What causes heart disease part 62

19th January 2019

I suppose it is gratifying to see things I write very strongly supported a few days later. After telling everyone that a high cholesterol level is not a risk for stroke, out comes a study almost straight away, demonstrating that a low cholesterol level increases mortality in patients who have already had a stroke.

This was in a population – and I would highlight this fact – in a population who have high grade carotid artery stenosis. Which mean a high degree of atherosclerosis on the carotid arteries (supplying blood to the brain). The paper is called:

‘Lower cholesterol tied to increased mortality in ischaemic stroke patients with carotid artery stenosis.

Takeaway

In patients with acute, first-ever ischaemic stroke with high-grade internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis and post-stroke functional dependence, lower total cholesterol level was associated with increased risk for 5-year mortality.

Why this matters:

Recent treatment guidelines of hyperlipidaemia suggest more aggressive treatment for reducing risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases and ischaemic stroke.

However, these findings suggest a careful consideration of aggressive treatment of hyperlipidaemia in patients with acute, first-ever ischaemic stroke with high-grade ICA stenosis and post-stroke functional dependence.

Study design:

Study prospectively evaluated 196 patients with acute ischaemic stroke with high-grade ICA stenosis and modified Rankin Scale score ≥3.

Patients were divided into 2 groups based on total cholesterol level at admission: ≥200 or <200 mg/dL.

Patients were followed-up for 5 years after initial assessment.

Key results:

After adjusting for established clinical predictors of adverse outcomes, lower total cholesterol level (aHR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.09-3.23; P=.023) was a significant risk factor for 5-year all-cause mortality.

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (P=.013) was significantly higher and that of atrial fibrillation (P=.011) was significantly lower in patients with high vs low total cholesterol level.

Patients with lower cholesterol level had significantly lower value of haemoglobin (P=.001), whereas glycohaemoglobin was significantly higher in patients with higher total cholesterol level (P=.001).

Funding: None.

Four most annoying words in the English language. ‘I told you so.’

Of course, this study will be dismissed out of hand. “We should still be prescribing statins to people who have had ischaemic strokes” we will be told. “Studies like this are purely observational” we will be told. “A high cholesterol level still needs to be lowered” we will be told. Nothing to see here, please move along!

I do become increasingly weary of finding evidence that directly and absolutely contradicts the cholesterol hypothesis. It never makes the slightest difference – to anything. Hopefully a few people are out there listening, whose minds are not made of reinforced concrete.

1: https://www.univadis.co.uk/viewarticle/lower-cholesterol-tied-to-increased-mortality-in-ischaemic-stroke-patients-with-carotid-artery-stenosis-651463

Lung YJ, Weng WC, Wu CL, Huang WY. Association Between Total Cholesterol and 5 year Mortality in Patients with Carotid Artery Stenosis and Poststroke Functional D ependence. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2019 Jan 11 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.12.030. PMID: 30642665

245 thoughts on “What causes heart disease part 62

  1. Simon tilley

    Dear Malcolm
    Thank you as always for your well researched evidence on cholesterol. I would like to confirm to you that in my small social sphere of late 50 year olds, the message on statins is getting through, and as a consequence of side effects and further information showing them to be almost useless in fighting heart disease, are either putting them in the bin or cancelling the prescription.
    The sad thing is the Gp surgeries are still attempting to push them at every opportunity. When will this disastrous and costly experiment be halted?

    Reply
    1. Lynda Morgan

      My GP keeps contacting me to get me to go in for a cholesterol check. Last time I had one I was told it was ‘high’ (6.5 I think) and I should strive to lower it through diet – give up eggs and cheese (yeah, right!). I am resisting the call because I know the next step is to prescribe me statins. I won’t take them, so this is all a waste of time. Thanks, Malcolm, for your sterling work. I am more inspired by these ways of thinking (my first introduction was the wonderful Gary Taubes) with every day that passes. It makes so much sense. How come ideas that don’t had such dominance? I know the history of it, but, really, you would have thought someone would have realised they didn’t make sense.

      Reply
  2. Lucie

    Thanks a lot Dr Kendrick for sharing for this new study that condemns without appeal the theory of cholesterol.
    Unfortunately the link to the paper does not allow to read it, not even the abstract.

    Reply
      1. chris c

        Strange, are you being censored? Sometimes Sci-Hub fails for me temporarily, I suspect server overload as it usually works later. I’ve read of some exasperated doctors whose PCTs or practice managers lock down their computers to only access “approved” sites and can’t even get PubMed. Not uncommon for other work-related computers. I suspect it won’t be long before ISPs start limiting access, maybe they’ve already started?

        I sometimes find various sites blocked in Opera and when I visit them with Firefox it tells me there is an invalid certificate and only lets me in if I confirm I want access.

  3. JDPatten

    Ugh. Yet another turning exactly upside-down of righteous guidelines I’d been following like a good boy over the last several decades because the Medical Establishment was ever so certain and self-congratulatory.
    Monstrous!

    Reply
  4. jeanirvin

    Interesting to find a study where there was no funding so presumably no conflicts of interest! But as you say, nothing will change!

    Reply
  5. Jean Humphreys

    Dr Kendrick, you are getting to sound almost despairing – and I can quite see why. Hold fast to the clutch of us people who trust you and KNOW that you are honest – we are with you.

    Reply
  6. Judy Robinson

    Keep telling the story–as it should be told. I too am becoming increasingly weary of this nonsense. My greatest concerns are for the majority of people that never question the status quo and are just “ok” with throwing stuff at their body hither and yon just because “the doctor said I need it”. Sheer idiocy.

    Reply
  7. Curious Scot

    Does the damage done to arteries or veins when punctured for medical procedures (e.g. to draw blood) create a risk of plaques forming at the damaged area and leading to later CVD ?

    More generally, do people wh undergo a lot of invasive medical procedures that puncture blood vessels have a greater risk of CVD ?

    Reply
    1. Joe

      What I understand from a Tim Guilford is that ‘used lipids’ of the endothelial cells are deposited outside the blood vessel where the blood is not exposed to them. Macrophages that come to clean up these ‘used lipids’ (does he mean with that LDL? I guess so) have to ‘dive down’ between the endothelial cells in order to scavenge those used lipids. Somewhere and somehow he equates those lipids with oxidized LDL which then has to be metabolized by the macrophages. If it can’t properly be metabolized by the macrophage, the macrophages become foam cells and will end up forming a plaque.
      How does this happen? The LDL complex itself contains glutathione-peroxidase which in combination with glutathione makes it metabolize the LDL. Now when glutathione is low, the LDL becomes oxidized LDL and the macrophage becomes the foam cell i.e. ends up as plaque.
      So I think the mechanism isn’t that a puncture damages the endothelium and ‘thus’ forms a plaque.
      The plaque forms when the macrophages, due to low glutathione, aren’t able to metabolize the LDL properly. Or at least that’s one of the possible mechanisms. And with ‘possible’ I don’t mean that there are more, but that I’m aware of this one and can’t exclude there are other mechanisms of plaque forming.
      Some more about puncturing: the LDL ‘repairing’ the endothelium, which regrows over the LDL, will suffer the same fate as the ‘used lipids’, they will be scavenged by macrophages and metabolized if glutathione is available and functioning.
      So the (my!) reasoning goes the same with normal LDL deposit and LDL deposited due to damaged endothelium.

