neurone disease for a group of conditions of which ALS is the most common. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing.
The cause is not known in 90% to 95% of cases. The remaining 5–10% of cases are inherited from a person’s parents. About half of these genetic cases are due to one of two specific genes. The underlying mechanism involves damage to both upper and lower motor neurons. The diagnosis is based on a person’s signs and symptoms, with testing done to rule out other potential causes.
No cure for ALS is known. A medication called riluzole may extend life by about two to three months. Non-invasive ventilation may result in both improved quality and length of life. The disease can affect people of any age, but usually starts around the age of 60 and in inherited cases around the age of 50. The average survival from onset to death is two to four years. About 10% survive longer than 10 years. Most die from respiratory failure. In much of the world, rates of ALS are unknown. In Europe and the United States the disease affects about two to three people per 100,000 per year.’
With ALS, your brain remains unaffected, whilst your body dies around you. People suffering ALS are often the ones you see in front of the High Court asking for a change in the law, so that they can be assisted to die, rather than suffocating to death. Thus far, in the UK, the courts have remained impervious to basic, caring, humanity. [You may infer what my views are on this matter].
Now, I have known for many years that statins are likely to cause damage to nerve cells. Probably through a direct effect on inhibiting cholesterol synthesis. Synapses are made, primarily, of cholesterol. Cholesterol is required to maintain the health of the myelin sheath, that surrounds and protects neurones. Glial cells in the brain, sustain the myelin sheath by synthesizing their own cholesterol and transferring it across to neurones, and suchlike.
Knowing how vital cholesterol is for the health of neurones, I have always been concerned that statins could well lead to ‘neurone damage’ of one sort of another. Which is why the WHO report from 2007 rang serious alarm bells. Bells which have never chimed again. Until very recently.
A couple of weeks ago I was sent the following paper that was published in the Journal Drug Safety. ‘Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Associated with Statin Use A Disproportionality Analysis of the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System.’2
Here are the main results. I have copied them unchanged, as there are those who read this blog who will understand what they mean without any explanation
‘RORs [Relative Odds Ratios] for ALS were elevated for all statins, with elevations possibly stronger for lipophilic statins. RORs ranged from 9.09 (6.57–12.6) and 16.2 (9.56–27.5) for rosuvastatin and pravastatin (hydrophilic) to 17.0 (14.1–20.4), 23.0 (18.3–29.1), and 107 (68.5–167) for atorvastatin, simvastatin, and lovastatin (lipophilic), respectively. For simvastatin, an ROR of 57.1 (39.5–82.7) was separately present for motor neuron disease.’
An odds ratio, basically means increased (or decreased) risk of something happening relative to the standard risk of one. An odds ratio of two (2) means something is twice as likely to happen. An odds ratio of nine (9) means something is nine times as likely to happen. This can also be represented as 900% increase in risk.
Stripping these figures out, we find the following increased risk of ALS associated with the use of different statins. Some statins are more likely to enter the brain than others (atorvastatin, simvastatin and lovastatin) because they are lipophilic (attracted to lipids), these ones had higher RORs.
|INCREASED RISK OF AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS
WITH DIFFERENT STATINS
|Rosuvastatin||9.09 (809%)||6.57 – 12.6|
|Pravastatin||16.2 (1,502%)||9.56 – 27.5|
|Atorvastatin||17.0 (1,600%)||14.1 – 20.4|
|Simvastatin||23.0 (2,200%)||18.3 – 29.1|
|Lovastatin||107 (10.600%)||68.5 – 167|
The two most widely prescribed statins are simvastatin and atorvastatin. Atorvastatin increases risk seventeen told, and simvastatin twenty three fold.
It is often said that association does not mean causation. However, this is only true up to a point. Most statisticians agree that an odds ratio > 6 represents proof of causation. When you find that people taking atorvastatin have a seventeen-fold increase in risk of ALS, this is proof of causation. The effect is too massive to be due to anything else.
So, what does all this mean in the real world. Well around two to three people per 100,000 develop ALS every year (call this 2.5/100,000). If you increase this seventeen-fold, then around forty more people will develop ALS every year, per 100,000.
Taking this up a scale. In the UK it is estimated that around seven million people are now taking statins. This figure would be around six times higher in the US, or around forty million, giving us forty-seven million statins users. Let us round this up to fifty million for the UK and US combined.
So, how many more people are likely to be developing ALS each year, as a result of taking statins? I have used a combined average OR of 20 (i.e., (17 + 23)/2 ), by combining simvastatin and atorvastatin in the calculation, as these are the most widely prescribed statins.
Let us first look at how many people out of 50,000,000 would develop ALS in the ‘non-statin treated’ population.
Number of people = 50,000,000
Number of people expected to develop ALS = 2.5/100,000
Number of people developing ALS/ 50,000,000 = 50,000,000/100,000 x 2.5 = 1,250
In short, in a population of fifty million people, not taking statins, we can calculate that around 1,250 would develop ALS every year.
On the other hand, in a population of fifty million people taking statins (atorvastatin and simvastatin) we can expect that figure to be multiplied by around twenty. Now instead of 1,250 people developing ALS, we can expect to see 20 x 1,250 = 25,000.
Or, to put this another way. Each year, in the US and the UK, we can expect to see an extra 23,750 people developing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis due to taking statins.
Now, you may think this is one hell of a lot of people, surely someone would notice. In truth, an increase like this is unlikely to be spotted by anyone. Looking at the UK, each year you might expect to see an extra 3425 cases of ALS each year.
There are around fifty thousand General Practitioners in the UK. So, each GP might expect to see an extra statin related ALS case every sixteen years or so. Or a maximum of two in their working life. You would have to be exceptionally alert to associate one extra case of ALS every sixteen years to statin use. The reality is that this would never, ever, happen.
How else can you spot a rise? Well, you might find this difficult to believe, but the number of people with ALS is not that accurately reported. Even when someone dies, and has ALS, this may not be recorded as the primary cause of death. They may be recorded as dying of a respiratory infection, with ALS as the secondary cause.
To quote from the US ALS association: ‘First, ALS is not a notifiable disease, and ensuring that all newly diagnosed and prevalent ALS cases in the United States are collected in the Registry is challenging.’ In short, we do not really know how many people have ALS, how many are coded as having something else, and suchlike.
I have looked around for evidence of a rise, and it does seem to exist. In Finland, after the introduction of statins the rate of ALS tripled 3. It also went up sharply in the UK but has levelled off since the mid-nineties. In Norway, it doubled in the nineteen nineties4. It is increasing in the US, but the authorities have written this off as due to better detection and notification.
In Australia ALS has risen. ‘In 2015, 758 people with MND died compared with 592 people with MND who died in 2001. The cause of this increase is mostly unknown.’ 5
So, there are strong signals that ALS has sharply increased in several countries. Cause and effect? Well, if the study in Drug Safety is correct, there must have been a rise in ALS caused by statins.
Frankly, I don’t expect my fifty million number is that accurate. It is clear that many people simply stop their statin after a year, or so. So, although fifty million may be the estimate of how many people are taking statins in the US and UK, it is probably more like ten to twenty million, who regularly take their statins. So, my figure of 23,750 is probably more like 10,000.
However, you must ask yourself this question. If statins are causing ALS in 10,000 people each year in the UK and the US, alone, should we not be demanding an immediate review? Because the number one requirement of medicine is Priumum non Noncere. First, do no harm.
Statins are used to ‘treat’ Multiple Sclerosis, too.
I have always thought that this is completely crazy.
What do you think about that?
It had to happen! Goldman Sachs tell us that ‘curing disease’ is not a good business model!
And smoking is good for the overall economy.
Well, we joke, but in fact that’s exactly the point! Until we got fed up with dying from our ‘freedom’, smoking was good for the economy. Not only that but the wealth extracted from our deaths built a dynasty. Just as slavery transformed England from a bunch of sheep herders into an Empire. Morality meanwhile, does catchup.
Statins , the Gift that keeps on,,, Giving.
… to the shareholders and their trolls.
Note “der Gift” means poison in German.
This is truly shocking. It deserves to be read and discussed widely. It sounds compelling – but if there are counter-arguments, let’s hear them rather than brushing the whole issue under the carpet.
Every now and then, I wonder if my GP is right and I should be taking statins, but the data all tell me that I’m right to refuse them.
I have refused Statins
Hi vjadams, some things to discuss with your GP if you are tempted to take statins:
– corn oil, low saturated fat, high carb will reduce LDL cholesterol and make my numbers look good- is this advisable?
– is my LDL small/dense or big and fluffy- should this be checked?
– statins reduce Q10, calcify arteries, cause muscle damage, poison mitochondria and microbiome, cause ALS like symptoms etc. etc,,. – how will this improve my health?
– how many people need to be treated for one person to benefit, or is everyone expected to benefit
– would you recommend that statins be taken for the rest of my life
Corn oil improves the plasma lipoprotein lipid profile compared with extra-virgin olive oil consumption in men and women with elevated cholesterol: Results from a randomized controlled feeding trial
The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
Small Dense Low-Density Lipoprotein as Biomarker for Atherosclerotic Diseases
I was told to go back on statins because they would “stabilise” my plaque – read calcify.
Statins will “stabilize” your plaque, whereas vitamin C will only get rid of it. Clearly statins are to be preferred.
And vitamin C lacks the added benefit of causing ALS.
Wow…sorry I have ran out of superlatives today..so wow!
My cholesterol levels were never high. However recently after a blood test that I was told I must have. I was informed that results were high.
Not got the exact figure to hand but 7 springs to mind.
I was read the riot act..I must take statins immediately or I would drop down dead. Well words to that effect. I refused and within 3 months I lowered my cholesterol through diet.
Yes a lower cholesterol diet is hard to maintain but I will never take statins.
Thank you for your insightful article.
So how did you achieve that? Low fat will actually increase LDL (google cholesterol code feldman), carbs will increase TGL.
The only thing known to reliably lower LDL is PUFA, and their are probably nearly as harmful as statins.
I dramatically increased my HDLs with ketogenic diet and the LDLs auto stabilised over 3 months. Read all about cholesterol on Banting Down Under and other keto LCHF sites. LDLs exist to transport good lipids so fasting blood tests will always show high LDL and low HDL because the good lipids have been delivered and the supertanker is empty and going back to port (liver) to load up.
I thought 7 was foppish but still reasonable?
Should be toppish
Blasted predictive spelling
Dr Kendrick is undoubtedly familiar with the entries of Dr Dwayne Graveline in describing his personal experience with the ALS diagnosis “process” ( after all other disease is eliminated, then ALS presumed ). My entry here is nothing more than to bring the words of Dr Graveline to the attention of other statin victims who are struggling to learn more. Thank you Dr. K for your steadfast faith and dedication to bringing a medical tragedy into the view of the public.
Most respectfully – James M.
I would urge everyone to visit http://www.spacedoc.com in memory of a great man
You need to put a disclaimer on it Mal, I’ve just read his stories with tears running down my cheeks – What a gutsy guy.
Utterly damning. One case of ALS if it is your family member is tragically unacceptable. And what of some of the dementias, we have a hell of a lng time to wait to pin it on statins.
It makes you feel so helpless and also angry. Thank you for giving us such balanced, valuable,vitallly important information. I personally am hopping mad, because members of my family will always, always put there faith in, what they believe is evidence based, rather like religion, which is also questionable, sorry if I offend. I would not dream of telling anyone that their prescribed medicine is wrong, I try to be crafty and suggest that they need to be sure that the benefits are worth it and take time to look at the side effects
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Once you ‘see’ you cannot believe the foolishness of the common belief that what science is up to can be trusted. It is the foolishness of our era. Oh, how it will be looked back upon! People just don’t believe that human nature has not changed. We look back on the idiocies of prior eras and feel so smug. Our own idiocy is beyond belief and in the future it will seem just as obvious.