      Reply
  8. Mr Chris

    Malcolm,
    when I mentioned that sort of stuff, because it is not new, to my lipids
    consultant, he said what do you understand blah blah blah? I am a university professor blah blah .etc etc etc

    Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        Bill in Oz
        why DID I see a lipidologist? the old story, dr suggested, went to see this guy, university prof, trained as heart surgeon , consults with FDA etc etc. Gradually fell out with him, with him saying I am giving up this consultancy, and me saying, well since I pay you a lot, where are the risks you see in my profile, and its LDL and father died of a heart attack. So we parted not best of friends

      2. David Bailey

        Mr Chris,

        I guess if you are sent to see a specialist about your cholesterol level, it might be useful to collect a set of relevant references from, for example “Doctoring Data” (plus this latest study), and join them together with a bit of explanatory text, and give him this to read by way of explanation!

      3. Mr Chris

        David
        As I explained, when I started quoting from these blogs the relationship turned frosty. And dear.

    1. Joe

      You could answer him that that’s what you know and ask him whether he did or not. And if yes, why didn’t he resign, and if not, why not. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Tom Welsh

    “I do become increasingly weary of finding evidence that directly and absolutely contradicts the cholesterol hypothesis. It never makes the slightest difference – to anything”.

    No doubt because the CH is held as an item of faith, not on empirical grounds. I have often noticed that, when religious people are confronted with strong evidence that some of their beliefs may be unfounded, they react by declaring that it is just a test of their faith.

    This behaviour is also what is predicted by Thomas H. Kuhn’s classic book, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”, in which he popularised the term “paradigm”.

    Kuhn stresses that people cling desperately to their paradigms, as they need complete narratives to explain their experience. Hence a new paradigm is usually rejected until it can explain everything that the old one claims to, and a good deal more.

    Reply
    1. Bill In Oz

      Thanks for that comment Tom. I am finding the same concrete minds when I talk about global warming..Science does not matter.. A part of their sense of being is tied up with the idea that we humans are ‘warming’ the planet and the fight to stop it ‘warming’.

      People do indeed cling desperately to their paradigms as narratives to explain their place in the world.

      Reply
      1. Anthony Poole

        …but you clearly believe that “Science does not matter” – otherwise you would be concerned about climate change.

  10. Mike Smith

    I suspect that Statins will be slowly phased out in the coming years. Of course the PSK9’s are where the upcoming money is so that will be where the amazing research will shine. All in all though I’m afraid too many industries have got behind the “Fat is bad for you” and “Cholesterol is bad” for it to change for at least another 50+ years. Too much money to be made at the cost of peoples health.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Mike: PSK9’s are only for rich people with FH. What to do? Continually, inexorably lower the FH threshold until most of us have it.

      Reply
    2. chris c

      Yup, and as the Wisdom Of The Crowds takes hold, like the hundreds of thousands of well controlled diabetics and the literally millions in the “Banting” groups in South Africa and Nigeria let alone all the others now using low carb/paleo/keto diets to improve all kinds of conditions, so The Anointed are fighting back

      Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on
      healthy diets from sustainable food systems

      http://sci-hub.tw/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31788-4

      This will continue the tsunami of disease and obviously require far more drugs to counter the side effects of the diet,which their sponsors will no doubt be pleased to supply. Worse still it will permanently wreck the farmed environment. Be in no doubt, this is going to happen. I haven’t looked but I bet it is in Wikipedia.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Could not read the link as I repeatedly get the error “could not connect to server” (localhost)

    3. David Bailey

      There is, I think, no definite answer to the question of how statins cause their side effects. I wonder if some of these ‘side effects’ are actually a direct consequence of lowering cholesterol levels. If I were ever offered PCSK9 inhibitors, I would use this as my reason not to accept them.

      Reply
  11. annielaurie98524

    It seems docs of all kinds can be reluctant to admit they do not know all the causative factors of, or the most effective treatments for, any number of diseases. Some of you know I have been doing animal rescue for many years, and operate a small private shelter, our county having no public shelter. Recently, one of the older cats began losing weight despite having a ravenous appetite. She was diagnosed with diabetes. The first advice was to put her on a high-fiber, high-carb commercial diet. This, of course, makes no sense for a diabetic of any species. So, I started researching the matter. It turns out that there is actual clinical evidence that the majority of diabetic cats can go into remission (permanent or intermittent) when fed a … LOW-CARB diet! Well, duh!

    Cats being masters at hiding their illnesses until same have progressed to a significant degree, the kitty also has a moderate pancreatitis and a mild renal impairment from her diabetes. The conventional wisdom for pets with pancreatitis is a low-fat diet, but with sufficient calories to prevent further weight loss; for renal issues, it is a low-protein diet. So, this poor animal should be on a low-carb, low-fat, low-protein diet with lots of calories. Hello???? How would that work?

    It turns out that there is no clinical evidence to support said low-fat, low-protein diets in cats with these conditions. Like a lot of recommendations (unsupported by actual science) for humans with various conditions, there is “economic evidence” to support the conventional wisdom for pets. With pets, it’s the pet-food firms that market high-priced, low-quality “prescription” diets, which the veterinarians sell. Likewise, so much of the advice for humans is intended to sell pills to grow the bottom line of pharma companies. Follow the money….

    Reply
    1. Chancery Stone

      You do have to wonder at this ‘advice’. Who thought it up – Mr Kipling? Where in the wild does ANY cat, of ANY size or species eat a high carb – or any kind of carb – diet? Cats of all stripes eat meat, meat and meat. Maybe with some fish thrown in for those cats that will willingly go into water. Until we started feeding cats and dogs kibbles they very seldom got fat at all. They day we see a lion snacking on berries or fixing himself a sandwich is the day a domestic cat should be put on a high fibre, high carb diet.

      Reply
    2. Topsygirl

      Annielaurie, I have only just witnessed this at my local vet seeing a couple being advised that only this special formula dry food will stabilize their dog’s diabetes ‘this has been specially formulated by this very reputable pet food company blah blah and is the only thing your dog should eat from now on.’ I could not see much difference between this information and the information provided by dietitians managing human type II diabetes. The only difference was the enormous cost $140 per medium bag which they were told would last their large dog about 2 weeks. I was there to have a stray mother cat spayed and chipped the kittens will be done this week and of course I was quizzed on what I was feeding them when I explained that as I understood that cats are true carnivores I was feeding them some meat (people meat) few biscuits some good quality cans the vet just looked and said nothing they are trained now that cats should only be fed kibble and water nothing else as the pet food companies have it all in hand and are the experts. How we got to this stage where most of us do not look into anything for ourselves I have no idea for some anti-knowledge seems to be the norm. Good for you caring for our lovely little lost furry friends.
      Doctors like Dr K (thanks for this article) are helping us to think, reason, question and explore health issues which can only be beneficial for us as we take responsibility for our own health and well being.