There is little reason to trust ‘evidence based’ because it turns out that we are wrong nearly every time, and the reason we are wrong is mainly that we are like two-year-olds with the proverbial chemistry set. Biology and the general workings of nature have turned out to be so many orders of magnitude more complex than anyone dreamed when this scientific revolution was getting started. So our evidence is always very shallow and incomplete. The second reason we are wrong is that nearly all of it is hubris of the stupidest sort. Ignorance so profound that it cannot even imagine its own ignorance, and here I am talking about trying to go to war with nature. It so happens that I am currently watching a series on pet cancer, which has also exploded, and what I am learning is heartbreaking and frightening. People worry about global warming. They should be worried about glyphosates. Everything we are doing from agriculture, to medicine, and communications technology is heading for the cliff. And when there are health issues the approach is always a warlike one. Always a vaccine, never the question of the terrain. Apparently poor kids really did sometimes die of measles and it was for lack of protein. Rather than support the body to deal well with it, we have to immunize everyone and compromise immune systems all around. And no, I am not against vaccine for diphtheria. But we should have always approached it with caution, with serious analysis of everyone who reacted badly to find out why, rather than cover it up.
AnnaM, I can’t see any benefit conferred by a diptheria vaccine. Dissolving Illusions by Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk deals with the history of this and many other diseases, all of which declined with the improvement in nutrition and living conditions, not because of the advent of vaccines or antibiotics. Significant cases of diptheria existed in the highly vaccinated Russia in the turmoil of the 1990s. So vaccinating was no benefit.
“Little reason to trust evidence based” indeed.
John Ionnidis, “Why most published research findings are false”.
A very heavily cited paper. Incredibly damning to medical research. Anyone who talks about “evidence-based medicine” and is not familiar with it is a charlatan.
When I by a close friend of mine, who is taking the statins, face an almost religious trust in what our health care system is advocating I feel just helplessness and anger at the same time.
On the other side I meet many who have a sound skeptical attitude.
So the 2.5 per 100,000 incidence is a yearly incidence, not a lifetime incidence? That makes it a lot more likely that one will develop it in the 20 years or so from age 60 to 80.
AnnaM: 20 (years) X 2.5 = 50, still a small number out of 100,000, but if you gobble up your statins it becomes 1,000, or 1% of the statinated population during that 20 year period. This is truly horrifying information, but undetected, and undetectable in the normal course of medical practice as you say, Dr. Kendrick. They don’t even have to sweep it under the rug! Should be shouted from the rooftops.
This is horrific information and needs to get out there!
I’m just wondering, though – does this spell the end of the “numerals” dealing with CVD?
I know 3 people who have died of Motor Neurone Disease at a relatively young age (two in their 40s and one in their 50s). Previously I had never heard of the disease except for Steven Hawking. This suggests to me that the incidence of the disease has increased but I don’t know if any of these people were on statins – unlikely given their age. The mechanism for linking the rise to statins makes sense to me but could there be some other factor causing this increase?
Unless you were working at a special center for ALS, this is statistically unlikely.
So is winning the lottery
With all due respect, how likely is someone winning the lottery big time to be posting in your blog?
Hopefully a good chance?
I think the odds are even longer than a statin having a beneficial effect. 🤯
Wouldn’t one’s chances of following Lou Gehrig down that terrible path vary with statin dosage?
I know that there’s quite a wide range of atorvastatin doses available. (That’s the one I gave up after 3 months of illness!)
I,too, want to know what dosages and, taken for how long, could cause this issue . Another variable would be, what other meds were being taken with the statin that could create a “mix” that might help cause the disease ?
Most people prescribed statins will already be on a low fat diet, almost certainly what fat they eat will be overloaded with Omega 6. That’s unlikely to help either.
One of my neighbours died of this, quite horrendous. He was a lovely guy and degenerated over a few years from doing gardening around the village and working part time for a charity to first losing the ability to speak, then to eat, then to breathe unassisted.
His last act was to pull out his breathing tube while he was still able. Fortunately the local policewoman was a friend, and another neighbour, or his widow might have been arrested on suspicion of murder. She moved away or I would ask if he was on statins – I strongly suspect he was because he was over sixty.
They may not be the only cause but when you look at how they work and what they do, not only reducing LDL, they may well be a factor in many other diseases which have exploded in recent decades.
Another thing I find unfathomable about the NHS, they will work hard to keep ill people alive and suffering horrendously on the one hand while happily euthanising others by starvation AKA Liverpool Care Pathway. Not to mention preventing children from going abroad for possible treatment. Even if said treatment fails at least they would add to scientific knowledge of rare diseases, and in at least one case the treatment was successful.
Thank you, Dr K, and thank you again, for this. A friend of ours died from MND. It is indeed a dreadful disease. I became diabetic while on simvastatin, and had rhabdomyolysis, which blocked up my kidney function; my brother suffered aesophegal rupture and stroke, my husband a TIA, my brother in law a TIA, another brother had terrible muscle pain that took a year to recover after stopping the statin; all while on simvastatin. And what about Parkinson’s, brain tumours? Please alert the world if you find any connections from research such as you mention here. Your work is invaluable to us all. A glass of the best to you tonight…
Thank you! Terrifying. And this is only one of the possible side effects.
Just finished reading the testimonies on the Spacedoc site and what strikes me most is that there seems to be no logic to how statins affect people. Why do some (like the astronaut) fall apart and my brother who has been taking statins for years, have no (apparent) side effects? Though he is extremely forgetful but he is almost 83. I was on Atorvastatin for about three years before finally chucking it. Ten years ago my cholesterol was about 7 and today it’s about…7. My GP sneaks the measure into my blood tests even though I told her I wasn’t interested in knowing.
Wow – this is horrifying to say the least. Another thing the general, statin-popping public don’t know about. I’ll bet there are many general practitioners who don’t know this either.
A great article, Malcolm.
Nothing will ever get blamed on Statins, just like big sugar – there are far too many financially interested parties eager to protect it, and besides just like the Autism epidemic it is just brushed off to nothing more than the old nugget “due to better detection and notification.”
Its hard to argue with an expert as they are educated by experts.
As someone whose entire practice is geared toward children and adults with Autism, there are powerful limitations in comparing/contrasting diagnosed persons across time. The vast majority of cases I see are ones who would surely have gone undetected in prior decades. I know this because a parent (generally the father) or even two often show up at intake with obvious autistic traits but no formal diagnosis. (Some have understanding that they fall somewhere on the spectrum; others don’t.) Further, an Autism diagnosis allows families to access resources that are not available (at least in the US) to those with any other disorder, meaning that a child with social challenges but showing signs more consistent with a deeply psychiatric disorder (like bipolar disorder or an intellectual disability) would be more likely to be diagnosed with ASD in order to benefit a family without resources.
Now there might be dietary and other toxic effects that have increased Autism. But without understanding the challenges of gathering data, there’s a severe lack of needed context.
I agree, as a parent of an Autistic Child (22 years old Asperger’s) I can concur that there are an awful lot of Autistic Spectrum Kids out there and probably just as many who haven’t been diagnosed – these are the ones I really feel sorry for as they will potentially go through childhood without any much needed support. My point was that we have an awful lot of them and the whole MMR issue was shot down and Andrew Wakefield was burnt in flames for suggesting a link. Even today Thimerosal is still used in multi vaccines which is complete bonkers – its mercury FFS, honestly you couldn’t make it up.
What would be some examples of autistic traits in an adult that wouldn’t get them a diagnosis in earlier years?
Sasha, it would probably be things like rejecting mainstream explanations of the increase in autism, asking questions about the rush to war with Russia or Iran, reading blogs like this one, or disrespecting the anointed experts in any field you can think of.
A reading of Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago can be quite enlightening.
Thank you for that, Dr. K. Maybe thirty years ago, give or take, a friend of ours developed MND and died a horrible death. It was heartbreaking. I’d never heard of it and did a bit of research (well before the days of google) and read that it was an extremely rare disease – vanishingly rare. Now, however, we have a Motor Neurone Society which would seem to indicate an exponential rise in the occurrence of this horrible disease. I have asked myself so many times “why?” Perhaps you have supplied an answer.
I certainly deeply regret the ten years or so that I took atorovastatin, with all its attendant nasty symptoms.
Anyway, that a great post with lots of food for thought. We humans are so very clever and such utter fools. What would the Martian view be, I wonder.
P.s. I hope you had a good holiday.
It’s rare but not that rare. Thirty years ago, I worked on a specialist neurology ward and we had maybe a couple of cases a year on a ward with a high turnover of patients. Some patients were re-admitted fairly regularly and those I still remember well. It is a terrible disease and drug treatment is difficult to manage even in the early stages. Anything that increases its frequency should definitely be avoided.
Thank you, Dr. Kendrick, for writing about this issue.
I live in Sweden and have no connection to health care, I became interested in this – and other statinrelated issues as people close to me were prescribed statins (Zocor/simvastatin) years ago.
Thanks to the Internet I realised that their were differing views on the cholesterol issue.
I found the cholesterol sceptic network, http://www.thincs.org, and its members. I read books by you, Uffe Ravnskov, Duane Graveline and many more.
I also read articles/comments on http://www.peoplespharmacy.com. Here is an interesting article with many comments. https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2009/07/31/statins-and-als/
There was a connection between Dr. Duane Graveline and Peoples Pharmacy.
When Duane Graveline had an attack of TGA (Transient Global Amnesia) and suspected Lipitor (the only medication he was taking) he turned to Joe Graedon and they published his story which created a quite a lot of interest.
Here is Duane Graveline´s story in his own words.
Since you suggest that statins may damage neurones simply by reducing the available cholesterol, isn’t it also possible that the general rise in MND – even in younger people – may be the result of people eating ‘low cholesterol diets’. I’m not sure how these are supposed to work, because as I understand it, consuming cholesterol doesn’t change you blood cholesterol levels, and saturated fats are a completely different type of molecule, but assuming these diets work, some people might end up with dangerously low cholesterol.
David the body can make it’s own cholesterol and does, especially in the liver. However statins actually prevent this chemical biological process from happening. So if you take statins for any length of time you will become cholesterol deficient with all it’s side effects like MND
Cholesterol is made in the liver in a process called the mevalonate pathway. At one point in the process, a molecule called HMG-CoA is bound to an enzyme. The statin molecule is very similar to HMG-CoA, and will bind to the enzyme in its place. This has the effect of slowing down the reaction, causing less cholesterol to be produced.
The problem is, many other chemicals are produced on the way to cholesterol, and their production is slowed as well. Perhaps we would be producing too few of a molecule vital to the health of the nerves. Who knows? Or, worse, maybe by binding with a statin, the enzyme starts a whole new pathway of chemical synthesis, creating molecules that harm the nerves. Again, who knows?
Mevalonate pathway diagram: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/HMG-CoA_reductase_pathway.svg
I refuse to take statins. Too many risks, not enough benefits.
Good link to the diagrammatic depiction of the mevalonate pathway, Martin. I like this simplified version found here:
Text entry found here:
And when the text directs, “The mevalonate pathway, also known as the isoprenoid pathway or HMG-CoA reductase pathway is an essential metabolic pathway present in eukaryotes, archaea, and some bacteria. The pathway produces two five-carbon building blocks called isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP), which are used to make isoprenoids, a diverse class of over 30,000 biomolecules such as cholesterol, heme, vitamin K, coenzyme Q10, and all steroid hormones.”, it is speaking volumes about the ubiquity of this pathway within biology. Eukaryotes and archaea includes just about any species a person could name, and whilst eukaryotes and archaea excludes a great many species these are not the type whose names spring readily to mind.
The inferences are that this pathway has featured in biology for many millions of years, perhaps billions, and so for that matter has this enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase.
David Bailey: I may be wrong, but as far as I understand it, the liver is happy to produce all the cholesterol we need in the absence of dietary cholesterol. I believe the brain makes its own.
Gary, Bill etc.
I think you rather misunderstood my comment about low cholesterol diets. My point was precisely that in the absence of statins, or similar drugs, it is hard to see why any diet would make a difference – since the liver makes up the difference synthetically.
However, some posters here state that they avoided statins by lowering their cholesterol by diet. I wonder how they do that?
Not that I even want to lower my cholesterol because I buy into Malcolm’s argument that cholesterol does not cause CVD.
David to be frank I do not know th answer to your query. Sorry !
However I suggest that lowering cholesterol via a peculiar diet is probably just as dangerous as statins..We need cholesterol..Short circuiting the body’s natural process creating it, will cause problems….It’s as simple as that.
I don’t even have my cholesterol measured any more – which presumably saves the NHS something – and I am not one to go on crazy diets so don’t worry about me!
Seems to me that refusing to have your cholesterol levels measured is the only rational response to the work posted on this blog. I can’t fathom why you’d bother if you gave Malcolm’s work any credence at all.
Socratic Dog: Some years ago, after I happened upon Spacedoc’s blog, then Dr. Kendrick’s blog, I explained to my GP why I didn’t want my cholesterol tested any more. She was happy to comply. I, however, have found it interesting to have those six or seven data points to go along with dietary changes for use in personal research. All in the name of science. Agreed that there is no point in cholesterol testing in the name of health.
Gary Ogden, Testing is one thing, interpreting is missing. Prescribing statins on basis of LDL level is meaningless. I am in favour of testing to find the LDL:HDL ratio, an indication of how many small dense LDL particles there are. Diet has a big effect on the ratio and is something that I can control. Other factors covered in this blog are important as well. There are many things still to be discovered.
Andy S: I fully agree. My point was about personal research. We all owe an immense debt of gratitude to Dr. Kendrick for his patient guidance in our journey of discovery. Our GP suggested statins to me, but I declined; my wife received a prescription (Lovastatin, 20 mg), but never filled it, having proper skepticism from growing up in a country where mass public health campaigns have everybody lining up (“falling in line”).
Or at least the use of a “cholesterol lowering spread” which mimics cholesterol so your body thinks it doesn’t need to make so much of its own.
What’s the advice for patients on statins following a heart attack? Stop them? is there an another effective anti-inflammatory drug that can be subsituted for a statin.
I have these same questions ! I had a heart attack in 2002 and had a stent put in. All my lipid levels are normal except for a mild elevation in the LDL…..and, that is why I am instructed to remain on a statin
Get a good curcumin supplement
Helen, Yes there are.
Pumphead has robbed my brain of some sharpness… but I dimly recall Turmeric as being one of the better performing ‘Nutraceuticals’ and there are others.
If you want a pharma-remedy, there’s interest in and a RCT using ‘colchicine’ a.k.a. ‘Colgout’, an old, tried and off-patent gout treatment.
In medicin today, denying the benefits of the statins is tantamount to deny the existens of God in any church community.
No Goran, more like denying that the Earth is round and maintaining that it is flat as the Catholic church did. for a thousand years or more. But eventually truth won out because too many people informed themselves and leaned to ignore the church.
“maintaining that it is flat as the Catholic church did for a thousand years or more”: being rude about the Roman Catholic Church is a noble endeavour, but it’s best not to base it on falsehoods.
I base my view of two things :
1 The Church condemned Galileo as a heretic in the 15th Century because he aid the Earth is round.He was ‘imprisoned’ in his own home till he died 15 years later. ( He was allowed this sentence instead of being burned alive, becasue own of his ‘mates’ was the pope. )
2: The Church finally recognised it’s mistake on Galileo approximately 10 years ago, long after the rest of the civilised world had adopted the round Earth theory as fact in the 1500’s.
But this is an amusing distraction from the topic posted by Dr Kendrick.
Here’s a question that keeps bugging me: how many people here have enough knowledge of physics and astronomy to KNOW for themselves that the earth is round (or that it revolves around the sun) and how many have accepted that knowledge because that’s what everyone says?
Sphere. If it was round, it could still be flat.
Inter continental travel provides direct personal experience that the Earth is round. I have traveled to the US & Argentina from Oz, going East across the Pacific ocean. Only to meet other Aussies who have come by flying West to Europe etc…Other travelers fly over the North pole.
From that it’s easy to know that the planet is a sphere..
Good points about the sphere and air travel, I haven’t thought about air travel as confirmation.
Sasha: I think I do. Evidence: One astronomy class in college. Observations of the sun, moon, and all the visible planets, all of which are clearly round. Lunar eclipses, one of which I recently watched from beginning to end, show a semi-circular shadow cast by Earth upon the moon. Ships appearing to disappear beneath the waves as their distance from the coast increases, while actually sailing merrily along. As for the third dimension, sphericalness, I take on faith, although I’m pretty sure if I started digging a hole and kept going, I’d come out somewhere in Asia.
As I look across False Bay, I can see the mountains in the distance, but I can’t see their feet, because the water in the bay is slightly rounded, not flat.
Photos of the Earth from the moon clearly show that it is spherical.
Goran, bring back Public entertainment and…
Burn them at the stake !
Or better still.. accuse, pursue and Officially prosecute any Doctor who offends ‘Accepted Wisdom’ of another ‘medical special interest club’ .- Ask Dr Fettke and Prof. Noakes !
I hope I can do this article justice and bring it to the attention of those prescribed the poison that does no harm,……………………..to pharma’s profit line.
AH. Keep at it! after 5 years of my gentle nagging, my 78 years old female colleague has now seen the light, having consumed statins for about 15 years. By doing her own research, and frequently questioning her GP, she has taken the leap and stopped the statins regardless of the disgusting threats. Acknowledging her gender and age, as constantly quoted in research papers, and along with unrelenting joint pains, she eventually convinced herself to take the plunge! She has not looked back since. People need to come to decisions themselves, but its a good tack to keep the pressure on.
Hello Dr Kendrick, I have read the majority of your posts on different diseases etc. With regard to this recent post on statins. I knew nothing about statins until my husband was given them for cholesterol with blood pressure tablets. He was on them for four and half years. In 2012 he was told that that his dosage was too high @ 40mg and they reduced them to 20mg but he had already developed fluctations in arms/legs, plus muscle wastage etc. In 2013 was diagnosed with MND after having Cat/MRI scans. I asked the neurosurgeon if statins had played any part in the MND. He said no that it could have been genetic or due to my husband getting a Fractured scull while playing football. I am a skeptic about this as my husband was Fit and healthy until he was given the statins etc. After a year I noticed that his arms and legs were getting thinner and he had been getting cramps at night. I suggested he go and see the doctor but told me he was trying to eat less rubbish etc and stop worrying. I did ask my doctor If the cramps were due to my husband not drinking enough water as he was not a great Water drinker. She said that might be it. So I told my husband to drink more water. The cramps appeared to lessen but over time he developed the fluctuations. He started to drops things and stumble, eventually his legs/arms stopped working and by 2015 was in a wheelchair and in 2016 bed bound and died in July 2016. If my husband and I had known about this drug, we would be more weary about taking it! In fact I have made more people who have cholesterol to avoid this drug and have a better diet. Kind regards Vivien
This was the same with my husband. I am very sad for you and still also angry.
Sorry to hear that Viviene. So you’re saying the doctor put a fit and healthy man on a drug because he showed a cholesterol “number”. And over a few years you watched him wither and die. Of course it could have been “coincidental”. Also living with his natural cholesterol level he may have remained fit and healthy, or at least had a better outcome.
Interesting to see the risk ratio for lovastatin, arguably a ‘natural’ statin, as it is produced by the yeast Monascus purpureus in red yeast rice. 107!
Malcolm, thank you for your continuing efforts on this whole area of medicine. We are all indebted to you for your care and for practicing that old medical principle ” First do no harm “
Dr Kendrick, please delete this post. I am not sure if I can publish the information.
I am not sure what you mean by this?
Oh, you mean your post. Of course.
Really excellent Dr. K—thanks much
I have long wondered about the consequences of the low-fat, high carb diet that was embraced by the “medical experts”. I was never a believer. Unfortunately my two daughters-law were fanatics in their belief of the benefits. Regardless of my efforts to provide information that was contradictory to the low-fat, high carb diet, they were steadfast in providing this regimen to their children.
Thank you for an interesting article.
I am an ex statin user (Simvastatin and Pravastatin) due to side effects (fatigue for Sim, extreme grumpiness for Prav).
Do you have a figure for the number of deaths prevented by statin use (if any) for balance?
I have read/heard that statins will not extend your life, just change the cause of death.
However there is some feeling that statins may be appropriate for people who have already had at least one heart attack.
My general feeling is that there is nothing to support mass dosing with statins of the generally healthy adult population (unless you hold pharmaceutical shares).
David, I felt I got the answer you are looking for when I read Uffe Ravanskov’s book “Fat and Cholesterol are good for You”. It contains his findings on meticulously examining the actual research results.
Statins are inappropriate for everybody. The lipid hypothesis is pure FICTION and the inferences that saturated fat and high cholesterol are each quite FALSE. Hence there can be no sense in limiting the synthesis of cholesterol which is what statins do. Actually what statins do is inhibit the synthesis of mevalonate which down the line is what cholesterol is made of. When you inhibit the synthesis of mevalonate by taking a daily dose of statin you also inhibit the raw material from which a whole load of other vital biochemicals are made of. This is why the side effects from stains can be so diverse. Stains are an insult to the evolution of life itself and the integrity of living things.
For having said that statins are considered to have other ‘benefits’ other than placing mevalonate in short supply (which isn’t actually a benefit). They are said to have pleiotropic effects (whatever they are) and sometimes statements infer they may diminish inflammatory effects or inhibit the tendency of platelet stickiness (when platelets stick together you have the makings of a thrombus or clot).
Platelets and other cells are suspended in blood and what this means is the same physics that can be applied to colloids can be applied to them. The difference between even dispersal and tendencies to form clumps (or clots) involves alterations to the zeta potential of such particulates. Very probably any tendency of platelets to join hands form clumps has something to do with some decline of zeta potential, I’d suggest. There are much more natural ways to restore zeta potential to platelets and other cells and they come completely risk free.
Every night I restore the zeta potential of my various blood cells and the resting potential of my other cells, or in the least I hope that is the practical benefit of sleeping in a bed with an earthing sheet fitted.
I decline to allow anyone to convince me that the benefits of statins out-weigh the risks, because I believe I have considered the pros and cons from more angles than they could possibly have done. And no, I would not alter my stance even after a heart attack or stroke.
Personally, I am not a believer in earthing, but I was interested to read that Dr Duane Graveline (Spacedoc) tried it. In his March 2011 Update he says, “I have one more factor that possibly has made a contribution – that is the process of Earthing. Cardiologist Steven Sinatra introduced me to Earthing and it made sense immediately. I started grounding myself with use of a special grounding sheet in my bed just about six months ago.” — https://spacedoc.com/articles/my-statin-story
However, he doesn’t mention earthing again. In describing his health situation over the next five years, any improvement is put down to to medication, exercise, or equipment.
What is “zeta potential”?