      Reply
      1. Janet

        Our dog is normally fed on biologically appropriate RAW meat and only recently has had significant ‘dog biscuits’ addition…. and already has gained weight in after just 2 weeks of ‘treats’.
        – If pure carbs fattens dogs, it can’t be slimming for us !

      2. David Bailey

        After loosing a cat aged only 10, to kidney problems, we kept a cat until she was 19, and we have another who is about 11 (he came from an RSPCA centre, so he may be a bit older), and healthy (crossed fingers).

        We use “Hill’s Science Diet”. Based on that experience and one or two odd conversations with other pet owners, I have the feeling these diets do tend to keep cats healthy, but I haven’t tried to look into exactly why – maybe someone here can help.

        We were variously told that the kidney problems in cats are often caused by too much protein in the diet, or too much salt.

        I don’t know, but I suspect vets are not under such tight regulation as doctors, so they are probably free to give good advice.

      3. Pauline Moore

        Hate to have to tell you, but it was Hills Science Diet that my Burmese ate for years leading up to her diabetes, and continued to eat whilst on insulin.

      4. Gary Ogden

        David Bailey: I hold vets in high esteem. Every one of them that I have ever met, and the two whose writing I have read (Mike Cawdery and Peter at Hyperlipid) have impressed me very much. They are certainly under much less pressure from pharma and guideline committees than human doctors. Vets rock.

    3. Pauline Moore

      Around 2001 my adored 11-yr old Burmese cat developed diabetes. For 2 years I gave her twice daily insulin shots after her vet-recommended meals of commercial dried food but she slowly continued to deteriorate and I thought I would lose her soon. In desperation I started searching, and found Drs Eades ‘Protein Power’ book. Convinced the dried food was the culprit, and with nothing to lose, I weaned her off the dried food over a few days, replacing it with fresh cooked beef and fish, at the same time reducing her insulin. After only 3 days she was insulin-free and continued to live a healthy life for another 5 years, eventually dying at 18 – a respectable age for any cat.

      That experience was the start of my own amateur reading journey into diet and health, applying the low-carb results to my dogs, horses, and myself – all with a spectacular improvement in overall health and energy (yes, even works for herbivores).

      I am so grateful for the courage of Dr Kendrick and all other professionals who have been willing to speak the truth. Thank you,

      Reply
      1. annielaurie98524

        Exactly! The Cornell Veterinary School has actual data demonstrating that low-carb diets can bring diabetic cats into remission.

        If you read the ingredients in the much-ballyhooed Science Diet pet foods (any of them, for cats or dogs), you will find that they are of very low-quality. I characterize them as Walmart ingredients at filet mignon prices. And, no, their foods do not keep pets healthy. If your pet is on a prescription diet for some health condition, it’s likely the veterinary interventions that keep them alive. Animals with chronic illnesses go to the vet a lot more than those that are basically healthy, just as humans with a chronic condition visit their docs more than those of us in good health.

        If you read the US guidelines for testing of pet foods, you’d be shocked — the feeding tests can use as few as 8 animals, of which only six need to complete the test. Essentially, if the animals don’t die, the food passes. And we don’t even require feeding trials for humans, do we?

        It’s sad that there is a lot of naivete about dietary recommendations for pets AND humans. People assume that a doc’s recommendations, whether for Fluffy or Fido or ourselves, must be science-based. How long did that low-fat, high-carb craze for humans go on, with NO SCIENCE BEHIND IT? And look at the toxic garbage that is allowed in prepared foods for humans in the US.

        As for human clinical trials “proving” the safety and efficacy of many pharmaceuticals that doctors push, Dr. K had an excellent blog sometime back quoting Marcia Angell (former editor of NEJM) and Richard Horton (former editor of Lancet) on the finagling of clinical trial data. Surprise! Studies funded by a drug’s manufacturer are far more likely to show benefits than those funded by an independent source. Again, follow the money.

      2. chris c

        Peter at Hyperlipid, who is a vet, came up with the classic CIAB – Crap In A Bag – initially I think for lab rat diets but it also applies to human and pet “food”. Not many wild animals become fat, or diabetic, nor did many humans until recently.

      3. Gary Ogden

        chris c: While awaiting “The Great Cholesterol Con,” I’m having a third read of “The Salt Fix.” Apparently salt restriction causes the same sort of metabolic pathologies as eating sugar does. So the obesity epidemic can be blamed on salt restriction as well as increasing CHO consumption. The only good news is that it seems only about 25% of free-living humans can tolerate this regimen.

      4. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I once read an article claiming that salt restriction was one cause of obesity. The idea was simple. If you take salt out of food, we need to eat more foot to consume sufficient salt. So we eat more, usually carbs – which has very little salt in it – we then end up obese, diabetic and damaged. To add to significant RAAS activation due to salt depletion, which causes arterial damage. A double whammy.

      5. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: And I worry about those taking salt-wasting diuretics for BP and following a low salt regimen. Chronic RAAS activation?

      6. AhNotepad

        I just looked up “salt restrictiion causes obesity” and the firsy page of articles all indicated more salt was associated with obesity, so I looked up “salt restriction does not cause obesity” and got broadly similar articles. Is this really the case or are we being misled?

      7. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: Read “The Salt Fix.” Salt restriction is clearly harmful for most people, and increasing one’s consumption of salt is healthful for most. Demonizing salt has been one of the stupidest and most dangerous myths to have taken hold, like the cholesterol mythology.

      8. chris c

        I read a study long ago that suggested between 25 – 33% of hypertensives were sodium sensitive. Many of the rest were more potassium sensitive. And of course the elephant in the room is hyperinsulinemia. Low sodium diets making you eat more aligns with the protein leverage hypothesis and a similar hypothesis that a lack of micronutrients makes you eat more in the hope of alleviating the lack.

        All sounds highly plausible given the crap that we are told is “healthy”.

        I generally salt my food but due to an accident with the salt shaker I overdid it a bit. Not pleasant – but I just ate less at subsequent meals until the balance seemed to be restored, my taste seemed to change and then change back again. Who knew?

      9. Gary Ogden

        chris c: I’m quite generous with the salt shaker, but then I also take 1.5-2.0g potassium each day. The kidneys are admirably suited to sorting it all out. Apparently they filter 2.3g sodium every five minutes. Remarkable organ!

      10. chris c

        Yes I use some “low salt” for the potassium. I think the taste of that also seems to change depending on whether I have enough or not, well that’s what I assume. I just had a picture of elephants walking miles to a salt lick and finding a doctor elephant blocking their way.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Valda Redfern: We have fed our cats, from weaning, on a raw meat diet similar to what Dr. Becker recommends. At 9, they are still lean, muscular, and happy, and one of them (the leaper) behaves like a kitten. We switched after our previous “kibble” cats lived short lives.

      2. Frederica Huxley

        Apparently, there is Roundup in nearly all commercial kibbles, which may be aligned to the increasing cases of cancer in dogs and cats.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Frederica Huxley: Roundup in most everything these days, I’m afraid. Thank you, FDA. Awfully sweet of you.

  12. DV

    Does this study give ammunition to the rationale of stating that high cholesterol leads to diabetes (and therefore, statin use is urged)?

    Reply
    1. Stephen Rhodes

      No.

      These were sick people, their bodies were attempting repair requiring plenty of cholesterol, why mess with something we only partially understand.

      There is too much hubris in the medical profession, as with most professions who jealously conceal their nostrums from the clients they are supposed to be serving.

      A few, like Dr Kendrick, know that the emperors have few if any clothes, but sadly the public, despite his heroic efforts, seems content to have a bare arse shoved in its face on a regular basis by the industry that feeds on the sickness modern medicine – drugs only treating symptoms and ineffective preventative surgical interventions that often increase mortality – creates.

      Reply
  13. Emily

    I am listening intently. I avidly await every post.
    3/4 grands died of heart disease.
    Father had triple bypass at 55 after massive heart attack.
    Mom had 5 stents by 53.
    My CAC at age 40 = 139.
    My CAC at age 41= 90.
    I know I am not in the clear, but I do think I am improved.
    And I am already awaiting your next effort. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      Emily,
      Excellent! How did you do that – between 40 and 41?
      Where was the CAC testing done?
      I had mine done a few years ago in Massachusetts. Prescription. $95 out-of-pocket. No insurance coverage. I wanted to get the statin pushers off my back by showing how healthy I was. Poor me: CAC of 1,640! I’m still not statinized. That would have increased my CAC.
      I cannot get a repeat CAC prescribed; told it would only increase, all they could do anyway is to continue offering statins.
      How/why did you get the second CAC? $?
      Best of good fortune to you. Histories can be beat, if we know how.

      Reply
      1. Joe

        Why would a doctor refuse to prescribe a CAC when we have the innate right to know the facts about our bodies. It’s a non-invasive procedure so there is no reason at all to withhold that information from you.

  14. Janet Thomas

    It’s just like the evidence showing that there’s a group of thyroid patients who need Liothyronine (T3) medication. The more evidence that comes out, the more the doctors declare that only T3 is needed, and the more patients who get dangerously inappropriate treatment.

    Reply
    1. HB

      @Janet Thomas
      I spot a typo :

      “The more evidence that comes out, the more the doctors declare that only T3 is needed, and the more patients who get dangerously inappropriate treatment.”

      You mean T4, not T3. 🙂

      Apparently some consultants in the UK are telling patients that T3 is a placebo and has no activity in the human body. I despaired years ago, and nothing has happened to make me change my mind.

      Reply
    2. chris c

      And the testing. A hypothyroid friend down the road was only able to get TSH on the NHS. Even going private she could only get T4 as “the lab doesn’t do T3”

      Yet here I have no difficulty getting all three tested. But if I want a full lipid panel (I no longer bother) I have to see the doctor as the nurses are only permitted access to the cut down test that doesn’t include trigs. I suspect el cheapo testing equipment along with the el cheapo drugs. I believe T3 on the NHS has gone up by several thousand percent which is why doctors are no longer allowed to prescribe it (well they can but have to jump through a LOT of hoops). See also, animal insulin. I believe Beef-L has now finally been taken off the market, but doctors and even endocrinologists refused to believe it was still available even when it was. Lantus is much more profitable.

      Reply
      1. Norman

        My new practice did most of the tests I asked for in 2018 and thought were a good idea but didn’t do TGs. It did HDL which was high … good.

        My old practice did do TGs back in 2008 … which were low.

        Has the NHS stopped testing for TGs? I cannot get a clear answer from the current surgery. I think being checked every ten years is not a lot to ask …

        My new doctors are in Wales and the previous ones were 12 miles away across the border in England, if that makes any difference. (I had to change doctor when I moved house by 8 miles.)

      2. chris c

        I’ve read not a few people who can no longer get trigs reported. Quite ridiculous as they have to be measured to calculate the LDL. Actually I used to get *measured* LDL from the previous lab, I could tell because it came about halfway between the Friedwald and Iranian calculated values. Now the doctors have to use a different (hospital) lab which calculates LDL by Friedwald. I assume the nurses use the same lab but access is limited to a different instrument. My friend’s doctors use a different hospital/lab, as far as I can remember she can still get trigs, just not T3,and only T4 if she goes private. The NHS, squandering pounds to save pennies buying shiny new analysers that aren’t as good as the old ones.

  15. Bob

    “The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (P=.013) was significantly higher and that of atrial fibrillation (P=.011) was significantly lower in patients with high vs low total cholesterol level.”

    So high cholesterol is great, except the diabetes risk. Therefore the heart attack risk. And all the other things diabetes does to us. Excelent.
    So, is cholesterol giving us high insulin? What’s going on?!

    ‘Patients with lower cholesterol level had significantly lower value of haemoglobin (P=.001), whereas glycohaemoglobin was significantly higher in patients with higher total cholesterol level (P=.001).”

    I have less than no idea what that means.

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      I also wondered about the diabetes. Presumably T2, though they don’t say. Are they implying that diabetes is somehow protective? Or are they saying that the high-cholesterol group were generally sicker than the low-cholesterol group, but nevertheless had a better survival rate? But they also had lower AF and haemoglobin. Not sure what the significance of this data is.

      The phrase “After adjusting for established clinical predictors of adverse outcomes” sounds to me like “After adjusting the parameters so we could get the result we wanted”.

      Did the high- and low-cholesterol groups receive the same therapy? If not, how can we be sure that the cholesterol level was the important factor in lower mortality? And what specifically would carotid stenoses have to do with overall mortality? It seems likely they were more worried about further strokes, and discovered the better mortality incidentally. IOW the experiment was not designed to test mortality, therefore the findings are suggestive, not definitive.

      Sorry to be a bit negative, but Dr. Kendrick has taught us to be sceptics where medical experiments are concerned.

      Reply
    2. Jerome Savage

      “lower total cholesterol level was associated with increased risk for 5-year mortality”
      No indication as to the degree of increased risk but we might assume that it is significant, otherwise the paper would be titled otherwise.
      And we might also assume that it is significant despite the increased diabetes risk, the increase in diabetes risk being less significant than other benefits. Or something like that !

      Reply
      1. greenhind

        I didn’t read it as higher cholesterol increases diabetes risk, but rather that people with diabetes had higher cholesterol, which could be down to any number of factors.

      2. Jerome Savage

        Greenhind
        Martin Thomason’s posting below is relevant here and compliments your own post.