David, (April 10)
Yes, the website ‘NNT’ or Numbers Needed to Treat gives some interesting figures here for the poster-children of statins, ie, folk who have heart disease and/or a cardiac event. NNT about 80
Its a bit brighter for those same at-risk children who switch to a “Mediterranean Diet”, nearly 3x better results. NNT is only 30
Hmm. NNT 80. Whereas NN to develop one case of ALS is 100. Bit hard to argue a favorable risk/benefit ratio on those numbers.
You mention that many stop taking their statins when they suffer side effects, but what about those who have complete faith in their doctor and continue to swallow them down. This is what my godmother is like & now she’s ended up in a care home. She no longer has the capacity to make her own decisions & has all the symptoms of ALS ( alongside all the complications of diabetes). She’s on simvastatin. Each time I talk to her doctors about the subject they dismiss my concerns
Doctors nowadays toe the party line and are very careful to never, ever, rock the boat. Which is not surprising, as the punishments for not doing so are severe. Were one of the doctors to stop the statin, and your Godmother suffered a heart attack or stroke, and someone put in a complaint, that doctor could end up suffering severe consequences, including loss of job (unlikely to go that far, but dealing with a serious complaint is a very stressful and difficult thing). Dismissing your concerns is, basically, the line of least resistance.
The prescription of statins across the globe depends on the medical profession studiously being ignorant of the dangers of statins.
I suggest that any doctor wanting to prescribe statins for a patient has a DUTY, a moral obligation
1; To be completely informed about statins and their side effects
2: To inform the patient of all possible side effects such as MND.
3 : Allow the patient time to consider all this information and then make their own fully informed decision
Any doctor who does not do this is an ‘incompetent quack’. They also open themselves to being sued for medical incompetnence.
By the way, today I printed off the abstract of the February 2018 article cited at the end of your post. Tomorrow I will deliver it to my GP as part of my process of ensuring that he is ‘fully informed’.
I refuse to take them. But if he refuses to make himself fully informed he is exposing himself to future legal action by patients who he does not fully inform about these dangerous drugs.
I suggest that if all here reading this post did the same with the GP”s in their area around the world, the prescribing of statins will die.
My brother in law is a very conscientious Gp. He is aware but it’s not easy for doctors. He does say that after a certain age statins are of little help. You will die of something eventually. The poor quality of life became a roller-coaster.
Dr Kendrick, how do doctors who don’t want to prescribe statins manage? Isn’t informed consent a useful tool?
Doctors in the Public Health Collaboration are openly contemptuous of official dietary guidelines and haven’t suffered like Tim Noakes, Gary Fettke and Jennifer Elliot. Is food heresy more permissable than questioning pharma?
The UK is still, so far, a place whereby doctors are allowed to express their own opinions. The problems arise when you give advice to someone, as a doctor. So, you are allowed to say ‘I think the harms of statins outweigh the benefits.’ You are not allowed to say to a patient ‘You should stop your statins, because they are harming you.’ Or at least, this represents the point where you can be dragged in front of the authorities if the patient complains, or something goes wrong. Tim Noakes is ‘accused’ of giving dangerous advice to a patient, as is Gary Fettke.
My approach is to tell patients my views, what I think the evidence is, and encourage them to decide what to do, with my words ‘you are entitled to a second opinion.,’ ringing in their ears.
I’ve had this conversation with my GP re statins and she carefully avoided committing herself for fear of falling foul of her master, the government-owned and controlled NHS (so much for the NHS being ‘ours’). The same goes for the issue of diabetes (or diet if you will). When told by one GP that i was pre-diabetic, another GP said, ‘well I don’t want to call it a conspiracy but…’ and told me not to be worried (I’m not pre-diabetic but when the blood test was done, I was under serious stress that altered my thyroid readings, the behaviour of my heart, and my blood sugar.
With money (profits) tied so closely tied to the political system, it’s impossible to separate the two. What’s health and what’s business? Aren’t the two mutually incompatible?
Extract from Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink”:
Believe it or not, the risk of being sued for malpractice has very little to do with how many mistakes a doctor makes. Analyses of malpractice lawsuits show that there are highly skilled doctors who get sued a lot and doctors who make lots of mistakes and never get sued. At the same time, the overwhelming number of people who suffer an injury due to the negligence of a doctor never file a malpractice suit at all. In other words, patients don’t file lawsuits because they’ve been harmed by shoddy medical care. Patients file lawsuits because they’ve been harmed by shoddy medical care and something else happens to them.
What is that something else? It’s how they were treated, on a personal level, by their doctor. What comes up again and again in malpractice cases is that patients say they were rushed or ignored or treated poorly.
“People just don’t sue doctors they like,” is how Alice Burkin, a leading medical malpractice leader, puts it. “In all the years I’ve been in this business, I’ve never had a potential client walk in and say, ‘I really like this doctor, and I feel terrible about doing it, but I want to sue him.’ We’ve had people come in saying they want to sue some specialist, and we’ll say, ‘We don’t think that doctor was negligent. We think it’s your primary care doctor who was at fault.’ And the client will say, ‘I don’t care what she did, I love her, and I’m not suing her.’” — vault.theleadershiphub.com/files/Whydoctorsgetsued.doc
1 : Today as I said yesterday, I dropped off a printed copy of the abstract in your link for this post :
It is only an abstract with access to the full article behind a paywall unfortunately. But the printed version of the abstract included 17 odd pages of sources for the article.It made a nice thick was of paper for my GP to wade through.
Also there was the interesting statement that this research being published was NOT funded by any corporation or by any government health authority….( Funny seeing that…Given the serious nature of the content.)
I will I suppose see what happens.
2 : Malcolm you said in a comment in the previous post that doctors are roughly 20 years behind the latest research on most health issues… They are waiting for the experts to tell them what to think & do -these are my words but your meaning..
So what think you of a campaign to ‘jump start’ their awareness of new research such are the research underlying this post ? And by that I mean sending & dropping off printed copies of such research at their practices…Or sending emails of such items… .In other words making sure it is under their noses…
It would seem that the only feasible defence for prescribing dangerous drugs such as statins to patients, is “professional” ignorance.
And undermining, destroying that should put the frighteners under their noses & bums..
Sorry if this sound disrespectful. It is frankly. Yes I know there are many excellent GP’s & specialists across the globe worthy of honor & respect. But they are vastly overwhelmed by those who are not at least on this health issue.
That is a huge problem ! And my mind always turns to SOLVING the Macro problem..Not just complaining about it at the micro level.
Dr. K. a cardiologist tells a patient to consider the pros and cons in making decision to take the pill. The poor patient has no clue what to do. What is needed is a concise and pithy pamphlet or book that will inform the patient as well as the doctor of the benefits and risks of statin drugs.
“STATINS – BENEFITS and RISKS” a new bestselling book for doctors considering prescribing (for benefits) or patients considering declining (for risks) statin medications.
My husband, a painter and sculptor, developed neuropathy and side effects from statins very slowly. He was on statins for 10 years, he never knew why, his original visit was for high blood pressure. His cholesterol was 3.2 in the last few years of life. The weakness began in legs then hands. The inability to speak, drink, eat and swallow came in the last few weeks and led to pneumonia, then his death. Despite exercise if 2 hours a day when well, muscle tone declined. He was treated for Parkinsons, which a specialist said he didn’t have. In last weeks, doctors treated him as if he had dementia, because of his speech, fortunately I was there when I saw this. Despite a raft of tests and scans they could find no case for his immobility. Seven months before his death he had been mobile and working in the studio, but suffering.
I am sorry that your husband had such a horrible time. I suppose I would be interested to know if anyone thought to put motor neurone disease (of some sort) on his death certificate. I suspect not. So, any possible connection between his symptoms, and statins, will never have been recorded, and will have been lost forever.
Thank you for your response. No, that was not on the certificate. He was 88 but not old aged. In the last been he had MRI, muscle conductivity test, Ct scans plus x rays for the feeding tube. The doctor treating him was guessing, I feel, mentioned perhaps a hereditary disease, maybe motor neurone? A mystery to him, poor chap. There are many younger people I know who say they have side effects but it has fallen on deaf ears. Best regards to you in your work.
Janina, reading your husband’s case makes me feel both sad and angry. Just what are we doing in the name of “health”?
Janina – my dear, I’m so sorry for the ordeal you both underwent. I’m sure an already growing movement against the use of statins will eventually become mainstream and something will be done about it. In the meantime we suffer.
My warmest wishes to you.
It goes without saying that any doctor, like Malcolm Kendrick, who recognises something is wrong with the over prescription of statins is to be applauded. I wait for the day when litigation will follow. My GP was pointing to a government directive when he told me to take statins, despite having normal cholesterol. I refused.
Maybe your “Government” needs ‘directing’ by the people ? I assume you live in a democracy. And can put the electoral boot up the bums of pollies who do not serve the people & instead behave as if they are the master ?
Just renewed my annual holiday insurance and noticed the question “Have you every been advised to take a statin” -so if I tick yes but have a heart attack and a blood test shows a higher cholesterol, will they have a reason not to pay out ?
Mike surely after reading everything here, you can honestly reply “I have been advised never to take statins:.
End of the insurance company’s little scam.
Dr. K. another detour while wandering in the allopathic medical swamp for more than 40 blogs. The swamp contains 12,500 diseases and their allopathetic cures. There must be a higher vantage point somewhere, I feel confident that we are getting closer.
Take care of your mitochondria, say no to statins.
There is abundant evidence of mitochondrial damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ► Mitochondria have multiple functions that are essential for motor neuron survival. ► Energy production, calcium handling and mitochondrial dynamics are interconnected. ► The final outcome of mitochondrial damage may be cell death. ► Mitochondria-targeted therapies may be beneficial for ALS patients
“Unfortunately, mitochondrial damage is not limited to drugs and vaccines. Environmental chemicals, metals, and pesticides can also damage mitochondria.”
I read the article and the comments. The specifics of statins and ALS are symptoms of a deeper condition that is invisible to those who align under the ‘god’ of power and protection. A protection that assigns evidences of their own mis-identification under plausible deniability – such as heredity, result of a head injury, just unlucky – one in a million! People of the lie worship and protect that which keeps them hidden, from a greater fear.
Is not ‘the terror that must not be named’ the tyrannous god that cannot be openly spoken of, because as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote;
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
However, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. What we hold most dear we protect as our very self. Waking to – and thus from – a false sense of self and world, like a poor marriage or any bad habit, can often seem to escape the ‘cold turkey’ of a most profound sense of self-hate and self-lack by shifting into another ‘set of clothes’. Indeed I see this as the driver of human development into ever more fragmented forms of defended powerlessness – whilst bowing and sacrificing to the idea of progress over an ignorant and unworthy past. As such I see the reversal of consciousness operating under a masking persona.
“Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.”
In looking up that quote I note a growing movement that assigns power to evil manipulators of a ‘matrix’ of mind-control – which is not difficult to see once the blocking ‘signal’ or spell is broken. In this forum, revelation tends to focus in the pharmaceutical cartels – sometimes touching on the hidden social engineering that ‘Rockefeller medicine’ is just one strand of many.
But it takes one to know one, and “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.
That is to say we are not personally responsible for what we do not know we are doing, but once the habit by which we are tricked to react, is revealed, we are in the realm of choice.
Freedom is what humanity seeks to escape, while claiming to defend it. What is ‘informed’ or conscious choice? I hold that it is the power of decision. I hold that it up to us to accept true as we are truly moved, but in coercive or manipulative bias, we forsake the true in the wish it be other than it is – and then identify in defending the ‘lie’ until we release the false to the desire for true. Perhaps after great pain of conflict and loss and despite the mind of the urge to block it out.