    3. Joe

      Elevated glucose and/or insulin (T2) are bad for the endothelium, so I can understand there’s a lot of (LDL=’bad’) cholesterol in the blood there.
      Re atrial fibrillation I have no clue (nor am I interested).

      Reply
  16. AhNotepad

    There are those who say that someone who doesn’t accept the “consensus” hypothesis, in this case lipids, is called a denialist, or denyer, Mads Palsvig has a very good response for this tactic, just let them know it is better than being a collaborator

    Reply
  17. Charles Gale

    Emily

    “My CAC score at age 40 = 139
    My CAC score at age 41 = 90”

    Impressively low!

    Also, not only have you halted any progression but also reduced your calcium levels.

    Any thoughts on this? For example, have you been on a regime or perhaps lifestyle changes?

    Reply
  18. Gary Redman

    That’s completely what will happen. I’ve a client who has had a stroke and is taking statins( I have trouble saying that word). She’s so scared of going off them even though I’ve told her she benefits as much from that as I would a kick in the jatz crackers. Maybe the medical fraternity or the pharmaceutical companies should be renamed the janitorial division. That news will be quickly swept under the carpet. Evil little twerps. When did peoples health get trumped by financial gain? Frustrating and completely sad.

    Reply
  19. DonnaBlack

    After reading your new book (literally one of the biggest truthbombs I’ve ever read and I will be spreading this) I have a couple of semi-rhetorical queries: 1: Are they ok with people dying from statins and other drugs due to simple profit and greed, or is this some kind of depopulation program?! 2: Do you have a Plan B set up if and when they decide you need to be silenced as they have done to others?

    As a side note, despite your wonderful sense of humour throughout the book I’m detecting an increasing sense of rage, and rightfully so. Thank you for staying on the side of truth despite what I imagine is quite severe pressure to “conform”. Real science must never be a “safe space”.

    Reply
  20. Ishbel Bertram

    I have recommended your postings and books to my 18-months-out-of-medical-school son who intends to be a GP. He finds it all fascinating as this was never touched on in medical school… Presumably he’s just supposed to absorb whatever he sees GPs doing and prescribing without thought…

    Reply
  21. Georgina

    Grateful as always Dr Kendrick. I would however appreciate further explanation on the points made by the commentator named Bob.

    Reply
  22. Paul Helman

    Since longevity bears a direct relationship to cholesterol levels this represents further confirmation of that fact. Then too there is the inverse relationship between cholesterol level and risk for hemorrhagic stroke which I have read of and for my part do believe.

    Reply
  23. Gary Ogden

    Thank you very much for this, Dr. Kendrick. They will not listen because too much money is at stake. But many, many of us are listening, and we are teaching family and friends. We are reducing or eliminating actual CVD risk factors and increasing actual protective factors in our lifestyles, and in our interactions with doctors. We’ve had a rash of ischaemic strokes in our family in recent years. All but one of them can be as least partly explained by lifestyle factors. The one who takes good care of himself and has a great attitude can be explained by age (mid-80’s). Still has a reasonably good quality of life three years later. The rest (mid-50’s to mid-70’s) are either gone, or nearly so.

    Reply
  24. Soul

    It’s to bad that the press didn’t pick up on this study, that lower cholesterol levels are associated with a higher risk of a stroke. I wish that wasn’t the case, but I’m not surprised it has been passed over. Many journalists seem to be heavily invested into the cholesterol theory. Ive noticed that personally. It’s a shame as there are several other good theories for the cause of cardiovascular diseases. These other theories can even make good money in advertisements.

    In someways I’m kind of chuckling of late about an advertisement going on in America. The advertisement is for a shaving company Gillette. (America’s most successful football team plays in Gillette stadium. The team will be playing tomorrow in a highly watched match.) The controversy is over the TV ad talking about “toxic male masculinity” ( I don’t know what that means.) I believe I described that right. I haven’t seen the ad myself. The ad reportedly is aimed toward the younger millennial generation. This is a generation that ironically, or maybe not ironic, is known for growing manly beards. I’m having my doubts many millennials are going to shave off their male toxic beards anytime soon, or what ever toxic masculinity means, but who knows.

    What has me chuckling is that a week before this controversial razor blade advertisement came out, the American Psychological Association (APA) came out with guidelines on “male toxic masculinity”. This might have been the first time the phrase male toxic masculinity had been mentioned before. At least it was a new phrase to me and many others I knew. The APA’s guidelines were all over the news.

    So I’m guessing the three ~ the APA guidelines, the large press coverage and now a week late the Gillette toxic male masculinity advertisement are not a coincidence. It all has several messages I suppose, some positive in meaning possibly and others more about manipulation. I thought it insightful with how the press works overall. What comes across as medical on TV news might simply be promotion.

    Reply
    1. The Wizard

      I entirely agree. This is typical marketing/promotion, disguised as having real medical credibility. In reality it is all psycho babble. Rubbish like this reminds me of the so called “new man” of the 1980’s (according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the New Man was someone “who rejects sexist attitudes and the traditional male role, esp. in the context of domestic responsibilities and childcare, and who is (or is held to be) caring, sensitive, and non-aggressive”.)Hmmm, in other words the antithesis of “toxic male masculinity”. We’ve been here before folks, nothing new to see, jog on!
      Ultimately of course, both males and females are to a lesser or greater extent, atavistic.

      Reply
      1. AnnaM

        People may find this toxic masculinity stuff funny, but I think it is sad and worrisome. It needs to stop.
        And of course there’s no such thing as toxid femininity.

    2. Martin Back

      “that lower cholesterol levels are associated with a higher risk of a stroke”

      Not so. The study showed that lower cholesterol levels were associated with a higher chance of dying in the next five years. Everyone in the study, both high- and low-cholesterol, had already had a stroke.

      It could even be that the high-cholesterol group had more strokes in the five years follow-up, but the strokes were non-fatal. There’s not enough data to say, and anyway we don’t know their quality of life. I’d rather be dead than a drooling vegetable pushed around in a wheelchair. Lower mortality is not the only important outcome.

      Reply
  25. Sean

    I feel like I’m missing something here, because Table 1 from the study shows 72% of the high cholesterol patients were taking statins while only 11% of the low cholesterol patients were on statins. More of the high cholesterol patients were also taking Warfarin or NOACs.

    Which seems to suggest lowering cholesterol doesn’t prevent further strokes but taking statins certainly does. Which is in keeping with Dr. Kendrick’s opinions on statins having some kind of positive effect in certain situations but not because they lower cholesterol.