It has really been a very painful process for me to see the veils be torn away from many different areas of the “evidence based medicine”; statins, CVD, low-fat diets, diabetes, cancer and mental diseases to name the most important ones.
And I have often wondered why Adam and Eve was forbidden to eat that apple, ” the fruit of knowledge”, and when they actually did be expelled from the Paradise condemned to the eternal sufferings of the external world. Even the Buddists claim that an empty mind (nirvana) is of the highest blessing.
Lobotomy might not be that bad idea after all and thus could be offered to all people (like myself) who have serious inclinations towards dystopia. Having seen the effect of electric shock treatment I would though certainly hesitate myself. Meditation/yoga is probably a much better and safer way of damping overheated frontal lobes.
Chopping wood and sitting in front of a fireplace or having a cup of coffee sitting on a trunk in a forest are alternatives.
Stripping away the layers of what we took to be our self and world…Is there a way of aligning in change rather than resisting it? Perhaps to question Everything.
Symbols can be read in different ways. If the apple of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were truly forbidden, we could not eat it.
The fruit symbol stands for the result of the root idea – ie: the power to judge (good and evil) as a personal or private attribute. I differentiate this from the fruit of a true discernment – that recognises true and looks past the false – instead of being baited into reacting to the false as true.
So a mind phished into judgement usurps truth by the selection and rejection according to a self-imaged (perceived) reality. What goes out is the measure of what comes back. Rejection and opposition that limits and subjects that which thought to ‘lord it over’. The polarized flip flop of order v chaos – where neither are what they seem…
The ‘good’ blindly does evil, and the evil blindly serves the good.
Bringing back to topic, we who are awake somewhat are aware of our fellows, of loved ones and unheeding ‘innocents’ making choices that promise help but deliver unto sickness – and that so many of these ‘choices’ are deeply woven into the very fabric of our social and economic structure – such that the ‘Economy’ is revealed as a negative or destructive system to which Life is sacrificed. I feel to expose the false root of the malaise rather than hack away at innumerable false fruits. However, the basis for this is not heroic fight against evil, but a love of life and thus of truth. It was a childlike innocence that broke the spell of the ‘naked emperor’ not armies.
Standing in faith in what we truly hold worthy and choosing NOT to sacrifice or be shut down by a lie that is recognized false is a purifying process by which conflicts come up to be resolved rather than hidden by clever thinking in which we are so easily deceived.
Binra, please stop preaching at us. Really trying to read your comments puts my mind in a state of somnolent torpor just as did almost all ministers of religion I have ever heard or been subjected to.
I don’t think nirvana means “empty mind”, I think it means “annihilation”.
I don’t quite agree with Solzhenitsyn. He’s right, but it is still the case that human beings have a spectrum of relative good and evil, with a few being very good and a few being quite evil. The problem is the large numbers of people who have not achieved conscious understanding nor made firm and conscious decisions regarding the matter. They are easily led, easily influenced, and it is because of them we have the awful saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Due to this situation, those who are rather more evil can get much more traction in the world than they ought.
I took Simvastatin for 7 months and now have an axonal neuropathy, myopathy, an immune deficiency disorder along with something wrong with every part of me. My muscle biopsy is very similar to Dr. Graveline’s. and his Spacedoc website saved my life. I had complained of side effects many times to my doctor but was told it was common. It wasn’t until my hands were stuck like claws every morning that I researched and found all my problems were caused by the statin, I stopped it myself but it was too late. I have chronic denervation, distal wasting and Babinski and other things that make me worry about ALS. It is so hard to get a doctors help when you believe you were damaged by statins, most just deny that this could happen. But the WHO organization warned us about this eleven years ago. I am still not diagnosed but I hope it is HSP or CMT and not ALS. I am told there is no treatment or cure for what I have but they do not tell me what I have, it is a terrible way to live. not just my illness, but not knowing.
not sure that it’ll help but maybe you want to research if Vitamin K2 can reverse effects?
Thank you Eric, I will buy some more. I ran out a month ago but was not taking religiously. I am trying a product by mito specialist Dr. Boles. It is called SpectumNeeds and is a powder with the supplements in a mito cocktail and more. It is found at neuroneeds.com if you want to see all that is in it. I just checked and it does not have K2 so I will order some today.
Kady, as I said, I have no idea whether there are any studies out there that K2 can reverse your symptoms. It just seems plausible to me, but I am no MD or biochemist.
What is a mito specialist? Mito, to my knowledge, refers to a city in Japan (that is mostly unremarkable, by the way), motorcycles or cars.
Eric, kady re K2 “mitochondrial dysfunction was rescued by vitamin K(2) that serves as a mitochondrial electron carrier, helping to maintain normal ATP production.”
SpectumNeeds appears to be a multivitamin/mineral supplement that meets RDA’s. Might need therapeutic doses of some ingredients.
Hi kady, googled Babinski and discovered it might indicate MS. Terry Wahls has had success in treating her MS:
An MS-Stricken Doctor Changes Her Diet… and Reverses Her ‘Irreversible’ Decline
Hope this helps. Looks like mitochondria have a big influence on health.
Looking for causes.
Lead poisoning from complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis
A patient with multiple sclerosis is described who was treated for neurological symptoms thought to be a progression of his disease but subsequently found to be caused by lead poisoning secondary to the use of alternative medicine. His clinical signs improved with oral chelation therapy. Neurologists should consider asking about the use of complementary and alternative medicine before simply attributing symptoms and signs to exacerbation of multiple sclerosis.
Andy S: Sounds to me more like lead poisoning from stupidity, rather than from complementary and alternative medicine. This guy was eating lead! Those of us who remember our Latin recall plumbum as the name for what we call lead, memorialized in the chemical symbol.
Well gosh golly ! There re dopey patients as well in the world ! Yes taking lead is toxic even if it offered in an alternative medicine…
Bill/Gary, one has to be careful how they smoke pot, might lead to reckless behavior.
Whatever the author may think of complementary medicine, its conclusion was absurd.
“On subsequent questioning it was found that 8 months before admission the patient started a homemade homeopathic remedy called plumbum metallicum for treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis. ”
Possibly the lead was supposed to be taken in homeopathic doses, in which case he would not have ingested a single atom of lead!
Pretty broad brush to be painting alternative medicine with lead poisoning. As if it were common or something.
David, Yes, if this lead-laden patient was ingesting lead from a ‘Homeopathic’ medication then this begs the question.. ‘Allopathic Medicine alleges Homeopathy to be non-effective fraud or a placebo at best, due to it’s dilution regime that eliminates all measurable trace of the active ingredient, – so how come a MEMORY of lead…. caused lead poisoning?’
– They can’t have their cake and eat it too !
Your experience sounds terrible. I also took Simvastatin, and eventually got horrible cramps in one leg that had been affected by polio as a child. Fortunately I recovered once I stopped taking the statin. One of the main reasons I come to this site (I am not a doctor) is to warn people who do choose to take a statin, that if they encounter side effects they should stop while they still have time.
Don’t forget that because the medical profession is in denial (more or less) about statin side effects, very little research has been done regarding possible treatments. For that reason, it is probably worth experimenting in various ways. In my case, once I stopped the statins, things started to improve. However, I did take a fair amount of exercise, using pain killers to make this possible. I was given diclofenac, but I don’t suppose the exact drug matters, so much as the fact that I did rather push myself with exercise – manly walking in the hilly country around my home. I gradually found that I could taper the painkillers off as time went on, until I was back to normal! The whole process took about 9 months.
I didn’t have any of the frightening list of diagnoses that you describe, but by now I am pretty cynical about medicine. Could it be that faced with statin induced problems, the consultants diagnose something else that seems to fit the symptoms! Remember that muscles respond well to exercise, and waste away without it.
It strikes me that if statins cause MND just by lowering cholesterol, people who are given PCSK9 inhibitors could be at very considerable long-term risk because these are reputed to lower blood cholesterol even further!
I don’t think so. In that PCSK9 inhibitors do not reduce the amount of cholesterol available, they just allow cells to absorb it more rapidly. So, you could argue that PCSK9 inhibitors may improve the situation, by making cholesterol more readily available. I am not sure I buy that argument, but it could be made.
That is an interesting comment, but why do these PSCK9 receptors exist, if all they do is stop cholesterol reaching the cells that need it?
Well, there are those of us who think that if you keep reusing a receptor it will end up doing things you don’t want it to e.g. absorb infective agents. Things in the body do not exist if there is no reason for them to remain. Mess about with human physiology at your peril – is what I think
Can blood pressure tablets cause long term problems as well
They can cause problems, but seem to be mostly reversible on cessation
If you stop the bp meds how long does it take for them to come out of your system and your blood pressure to revert back to its normal state. Can you just stop them
biddy99: If I may butt in here, I can tell you what I did, following the advice of Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. I weaned from them over a period of a few weeks, first by cutting them in half, then by taking the half pill every other day. Her book, “The High Blood Pressure Hoax!” has the details, and lots of other interesting information about BP. Silly title, but worth a read. I have no idea how long it takes for the body to adjust, but nearly two years after quitting, I feel wonderful.
Biddy S, Gary
If I may butt in, you will note in Dr K ´ s magic pills there was a fair amount of L arginine. I take one gram me a day, in the winter, when I am less active and it keeps my BP in reasonable limits,. Incidentally pork has a very high content of L.A so perhaps a grass fed pork chop a day would do the same.
I look at the diastolic, the low one, sine the high one is influenced by how much leaping around I ve been doing.
Dr K you have sometimes promised us a little dissertation on BP?
Mr Chris: You’ve convinced me to put a pork chop on the menu for tonight’s supper. We have a new pork supplier here who raises Mangalista’s (a Hungarian breed which is deliciously fatty). The bacon is fabulous.
Thanks. Where did you buy the book. It’s £32 on amazon which seems a bit pricey.
biddy99: I got it through ppnf.org, a California non-profit, and I don’t think it was that expensive.
I raise 4 or 5 pigs each year on my farm here in Western Pennsylvania for my family’s (and some friend’s) consumption. For years I have dreamed about the Mangalitsa pigs but never looked into raising or possibly breeding some. The thought is still on my mind. I believe that you are in the US, if so, who is your provider?
Renfrew, PA USA
Phil: Justin Coughlin. http://www.rootsfarmers.com. He told me that there are only four or five Mangalista breeders in the U.S. I did meet a Michigan farmer of Mangalista’s at the 2012 WAPF conference, but I can’t remember his name, nor can I find any mention of him on the website. The Michigan authorities were doing everything in their power to shut him down, defining the Mangalista as “feral.” Best pork I’ve ever eaten, and the piglets are endearingly cute-striped!
Phil: Also on the business card: JUSTINCOUGHLIN@YAHOO.COM
Thanks for the links. The babies sure are cute!
So far we have just been buying the piglets (duroc / hampshire) and raising them. I’ll have to think about actually breeding pigs. We bred and raised show horses for many years but we retired from that two years ago. Breeding the horses was very involved.
If I bred Mangalistas I would only market the pigs/meat locally. Where are you located?
Renfrew, PA USA
Phil: Central California, the breadbasket of the nation, as they say. But, being a moderately-brittle grassland, it is not suitable for wide-spread agriculture. Never enough water. The allotments were determined in the early 20th century during several decades of above-average precipitation, and those who secured water rights in the 19th century (which go with the property), have first dibs on whatever water is available. Nevertheless, they soldier on. The water table is currently being sucked dry to irrigate investor-owned almonds for export to China. There are lots of good small-scale farming operations here, though, which produce high-quality food, the only kind I eat. Easy to get pasture-raised meats, poultry and eggs, raw dairy, and organic fruits and vegetables. Expensive to produce, though, so those who prefer cheap food, or who cannot afford high-quality food miss out. California is politically loony, but it has a great climate for food production.