    Reply
  26. Martin Thomason

    I believe that the diabetes / high cholesterol link is due to human physiology. What is being referred to as ‘cholesterol’ is actually the lipoprotein molecule – this is a water-soluble transport molecule needed to transport triglycerides (fats) which are non-water soluble and cannot be carried by the blood directly without being sheltered within the lipoprotein molecule. As eating excessive carbohydrate/sugar (hence the diabetes) will cause the body to respond by releasing insulin, this switches off fat burning and signals fat storage in order to clear the excess glucose from the blood (the glucose being converted to fat for energy efficient storage – the liver and muscles being able to store only limited quantities of glucose).
    So, unsurprisingly, if diabetes is present, then by default the individual will be trapped in the recurring cycle of ingestion of excessive carbohydrates, resultant blood sugar spike, insulin release, glucose to triglyceride (fat) conversion, then transport to fat cells for storage – made possible by higher cholesterol (lipoprotein molecule) levels to facilitate the increased volume of traffic in triglycerides from liver to fat cells.
    It would be therefore be illogical to assume a diabetic, who maintains a high carbohydrate intake, would have a low cholesterol level.
    This is well illustrated and explained in part 3 of ‘Eat Rich Live Long’ by Ivor Cummins and Jeffrey Gerber, MD
    The conversion of excess glucose to fat and insulin signalling to switch off fat burning and force fat storage is explained in Professor Tim Noakes’ essay ‘Scientific justification for a Banting diet’ – reproduced in ‘The Real Meal Revolution’ by Noakes, T. Proud foot, J and Creed, SA.

    Reply
  27. Bill In Oz

    Reposted as I posted it on Friday just before DR K started the new blog !
    Friday my lovely lady bought a book “My Heart, My Life” published by the Heart Foundation here in Australia in 2016 with sponsorship by the South Australian government.

    I actually tried to discourage here buying it as I took a quick look and knew it was all ‘Old Hat ‘ Medical: stuff that Malcolm has long discredited, and thus harmful not at all helpful. But my lady is a nurse and she got it anyway.

    When we got home I went through it with a marker pen crossing out/ scrubbing out all the ‘crap’ information to illustrate to her how useless it was. So all the stuff about taking statins was deleted; all the stuff about doing what the doctor tells was deleted; the stuff about not eating saturated fats was deleted along with the recommendations about using canola oil etc… At he end of that therapeutic process, I was glad that she had only wasted $2.00 as it was second hand from an Op Shop ! But I wonder what happened to the person who bought it ‘new’ in 2016. Maybe he or she threw it out as misinformation and survived. Maybe they did as directed by the doctor in this book and have died.

    Reply
  28. smartersig

    My Mother had a minor stroke and I managed to persuade her to get off Statins but there is no way she will drop the Warfarin in favour of alternatives

    Reply
  29. Maureen Berry

    I find that smiling sweetly and saying “I am so sorry that refusing this drug will do nothing for your QOF payments”, immediately shuts my GP up! Then he goes on about ‘Evidence based medicine’. I feel sorry for the poor guy, lovely young man, hopelessly misinformed, in my humble opinion. He wouldn’t know ‘evidence’ if it jumped up and bit him.

    Reply
  30. Harry Mossman

    My best friend is about to have carotid artery surgery. She takes statins, avoids cholesterol and believes anything anyone with an MD tells her. Politely mentioning any alternative ideas falls on deaf ears. She has the best vascular surgeon in this area so I’m sure the surgery will go well but . . . .

    Reply
      1. Angelica Nelson

        I agree that Vitamin C and Lysine are both very helpful to me, but to go to the Pauling Therapy website, is a sad undertaking for me. The man was brilliant but to have his work end up on a hype site is idk yucky. I’m glad they resisted the urge to end the front page with “buy our ebook” but it feels like the rest of it is written that way. Kind of heartbreaking.

      2. Harry Mossman

        Thanks Dr. John. She has a top notch surgeon. He has a complication rate of .07%. But I agree with you in general. I had gotten her to drink pomegranate juice the last few weeks. Evidence that it shrinks and stabilizes the blockage. Beyond that, she just always believes anything an MD tells her.

    1. Harry Mossman

      She came through the surgery just fine this morning. The doc said she had an 80-90% blockage, so it is good she had the operation. By the way, and I knew this, they put an external bypass around the blockage so that nothing broke of during surgery. I don’t think the rate of complications is 50%. Her doc said that it is typically in single digits (I forget the exact number) and in his patients it is under 1% even though other docs send him their most vulnerable patients. I just wish that when they first noticed the blockage a couple years ago she had been willing to do alternative methods to clear it, like pomegranate juice.

      Reply
  31. Göran Sjöberg

    Having been a CVD cholesterol “sceptic” for some years now and done “my basic homework” (Gary Taubes, Uffe Ravnskov and of course Malcolm to name a few) I get exhausted by the pervasive and stupid resistance, as exposed by the medical establishment, to evident science.

    There doesn’t seem to be an end to this stupidity and MSM support.

    Reply
    1. chris c

      I see things going in both directions at once. Medical Twitter and blogs turn up a LOT of valid science which kicks huge holes in the dogma. Some of it goes back half a century or more. The result is that The Anointed double down on stupid. Meanwhile huge numbers of patients, and a small but increasing number of doctors, nurses and even dieticians continue to improve their health despite rather than because of Conventional Wisdom. In the recent past most of them would not have been ill in the first place.

      Reply
  32. Göran Sjöberg

    With my inclination towards philosophy I think I have found the reasonable explanation to why people in general does not question the evident stupidity of medicine as it now stands up in front of me with its dogmas.

    Actually I was today reminded of what I though realized in my young ages many years ago – man needs to be “fooled” or rather have sagas and simple “truths” – read dogmas – to believe in and then cling to them. The “statin saga” is what is to be believed in today – no doubt it is just about religion as medicine BTW has been about from its very historical beginnings some 50 000 years (?) ago when the shamans ruled the whole medical business. Funny that there is a need for stupidity – helps to make society carry on?

    What reminds me of this is the fact that I decided to take out my Schopenhauer’s “THE WORLD AS WILL AND REPRESENTATION” from the shelf and where I now in chapter XVII, “On Man’s Need fo Metaphysics”, read this reminder of how man wants to be fooled.

    Reply
    1. Don

      There may be as many reasons as there are individuals. I am a man who can be trusted, so I desired to trust. Thus, I was ripe for fooling, though I certainly didn’t want or need to be fooled. I trusted my doctor until the pharmaceuticals I was prescribed nearly ruined my life. Then I began to research and discovered just how naked the emperor is.

      I have a wife, a business, and eleven children. Until my health was an issue, I had no reason to question the medical dogma, and very little time to do so. I am thankful for men like Dr. Kendrick who did.

      Reply
  33. Göran Sjöberg

    Here is BTW a good citation in my eyes from chapter XVII, “On Man’s Need fo Metaphysics”.

    “On the other hand, there has never been a lack of persons who have endeavored to create their livelihood out of this need of man’s for metaphysics, and to exploit it as much as possible.”

    Reply
  34. TS

    From ‘Under the Wig’ by William Clegg QC

    ‘The (war crime) trials taught me that it is within everyone to behave in a way that involves the commission of crimes against humanity and no-one can predict how they will react unless they are placed in that situation. Most of my war crimes defendants were ordinary people who had found themselves in an extraordinary position and reacted, whether because of peer pressure or propaganda or for other reasons, in a way that they could never have imagined before the conflict.’

    So is the medical wickedness all down to our ghastly human nature?

    Reply
  35. Göran Sjöberg

    And here I find another “nice” quote from my present reading of Schopenhauer:

    “From this point of view it is easy to understand how Tertullian could in all seriousness say:
    It is thoroughly credible because it is absurd: … It is certain because it is impossible.”

    And this reminds me of a passus in the “Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy” where two spaceships meet and exchanged their kitchen employees in the middle of nowhere in the universe due to the “law of improbability” according to which what is the most improbable will occur.

    So – that improbability law is probably our best hope that the statin dogm will finally die 🙂

    Reply
    1. shirley3349

      Göran.
      Could you give book, volume and chapter references for your Schopenhauer quotes, please?, as I would like to be able to follow them up in the original.
      I do know the Tertullian quote from elsewhere, as it is quite well known: I believe he is regarded as one of the church fathers and was referring to Christianity.

      Reply
      1. Göran Sjöberg

        shirley,

        Thank you for your “philosophical friendship” 🙂

        It is from my favorite; Schopenhauer’s main work in two volumes in the E.F.J. PAYNE’S English translation “THE WORLD AS WILL AND REPRESENTATION”.

        My quotes are from volume two and Chapter XVII “On Man’s Need for Metaphysics”, p. 160 – 187.

      2. shirley3349

        Göran.
        One problem solved. The above quotations are from Chapter 17 of VOLUME TWO of WWV. This is the volume published in 1844, which elaborates the arguments in volume 1 published 25 years earlier.

        However, I still cannot find the sentence about causality (dem Satze vom Grunde des Werdens) which, if I remember right, you quoted a few weeks ago.

        I prefer volume 1 as a whole. It is a young man’s work and has a vigour and daring that volume 2 lacks. While one might disagree with some of his premises, his logic is rigorous and penetrating.

        For example, he insists that the cause must always immediately precede the effect if only by an instant, forming a chain of distinct events. If there is a gap (in time), something is missing from the chain. He also argues that reciprocal influences do not work simultaneously, but back and forth (a bit like a tennis ball in a match: my simile), even though the sequence of events may be impossible to untangle in retrospect. (WWV Volume 1, Book 2, chapters 23 to 27).

        I find Schopenhauer’s metaphysics hard to take but, perhaps, judging by his comments on Tertullian, one should take it all allegorically. At times I am sure he is mocking both his readers and himself.

      3. Göran Sjöberg

        shirley,

        Well well, we shouldn’t turn this blog into a philosophical one though I agree with you that volume I is “special”. In that volume I have found about the best piece of “philosophy” I have ever come across so far in my life. That is actually the appendix where Schopenhauer criticizes the Kantian philosophy basically for wavering on the issue on the existence of “immaterial substances”. (I am a nonbeliever for sure!)

        It was some years since I scrutinized this appendix for the first time but I still see the traces since this part of my paper back copy is falling into pieces when I now took it out from the shelf and I also find the pages full of my own extensive notes.

        I will probably get back to this but perhaps in a new copy 🙂

    2. Joe

      If I remember right Adolf Hitler wrote: The bigger the lie, the more people believe it.
      And I think this works in two ways: There’ll be more people who believe it, and they’ll believe it stronger than if it were a weak lie.

      Reply
  36. David Morris

    Please keep going. I tell everyone who will listen that the cholesterol theory is bunkum and that statins are toxic.

    Reply
  37. Lorna

    Succinct, punchy and frustrating all in one go, Dr Kendrick. The evidence for lowering cholesterol builds and impervious attitudes to evidence build alongside. We seem to be increasingly tribally influenced in many spheres of life but in medicine, this tribalism damages and kills.

    Reply
      1. Lorna

        Evidence against the efficacy of lowering cholesterol to prevent strokes is in Dr Kendrick’s article

  38. Steve

    Thank you for your tenacity and persistence on the truth. Keep it coming. Many of us are listening and very appreciative of your work.

    Reply
  39. Jerome Savage

    When I have a chat with friends of similar vintage, late 50’s, and note their struggle to find words mid sentence and I find myself filling in the gaps, I know they are “statinating”. The dreaded mind fog has descended and applied a communication barrier. And I remember it well. And I get frustrated that they feel compelled to stagnate with statins.

    Reply
    1. Joe

      Suggest them to ask their doctor for a water soluble statin, so their brain won’t be affected that much. However, their other organs and muscles then will.

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Googled water soluble solution and the following popped out – on wiki.
        “The use of lipophilic, or fat-soluble, statins such as simvastatin and atorvastatin was associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s, while no such association was found for hydrophilic, or water-soluble, statins such as pravastatin and rosuvastatin.Jul 24, 2013”
        More complications?

  40. Ruth Baills

    I greatly appreciate your hard work Mr Malcolm Kendrick, in this area of Vascular disease thank you very much.

    This morning saw the cardiologist because was referred by GP. He talked about cholesterol and statins. I didn’t laugh but could have. He said no cure and he agreed that statins would increase calcification and that point I think I stopped listen. What the heck, and why would any sane person want to prescribe something that mades the problem worse. It is a mystery to me.

    I said good fats he agreed and he didn’t have anything negative to say about LCHF lifestyle.

    Next step is a Stress Echocardiogram and then back to cardiologist for review of results.

    Reply
  41. Gary Ogdern

    Dr. Kendrick: Just a thank you for the references in your books. Many are worth a read. Also, had a conversation with a favorite cousin I hadn’t heard from in a while, and may have made a new convert to the heresy herein.

    Reply
  42. ROISIN COSTELLO

    Hi Malcolm . Keep it coming ! . I retired over the Summer and intend re reading for third time your two books and going through you post s from the start . Someday ,someday you ‘ll have your spot in the sun!! . Cheers and thanks

    Reply
    1. Chris Morriss

      I have suggested in other places that modern gene-editing techniques may allow the pathway to be restored for humans to internally synthesise vitamin C from glucose as most other animals do.
      The ethics of doing such experimentation on monkeys has been raised, which is valid. (Most primates share our inability to produce vitamin C on demand). I usually get told not to be so silly!

      It is interesting that all of the animals that have lost this ability, were living on a vitamin C rich diet at the time, so the loss was not a problem, and may even have given an evolutionary advantage in that the energy normally needed to produce the vitamin, could be used elsewhere.

      Reply
      1. Joe

        I haven’t dived very deep into it, but somewhere I read that our blood cells have the ability to regenerate oxidized ascorbate. So now we don’t need 12 g/day anymore but can do with 3, or so it seems.

      2. chris c

        Yes I think certain plant phytonutrients and probably also internal chemistry recycles vitamin C. It’s taken up through one of the glucose receptors (GLUT-4?) so people on low carb diets need a lot less also. None of the current carnivores seem to have died of scurvy yet.