Any recommendations on where to find these problems? I’m on a beta blocker and ACE inhibitor (though not for blood pressure, for idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy), and I’m trying to back off my drugs. I seem to be fine, but the drugs seem at times to cause issues.
When I look for issues with these drugs, they’re tough to find. Does carvedilol cause blood sugar or insulin problems? I can’t find any studies of carvedilol versus placebo for this, though some doctors say it prevents or lessens weight loss. What happens after taking these for 5 years (as I’ve done)? What happens if you cut these down or go off them, with my disease? Of course, the drug manufacturers have no reason to do any of this (What? Why would you want to stop taking our drug ;-), so maybe that’s why I have a hard time finding this.
Oh not again
Has anyone here tried it ? And if so, does it work ?
Bill in Oz: What I do is go barefoot nearly all the time, inside and out. Many benefits accrue. I have an earthing sheet for the bed, but haven’t put it on for quite a while. I have no idea how it affects my blood pressure, but it just feels right to be in touch with the Earth.
Thanks Gary. Yes I go barefoot indoors most of the time but the out doors ground is too rough for bare feet..It’s boots when working in the garden or on farm.
@malcolm. Maybe you haven’t seen my previous comment. I would like to know what you think about the use of statins in MS patients. It’s crazy,isn’t it?
It is completely mad
Perfectly Logical, when prescribed by willingly ignorant madmen…
Thank you for this blog, very helpful, as always !
I’m thankful that I’ve always refused statins, even when my figures were high. Largely because I need a good strong cholesterol figure, as I have Hashimotos and low adrenals, and in particular very low DHEA . And DHEA is made from cholesterol.
But I’ve found that GP’s and endocrinologists know very little about the Adrenals !
Maybe that’s something else you could look into ?
Dr. Noakes would be proud. My little granddaughter who lives in Sweden (16 months) likes high fat. I watched her on skype pushing all her mashed potatoes to the edge of her bowl methodically looking through it for chicken. Today my daughter writes:
She likes butter. Bread is only the serving dish. Licks it off then hands me the bread to be re smeared 10 times till she is full.
Perfectly normal. My kids used to lick off the liverwurst or nibble the cheese then hand back to bread for a refill. These days we feel lucky if either deigns to eat these foods once a week.
My stepfather used to say that everyone needs to eat a little dirt sometimes and I think he was on the money!
Hazel eats butter—from Hyperlipid
Sometimes I feel like I would like to join an onion chopping party to allow my tears to flow freely in order to relieve the pressure on me from the presently unbearable mad world.
In my youth I read about such parties in the “The Tin Drum” (1959), a key text in European magic realism, by the literature Nobel laureate Günter Wilhelm Grass.
Unreleased emotion is a form of denied self. Your situation is thus acting out the denied and the denying, both. Accepting the emotion by safely expressing it is the release of a burden. Not a problem ‘out there’. Perspective shifts to felt presence. The heart knows its freedom as life restored. In sketch, this may be a significant sobriety of reflection for all whose mind is engaged in evading impossible situations. In the opening of perspective, ideas or beliefs that were beneath the emotional result (for feelings are always a result), naturally fall away as unneeded or meaningless to who you are now.
I note that taking this in vain would be crocodile tears. I find I know the difference between when I am truly moved and when some form of mental interjection in ‘story’ replay comes in. Just as I feel different reactions of resonance to a call for help and a call for sympathy.
Pressure relieving techniques can and do set up addictive patterns! The noticing of tension is the awareness in which to release, align or relax it. But the mental interjection makes a ‘problem to be solved’ and does that by packaging it in complex instruments and selling them to you as toxic debt wrapped in empty promises.
The sane perception of a mad world is that you are not in it, but where you give attention is up to you. And I say that as a reminder of our responsibility for thought. Mad thinking, shared, makes a mad world.
Too easy and not ‘High Tech’ enough. Try a CABG-ing… Post-op and the tears naturally flow …
Especially when you discover – afterwards – that the the alternatives which were studiously ‘not’ mentioned may have been equally effective.
My father developed MND at age 62 and deteriorated ,at an alarming rate, to an undignified death within 2 years. That was long before the age of statin therapy, but the worry regarding myself, my siblings and our off-spring, of developing the condition through genetics has always been at the back of our minds. After 10 years of using statins, and with deteriorating health due to type 2, I made the decision to come off all meds, and treat myself. I frequently mentioned to my various GPs about my father’s diagnosis, but like much else, it fell on deaf ears. (there was nothing to say, really). But, I am so much better now without meds. However, I am now wondering about the connection of the dreaded MND and statin use. I realise that as MND is incurable, there is no likelihood of me having developed it when I was so terribly weak 5 years ago, but maybe the statins had triggered something susceptible in my muscles? Fortunately stopping statins reversed my weakness. Just a thought.
Something quite weird is going on. I decided to do a goggle search on “Statins & MND”.
I got 7 search results. But nothing for this in quotes. None of the 7 results listed were of any real value at all in the sense of adding to this discussion here.
AND more weird still Dr Kendrick’s post here on Statins causing MND was not among the results….
I will do a follow up search on ” Statins and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”
I have just done that search for “Statins and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ).
This time I got 39,000 results and included among the first page is Dr. K’s post here.
But I wonder. Most people here in Oz and elsewhere I suspect, call this condition “Motor Neurone Disease or MND” A friend died of this disease back in the 1980’s It was labelled MND then,
So is the new name ALS a way of hiding the connection from the general public who are taking statins. Another instance of keeping us ordinary lay folk mortals in the dark with medicalese ?
I will look through the 39,000 hits and see what comes up.
I think you should really GOOGLE
statins AND (MND OR “Motor Neuron Disease” OR ALS OR “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”)
That generated “About 985,000 results”!
I am not absolutely certain the brackets work as intended.
Hi david No mate, I think I will disrespectfully continue to GOGGLE… 🙂
But your suggestion about “Statins & Motor Neurone Disease OR ALS OR “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” is an interesting one..
That suggests that my search results are an artifact generated by the almight’s google’s search process…
David I just did as you suggested…I got 441,000 results along with this first cab off the rank, unattributed headline statement ( From GOOGLE perhaps ? ) ” There’s no good evidence that statins cause or trigger ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
Now what do we know ?
1: Google does misinform in it’s search
2: We are all entitled to GOGGLE at it’s misinformation and inform others about it…
3 : Google in it’s ‘wisdom’ does not know about MND = ALS = Lou Gherig’s disease. Or if it does, it chooses not to know, if you get my drift.
Finally a question : why are there three different names, plus 2 quite different abbreviations, for the same disease in the English speaking world
Bill in Oz: Google is a propaganda platform. I use DuckDuckGo.
Which is probably riding on google, just that it does not record your usage.
Bill; you do realize that a Google ‘search’ is no such thing? In actuality, it checks sites to see which one has the most links to other sites using your ‘search’ criteria. This way, it builds a ‘rank’ with the site having the most external links to your search terms at the top.
barovsky, the fact that this is ‘how’ Google actually operates, does not absolve it from promoting false information.
Bill, absolutely! Google filters out cals to letfie Websites and nodoubt other themes that embarrass.
Gary what do you get when you do a search using “duckduckgo” ?
Bill in Oz: I’m not sure what you mean.
Gary thanks for the tip. I have just spent an hour testing out duckduckgo as my search engine.Far far better results..None of the misleading ‘propaganda’ about there being connection between statins & MND/ALS.In fact the first 40 results all gave information about the connection!
So I have switched to duckduckgo as my search engine.
I think others here might also find it better.
Bill in Oz: You’re very welcome. I discovered how manipulative Google is while doing vaccine research. This is the most censored topic in all the mainstream media. Even if I typed in the link in the search box, they would bury the results on the third or fourth page. DuckDuckGo doesn’t appear to censor anything, and gives me just what I’m looking for. Truly, all the telecom giants, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, and others are part of the national-security state here in the U.S. None of them can be trusted. We now know that Goldman Sachs considers we peons, the customers of the medical system, as merely a “profit stream.,” that curing afflictions is not in their economic interest, but stringing them along with drugs or other “treatments” is (the memo was posted today on Mark’s Daily Apple, and yesterday on Age of Autism). Reading this, combined with listening do Dr. Malhotra, really connects the dots on how these crooks are getting rich by making everyone sick and dependent upon their largess.
Gary I have noticed the ads that Google inserts as first hits, whenever I do a search using google. And I have noticed that often the most relevant search results are buried 2-3 pages in.
But I have never thought of it as a deliberate attempt to bias & distort what I found via a google search.
But frankly I was wrong.
Google is indeed trying very hard to ensure that it is easy to find some search results and promoting others even when of lesser or no relevance.
I suspect that which hits are easy to find and which are hard, depends of how google is rewarded for it’s efforts by those with a barrow to push.
Again thanks !
Bill in Oz
Most of the hits you get on the first two or three pages with Google are advertising. As a commercial thing you can pay to move your page up the list. Google doesn’t care about you, only your money.
Do you folks read the comments here? Google doesn’t do a search exactly, instead it creates a ranking index with the sites having the most external links to your chosen word or phrase, theoretically anyway, at the top of the list.
Aside from this, there is of course the issue of whether Google censors, weights results etc as well as using the ranking algorithm. According to World Socialist Website (WSWS), when Google instituted their ludicrous ‘fake news finder’ a couple of months ago, visits to sites like WSWS, dropped by more than 60%! https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/04/11/face-a11.html
The other problem we have with ‘searching the Web’ is the simple fact that only a tiny fraction of it is actually indexed by Web crawlers. Sites can block them or restrict them. And anyway, stuff is being added exponentially!
Yes this I have noticed Chris..But till recently just accepted. Now i do not.
Barovski : Google has presented itself for a decade or so as a “search engine”. Now you say that also is not true either..
Just what the hell are the advantages if we are trying to be really informed ? There are none that I can see.
TPTB want you to be indoctrinated, not informed. Now just take these amazing statins, with built-in patent, and leave those wicked foreign vitamins alone.
Why of course AH Notepad..
Bill, on the other alternative news sites, Google (and Youtube) is being viewed more and more with jaundiced eyes… as being oddly censorious to Certain Viewpoints and their supporters…
– Not that I am a ‘Conspiracy THEORIST’….
I also use Duck-Duck Go. 🙂
Happily goggling via duckduckgo Janet !
Very interesting/disturbing post. I have never been a fan of statins, when I realised ten years ago how little they contributed to a longer life.
One remark about your calculation. Wouldn’t it be better to divide the 1250 cases by 20 instead of multiplying it by 20. Since statin use started around 1988 it is very likely that a (large) part of the current ALS patients is already caused by statins. So it seems better to say that without statins we might have had only 1250/20 = 63 new ALS cases each year.
(ps thanks for blogging, I read all your posts)
It is a point that I pondered. However, the incidence of ALS comes from figures prior to the introduction of statins – however accurate they may, or not be. Thanks for the thoughtful post.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be linked to genetic factors that promote cardiovascular fitness, according to a study indicating that ALS patients’ parents died of cardiovascular disease less often.
But researchers underscored that it is not physical activity that increases the risk of ALS.
The study, “Exploring the fitness hypothesis in ALS: a population-based case-control study of parental cause of death and lifespan,” was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.
Many studies have noted that most ALS patients do not have health issues linked to abnormal metabolism, such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
A research team at the University Medical Center Utrecht had also found a connection between more leisure time and ALS, but no connection between occupation-related physical activity and the disease. This somewhat odd finding suggested that lifestyle factors linked to physical activity had no impact on the risk of developing ALS. Rather, the team hypothesized that genetic factors that made it more likely to be both physically active and develop ALS were at play.
To test the idea, the research team recruited 487 patients with ALS and 1,092 controls for a study that focused not on the patients but on their parents. Using questionnaires, the team gathered information about the causes and times of the parents’ deaths.
Cardiovascular disease was more often the cause of the controls’ deaths than the deaths of the ALS patients’ parents. The parents’ smaller rate of cardiovascular death was not linked to their lifetime physical activity, researchers said.
The team figured there were at least three ways to explain their observations. The first possibility was that a genetic profile that facilitated physical fitness might increase physical activity, which in turn might increase the risk of ALS. The team deemed that scenario unlikely because it found no links between physical activity and cardiovascular death.
Another possibility — and the one they believe most likely — is that certain genes may both increase the risk of ALS and promote cardiovascular fitness.
Their third possible explanation is that genetics, perhaps together with physical activity, could activate metabolic pathways. That activation could promote cardiovascular health while increasing the risk of ALS.
Because these explanations are just theories, the team said the relationships need to be explored in future studies. “In summary, exploring the fitness hypothesis in the pathogenesis of ALS, our findings provide evidence for a shared mechanism underlying a favourable cardiovascular fitness profile and ALS susceptibility,” the authors concluded.
Erret, genes causing ALS/MND makes sense to me, especially mitochondria genes that have been damaged epigenetically. Some factors to consider:
– medications that poison or prevent DNA repair (statins)
– heavy metals, ( lead, mercury, arsenic)
– lack of critical nutrients (mg, C, selenium etc,)
– inflammation (too much exercise increases ROS, hyperglycaemia, omega-6 oils )
– overstimulation of neurones to point of destruction (msg in foods)
– inactivity leading to degeneration
Looks like there could be connections to CVD.
Andy S. It seems a sensible idea to adhere to all mentioned on your list…whether concerned about CVD, MND/ALS. or other poor health conditions. We really ought to be looking at the things that harm humans (and all living things), then incorporating supplements and lifestyles shown to enhance life.
Statins will reach the $trillion dollar mark in 2020, all that for essentially a drug that does very little good and has endless downsides. But generally the public is clueless, still fears cholesterol, thinks doctor knows best, and never thinks side effects will affect them.
I was prescribed BP meds. Later I changed to LCHF and my BP dropped so much my GP rapidly took me off the BP meds. Many seem to be able to drop BP meds while on LCHF diet. Do some research.
I have been on a LCHF diet, aiming at 50 – 70 g carbohydrate per day for over 18 months now. My weight has dropped about 14 kg and my blood pressure is the best it has been for years, though I am not yet in a position to reduce my considerable medication. My main worry is my blood sugars: my Hba1C remains on the borderline between pre-diabetes and diabetes proper. I have recently started monitoring my blood glucose in relation to my diet and measuring its carbohydrate content to the gram to try to work out what it is I’m eating which prevents the blood test coming down to more normal levels. Wholemeal bread seems to be the worst culprit, (it’s amazing though how thin one can slice it with practice!). Unfortunately, it’ll be a while before I can relax the regime a bit.
My husband says I am obsessed, which I admit i am, but in a good way I hope. He was recently found to have a raised Hba1C too. He stopped eating his sugary sweets and putting sugar on his cereal in the morning, (things I don’t like and haven’t eaten for years), He shed a stone and a half in two months, making him underweight for his height, and six months later his blood test was normal. Life is just not fair!
apologies for promoting someone elses work here but this is a really good article I just read with lots of references and is very appropriate for the readers here.
Zoe is a good friend and we do a lot together, please promote away. And feel free to promote all things that are important and interesting.
good old Zoe! she makes things so easy to understand. Even though this current blog is about MND and statins, I think her article is most appropriate regarding diet and CVD. I conclude that good health is directly associated with real, unadulterated food, regardless of social status. The poor are denied access to good food, so are more likely to suffer ill health than the wealthy, who have the choice to be silly and eat junk cereals and seed oils ,or to be sensible and choose decent quality protein/fat.
The poor undoubtedly will suffer, and the wealthy have the choice to suffer. Back to politics.
The Noakes Foundation (Cape Town) is promoting simple low cost LCHF in poor communities and doing a fine job. Getting some good success and rave reviews. https://thenoakesfoundation.org/
ALS is recognised as a severe side effect. Is it not likely that given the effect that statins have on the neurological system that there are multiple other affects of varying degrees of severity that have not yet been identified? I say this as someone who had a period of very unpleasant experiences, that in my untrained mind would associate with what Medical world might refer to as neurological. For me, statins are history as are the unpleasant experiences . Meanwhile, as a “civilian” I find my opinions are dismissed by my consultants who blame the media for hyping up the negative effects of Statins and will invariably refer to facts & figures that support the anti cholesterol hypothesis. I get tired & no longer cross swords with them & just do as I think right. That is to not give a damn about my cholesterol level
There is strong research linking statins to many other neurological problems: neuropathy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and suchlike.
Thank you Dr Kendrick. So it wasn’t all in my mind.
Well it WAS all in your mind, just not in the way you thought.
Ordinary people know what statins can do, but consultants seem far less aware. After I realised what was causing my severe cramps, I became something of a statin bore! If anyone of about my age discussed muscular/ skeletal pains, I’d ask if they were on statins, and mention this website.
Just operating in that very informal way, I collected many stories, including some from people who had already abandoned their statins. The list includes:
A man who had problems with the blood flow in his legs, and was given statins. These caused severe pain, and mental confusion such that he nearly lost his business. His doctor had tried him on several different statins before he decided enough was enough.
A man I met in the changing room at a sports centre. We got talking and he mentioned a period of severe pains in his legs. I asked him if he had ever taken statins, and he finished my sentence for me – ‘statins’, then we compared notes.
A woman who was given statins after a slight heart attack. I was cautious about discussing statins in her case, but since she was complaining about pain in her legs, I pointed out this website. She gave the statins up, and sure enough her pain went away!
Several people said they had been prescribed statins, but found they disagreed with them, and threw them away.
My statin induced problems took several months to sort out, and I later remembered an email that a friend had sent me. She warned me that my problem might be caused by my statins, but I took no notice because she isn’t a doctor!
Diet and ALS/MND
Click to access 1471-2202-7-29.pdf
This study provides experimental evidence showing that prophylactic treatment with a ketogenic diet may slow motor deterioration and protect motor neurons through a promoting energy production in the mitochondria of SOD1-G93A ALS mice. The neuroprotective effect by ketone bodies provides a new approach to potential treatment for ALS through a dietary intervention.
Just checked, my multivitamin pill has copper. Looks like micronutrients are important.
New therapy halts progression of Lou Gehrig’s disease in mice
“Researchers at Oregon State University have announced that they have essentially stopped the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for nearly two years in one type of mouse model used to study the disease — allowing the mice to approach their normal lifespan.”
Copper deficiency alters cell bioenergetics and induces mitochondrial fusion through up-regulation of MFN2 and OPA1 in erythropoietic cells.
“In all, we have shown that adequate copper levels are important for maintaining proper mitochondrial function and for erythroid differentiation where the energy metabolic switch plus the up-regulation of fusion proteins define an adaptive response to copper deprivation to keep cells alive.”
Andy S: Copper in foods (in mg/100g): beef liver, 14.57; spirulina, 6.13; oyster, 4.29; chocolate, 3.23; cashew, 2.21; sunflower seeds, 1.83; Brazilnuts, 1.74; hazelnuts, 1.72; walnuts, 1.59; lobster, 1.55. Nuts and seeds in general are good sources.
Protect your genes. Avoid eating in restaurants and anything bottled, canned, packaged, dehydrated, processed etc..
Genotoxicity of monosodium glutamate
“this additive caused DNA damage at all concentrations in isolated human lymphocytes after 1-h in vitro exposure.”
According to the IHS Chemical Economics Handbook: Monosodium Glutamate Report, in 2014, world demand for MSG was estimated at more than 3 million metric tons
The Japanese are major consumers of MSG
Are they all dead or dying?
Mr Chris, re MSG and ALS in Japan. Maybe they survive better with higher levels of iodine and lower carb and sugar. MSG is only one of many factors.
Older epidemiological studies indicate a greater incidence of ALS at higher latitudes:
From Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a synthesis of research and clinical practice, by Andrew Eisen and Charles Krieger, 1998, Cambridge University Press.
This is the classic signature of diseases related to Vitamin D deficiency. More recent epidemiological studies would presumably detect the statin effect.
Moreover, Vitamin D supplementation improves “statin tolerance.”
ALS has something to do with Vitamin D deficiency, and statins interfere with the actions of Vitamin D in the body.
This article has reminded me to order some seeds.
“In light of the above findings, there is a valid rationale to propose the use of cannabinoid compounds in the pharmacological management of ALS patients. Cannabinoids indeed are able to delay ALS progression and prolong survival.”
More info on cannabinoids:
Cannabis as a potential therapeutic for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Deciding on strain to plant. Gathering info on recipes- juicing, smoothies, brownies etc..
Cannabinoid deficiency syndrome exists.
Here is an article about a cannabinoid (Cannabidiol, or CBD that does not get you “high”) and epilepsy. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/treating-seizures-and-epilepsy/other-treatment-approaches/medical-marijuana-and-epilepsy . There are cannabinoid receptors in the brain so these products are indeed interesting. I don’t know anything about CBD and ALS however.
Renfrew, PA USA
Phil, I believe there is a lot more to be discovered about cannabinoids. I have decided to plant the “medicinal” cannabis variety THC:CBD of 1:1. Pot smokers go for high THC, but that is not my interest. Protecting neurones in the quest, apparently beneficial for glaucoma.
Marijuana Can Help Grow Neurons and Make a Person Smarter
“Another study done on neuron re-growth with marijuana, published in the latest issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, suggested that CBC and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act as an anti-oxidant cleansing for brain. The THC coats the neurons in a sort of healing blanket. This allows for the disposal of damaged cells, improving the efficiency of the brain, and making room for more neurons to be developed. The research team also found that one of the most important factors is that both chemicals in marijuana make the mitochondria in brain cells work at a faster pace, making them more energy efficient, leading to a better functioning, smarter person.”
New post trial:
With hundred of thousands of chemicals continuously added to our environment and substances which before release were poorly tested for any subtle effects on our health, lead being at typical example, it is in my eyes a very good attitude to be extremely cautious about what you expose yourself. Of course there is the hazard of being ridiculed.
Especially if your health is already severely affected as manifested in the metabolic syndrome you care.
Here is my present short list of precaution to help your body to recapture your health from such a state:
– Go for organic food whenever possible
– Don’t eat carbs and no sugar of any kind – go ketogenic!
– Avoid vegetable oils, especially the PUFA-rich ones, e.g. sunflower oil
– Never touch margarine
– Consume fats liberally from the animal kingdom preferably from grassfed animals.
– Eat only fish that is from a wild catch in clean waters
– The smaller the fish the better, e.g. sardines
– Limit your protein intake with a fat/protein ratio of 80/20
– Eat abundant with leafy greens
– And of course supplement with all kinds of vitamins and minerals you can afford; vitamin C 10 grams/day and D 5000 IU/day; magnesium and selenium with Co10. Large amounts of natural vitamin E if you suffer from angina – do your homework here!
Thank you for your “short list”. Note that sardines canned in oil have a high Omega 6 content even when drained. See: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4114/2 . Sardines canned in tomato juice do not seem to have the high Omega 6 problem: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4115/2 .
Renfrew, PA USA
Philip, it doesn’t say what sort of oil they were canned in. I try to buy in olive oil
Göran: why the protein limit as Seniors facing muscle attrition I would have thought to keep the protein up?
sorry everyone, but diet has crept back!
It is the triumph of Ancel Keys. All discussions about CVD are framed in the context of diet.
I buy my sardines in olive oil also. Olive oil is 10% omega 6 whereas Soybean oil is 50% omega 6. To get the omega 6 residual levels (after draining) as high as the Nutrition Data numbers are I suspect that the Nutrition Data numbers are for sardines in soybean oil.
You are right about the need for more protein with age but as far as I understand about one gram (perhaps 1.5 grams) per kg of bodyweight should be sufficient even for older people. And if you are 75 kg those “necessary” 75 grams of protein corresponds to about 200 grams of fish/meat/eggs or cheese. The rest and most important, in my opinion, should be healthy fats till you are satiated.
And for the canned sardines I go for those in tomato sauce to avoid the “contamination factor” of the cheap omega 6 oils – again more of precaution than for solid science.
As Malhotra, in Malcolms next post, I believe strongly that your food should be your “medicine” and especially when you, as myself, have been caught in the metabolic syndrom (high BP, CVD, diabetes ….).
A completely (?) different matter is what to do when you are being healthy to start with. But still I don’t think what is on my “short list” of precaution could hurt anyone and perhaps even keep one reasonably healthy.
Well, living according to the list may now may have enabled me to have finished the chopping of the second load of fire wood trunks properly and with the four huge stacks (2x2x1 m) of fire wood in the sunshine now to impress on my neighbors and friends.
Love your list – thanks
In your list, I assume the “vitamin C 10 grams/day ” is basic ascorbic acid and not real natural vitamin C from limes / lemons / oranges etc. etc.
Thanks for this link.
Apart from Linus Pauling Suzanne Humphries is my authority on vitamin C. I listened to her Stockholm talk which she recommends herself.
With my ten grams (actually around 15) of ascorbic acid I feel like I am on the right track. High doses have saved many lives perhaps even mine.
Göran, does it matter if the vit C is synthetic (the molecules a mirror image I think)?
As far as I have understood, without digging too deep, is that the cheap ascorbic acid offered on the market is of the “right” L-kind. Dr. Humphries doesn’t seem to worry but if it had been an issue I guess she would have brought that up in the interview.
By the way, I dissolve the ascorbic acid powder in a big glass of hot water and sip from it now and then during the night and the following day
My sweet mother died of ALS in 2014 and I always suspected Statins were the cause. She was on them in her 40’s and took them til the week she died.
I started taking them when I was I’m my 40’s but stopped in a few months because of a high level of protein that showed up in blood tests.
Aren’t you confusing synthetic with supplemental vit C from Suzanne Humphries’ talk?
My take on the 1st 10 mins of this presentation is that:
Natural = in plants and raw meat
Synthetic = produced my most animals (In the liver) who synthesize the molecule.
I don’t think I’m confusing anyone or anything, I’m merely trying to find out if the synthetic version is as effective as the natural one is, the reason being, the vast difference in cost between the two!
Once again, if Suzanne Humphries, Andrew Saul, Robert Cathcart, Tom Levy say its ok, I’ll believe them. As with many “natural” products, often the price is caused by clever marketing hype, not how efficatious they are.
I get over most ailments (as I haven’t had all of them, I can’t comment on the ones I haven’t had) in about a day of large doses of a UK produced L-ascorbic acid powder. I eat loads of orange type fruits, ut only because they are a better snack that the usual carbs eaten by most people.Others I have persuaded vitamin C is a good thing have indepentantly said, without prompting, they feel a lot more alert, brighter, and less prone to the usual cold/flu type symptoms.
AH: I’m still none the wiser…
Slight aside here: ‘Trust me I’m a doctor’ (BBC2 TV), tells us that when cholesterol and high blood pressure were linked to heart disease in the 1980s, deaths from heart attacks, dropped by 50%, the inference being that it was the lowering of cholesterol and blood pressure that produced the 50% reduction in deaths.
Is this really true, or am I missing something here?
Heart disease deaths were falling prior to statins, prior to blood pressure medication. The rate of fall was unchanged.
So how can a GP on the BBC say that? It sounds like a justification for statins. Thinly veiled of course. But can you argue that following the cholesterol/bloodpressure link was established that the fall in the death rate was in addition to the already falling rate? Can’t it be changing conditions of life, better medical interventions and so on…? But the Beeb reduced it all to a pill and exercise.
People don’t like complicated discussions. They want a baddy and a goody, and that’s that. Twas ever thus.
Malcolm, I think you are certainly right about people being more captured by “one-liners” than deep discussions.
As I remember Bertrand Russell put it in the following way:
“People would rather die than think; and they do!”
It’s as if the cholesterol debate/we-awakening never happened. This is headline news today:
this is like stepping back in time. Glad I decided to make my own mind up after reading as widely as possible and listening to those who seemed wiser, especially the posters on and to this blog.
Had to read this link 3 times! Can’t believe such garbage is actually being published. Even if he is deluded into believing it, one would have expected him to keep his head down.
Dear Dr. Kendrick, what an important post!
I shared it via Facebook, and got some feedback.
As a result, I have the following question:
In order to prove that statins are the CAUSE (and the ALS is the result), is there an evidence that the ALS happens AFTER the statins were used for some time (in other words – that the order of things fits cause and effect)?
I took a look in the full text of the new article (your 2nd reference) but could not find a clear answer to this question. E.g.:
How long will it take for the statins to induce (or lead to) ALS?
And do the reported ALS events took place following sufficient time after starting statins treatment (enough time for the effect to accumulate)?
The stains must have been started before the ALS diagnosis, or else the ALS could not have been counted as statin induced. As for how long, I do not believe that was established. It may be worth writing the Beatrice Golomb (lead author) to find this out – if the data exist. As for the final comment, I do not believe that there is a need for any particular time scale. Rhabdomyolysis can occur with a few days of starting a statin.
CureFacts, re statins and ALS
Energy Homeostasis and Abnormal RNA Metabolism in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
“Ample evidence suggests that impaired RNA homeostasis and abnormal energy status are two major pathogenesis pathways in ALS. “
Energy is produced by mitochondria, statins poison them and upset homeostasis. Possible end result is ALS or ALS-like symptoms.
Now consider the mitochondria as a “biological homeostat” that is also able to regulate energy homeostasis. Endocannabinoid system is involved. Phytocannabinoids might help.
If this is true, you’d expect to see lipophilic statins disproportionately associated with similar neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinsons….oh wait,
The use of statin (especially lipophilics) was associated with higher risk of PD, and the stronger association in initial use suggests a facilitating effect.”
So how do you treat FH?
You are right but the “ First do no harm” has gone out with the trash. I had my first asthma/allergy attack when I was 6 months old. Just after my 71st birthday the Doctor found that I had high blood pressure. The second round of meds gave me the worst asthma attack I have had in decades. I will not take the damn meds or see the doc. Strong keto diet is what I am doing now>
Dr Kendrick…..you have passed the 5000 mark, when I wasn’t paying attention….I recall watching the number slowly creep up to 2000, and wishing more would follow you. Wonderful!
You are a credit to the medical profession.
I am 50 man, diagnosed with ALS last month. I took about 1 year with Cretor/ Lipitor dailly until 2/2018, and I’m now repented my folly. This is my first time to know about problem caused by statin.
Anyone know how to clean statins in my body ? is it possible a mimic ALS caused by statin ??
Thanks a lot
After I suffered a life-threatening Lipitor/statin induced adverse drug reaction, and almost died of polyneuropathy and heart failure in 2008, I was desperate and first made contact with the late Dr Duane Graveline by email until he died in 2016. I had been abandoned by the NHS and the ADR has been covered-up ever since – a string of medics colluded and deliberately didn’t call an ambulance for emergency medical care to conceal the truth. It was wilful neglect. But I was never convinced that statins cause ALS (MND in the UK). What I do know from my own experience of the ADR is that I suffered rhabdomyolysis/visible muscle wasting had MND-like symptoms – difficulty writing, swallowing, breathing and walking. The MND-like symptoms have improved over the years but I’ve been left with irreversible rhabdomyolysis and polyneuropathy side effects – a medical disaster. I’m very angry about the injuries caused to me then left to cope alone. But after reading Dr James Le Fanu’s recent articles in the Daily Mail exposing the Big Pharma prescription drug scandal linked to the NHS I felt that at last a turning point has been reached. For me there is no question whether the statin drug is slowly killing/poisoning millions of people. I know for a fact that the statin drug is extremely dangerous and I have written evidence and photos of the injuries to prove it; red burning hands/legs/feet and muscle wasting. The time has surely come for this deadly drug to be pulled from the shelves as was Baycol/statin drug in 2002.
hi, I’m consuming Red Yeast Rice for lowering cholesterol (LDL) levels, and it works for me. But now, I wonder if it is safe. Any thoughts on this?
Red yeast rice is a statin, lovastatin.
Why on earth (or any other planet for that matter) would you want to lower cholesterol? Since what you think is LDL is indicated by a test method which as I understand it, is questionable.
You are brave making the point about cholesterol lowering, LDL again. Each time I read such comments I think Dr K is a voice crying in the wilderness and that most have not understood what he is telling them.
Mr Chris, that should demonstrate to the statin takers how much statins scramble the brain, but it leave them unable to comprehend the message
Really!? Not sure how to respond to this.
Don’t respond. Check it for yourself. If you believe these facts are wrong, explain why they are wrong. Cholesterol is absolutely essential for the health of neurons, it should come as no surprise to find that a medication which damages cholesterol synthesis may well also damage neurons.
The 1st citation in the reference section of the article ends with this:
We emphasise the rarity of this possible association, and also the need for further study to establish whether a causal relationship exists. We do advocate that trial discontinuation of a statin should be considered in patients with serious neuromuscular disease such as the ALS-like syndrome, given the poor prognosis and a possibility that progression of the disease may be halted or even reversed.
Are you aware of any lawsuits regarding ALSAnd statins?
No. That is the sort of thing that would happen in the US. In the UK, no-one takes on big pharma.
Very interesting read! A member of my family has been diagnosed and is convinced a change of statins triggered the symptoms. My question is whether riluzole is effective in these cases or just giving him side effects that are just as bad as symptoms. Also is there evidence the symptoms caused by statins could be reversible?
My husband was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) when he was 61 years old 4 years ago. The Rilutek (riluzole) did very little to help him. The medical team did even less. His decline was rapid and devastating. His arms weakened first, then his hands and legs. Last year, a family friend told us about Rich Herbs Foundation (RHF) and their successful ALS TREATMENT, we visited their website www. richherbsfoundation. com and ordered their ALS/MND Formula, i am happy to report the treatment effectively treated and reversed his Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), most of the symptoms stopped, he is able to walk and able to ride his treadmill again, he is pretty active now.
Hi all, I leave in Hong Kong. Unfortunately I read similar articles too late, and have been certified MND last month. I have high cholesterol for over 1x years. About 2015 I started to take Lipitor / Statins. At the beginning of 2018 I found something strange on my speaking (clumsy tongue). And other MND symptoms e.g. muscle jumping, weakness on fingers come out gradually. Though I have stopped Statins since May 2018, my feeling is everything still getting more worse. Hong Kong doctors claim they never heard about the correlation between MND and Statins and similar articles. But the timing everything happened just can tell me there should be something more than a coincident.
Typo. I live in Hong Kong
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