    1. Jerome Savage

      Some observations,
      1. I know many cancer sufferers who have recovered after treatment and the success rate appears to b increasing.
      2. Have mass vaccinations not been successful in removing many once common conditions such as polio, diphtheria & measles?
      3. “It is said there are three therapies that are scientifically validated” Is it so ?
      And there are much more than 3.
      4. Prevention of illness is not missing, it just doesn’t get enuff attention.
      Finally the guy obviously has an interest in selling vitamins which, it appears, influences the advice given. Nevertheless, as Dr K has indicated no one has ever died from a vitamin overdose.

      Reply
      1. Charlie

        1) Cancer success rates are based on 5 year survival, they detect earlier by screening more some cancer that aren’t not even cancer and have improving cancer rate success because some cancer will take years to kill you. Even if you do nothing.
        2) The same old debate. Maybe, but is not proven there are no control trials to prove it. Many other factor were involved.
        3) Validated to “cure” maybe a few pharmaceuticals can claim that but not many. Just like statins yea.
        4) Not in the “evidence” based health system and what little they call prevention, you just are much better doing the opposite.

        Nobody proposing alternatives to official advise should just not make a living. I don’t see him doing a lot of pushing just to buy a particular brand for what he advice.

        About statins having small beneficial effect for a second heart attack. Maybe a few people after their first scare take better care of them self and that is what reflected since that is hard to tease out.

      2. David Bailey

        I caught polio about a year before mass vaccination removed this disease from Britain. Fortunately in my case the damage it caused was comparatively mild, but you are talking about a disease the maimed and killed many people. Obviously as we talk about vaccinating against milder diseases, such as measles, the risk of doing more harm than good increases – particularly when the harm is concealed as far as possible.

        From a philosophical point of view, I suppose vaccines are analogous to statins – you give them to large numbers of well people and hopefully a few benefit. However medicines used in that way are obviously hugely profitable for the drug companies, so evidence of harm is covered up or trivialised, just as it is for some vaccines.

        Another analogy is that it is now recognised that giving people lots of drugs at the same time is definitely bad – poly-pharmacy. Likewise vaccinating kids against lots of diseases that are fairly trivial or very rare may have nasty consequences.

      3. AhNotepad

        There is a question as to whether it was the vaccine which removed polio, or, for example, the banning of DDT which could cause polio-like symptoms. There are tens of thousands of cases in India which appear to be caused by the vaccine itself.

      4. Gary Ogden

        David Bailey: Well spoken. By the way, paralysis is still with us, they just changed the name. So “polio” has been eradicated post-vaccine by changing, first the diagnostic criteria, then the name. It is now called “acute flaccid paralysis.” India is a case in point. WHO has declared it “polio-free,” yet there are hundreds of thousand of cases of paralysis in the wake of mass vaccination programs, in which many children received multiple doses of the vaccine. Even during the polio scare of the 1950’s, what was called infantile paralysis was uncommon. My view is that our modern approach to infectious diseases, or any febrile illness in children is a mistaken, failed paradigm. Lawrence Palevsky, M.D. gives a fine explanation of the necessity of fever in the proper development of children on Del Bigtree’s most recent Highwire program.

      5. Charlie

        In his book “Worried Sick” (A prescription for health in an overtreated America) by Nortin M. Hadler, MD who is a professor of medicine, graduated from Yale and work an in an important medical center.

        Say among other things;
        Lets say I have to treat more than fifty people in hope of doing something important for one. Do you believe that’s an effective treatment? Nearly all of us involved in biostatistics will tell you that such outcome is barely measurable and not likely to reproduce. Here’s partial list of treatments that not even qualify at this level of effectiveness based on scientific trials designed to test their efficacy.

        >Coronary artery bypass grafts, angioplasties, or stents to save lives or improve symptoms.

        > Arthroscopy for knee pain

        > Any surgery for backache

        > Statin therapy to reduce cholesterol and thereby save lives

        > Newer antidepressants for situational depression

        > Drugs for decreased bone density

        > PSA screening and radical prostatectomy to save lives

        > Screening mammography to save lives

        > Many a cancer treatment to save lives

      6. Joe

        2. If you look up the numbers you’ll see a huge decrease in mortality from infectious diseases in ‘The West’ due to improved hygienic, nutritional and social conditions, way before vaccinations were introduced.
        With the caveat that vaccines in developing countries, where the conditions haven’t improved much yet, might be indicated. However, why not invest more in improved hygiene and other conditions there as well?

      7. chris c

        IMO there’s a world of difference between acute infections, physical damage etc. at which conventional medicine does considerable good, and chronic conditions at which it is generally bad.

        When I was young I don’t recall anyone dying from measles, which seems to have become common nowadays. Nevertheless I suspect my health tanked after I caught it. Coincidence or not I’ll never know, but the fact the disease can have long term consequences makes it hard to believe that vaccination doesn’t. Maybe some are harmed but more are “saved”. How can you know when any attempt to look is called “antivax”?

      8. Sasha

        Apparently, there are also possible positive long term consequences of measles infection (besides life long immunity). Gary Ogden would probably know more about this.

      9. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: GreenMedInfo has an archive of lots of topics, one of which is Benefits of Measles. One of the most interesting papers is from Japan. More than 100,000 people, both men and women. Having had measles, and especially having had both measles and mumps (Japan does not vaccinate for mumps) is both cardio-protective and protective against stroke, in both men and women. HR’s larger than 2. Experiencing febrile illnesses in childhood is essential for proper development of both the immune system and the overall organism. This is no longer allowed in the U,S. Even the most minor fever is treated with acetaminophen, a very dangerous drug in children. We now have the sickest generation of children, two consecutive generations, since the days before antibiotics. It is a horror show, and all for the benefit of Pharma. He have replaced acute, short-term illness, with chronic life-long autoimmune conditions. We need a yellow vest movement here in the U.S.

      10. Sasha

        Gary and AhNotepad: thank you for the links. I remembered it was research out of Japan but didn’t know the details…

      11. David Bailey

        Gary,

        I’d be careful not to overstate your case. I’d certainly not been vaccinated for polio, so I can be pretty sure I got the real thing. Of course, if somehow children are getting multiple doses of polio vaccine in India, that might well be causing ‘flaccid paralysis’ – a term which describes the consequences of polio pretty accurately. If I had a child, I’d certainly want him/her vaccinated against polio.

        To take an even more extreme example, if Ebola were spreading in Britain, I’m pretty sure people would want to get vaccinated! The crucial thing, I think, is not to throw modern medicine at every minor illness, because it is so easy to damage more people than you help.

      12. Gary Ogden

        David Bailey: I am convinced, from reading the historical record (“Dissolving Illusions,” particularly the Michigan polio epidemic of 1958, pp. 235-6, and Dan Olmsted’s two series, “The Polio Explosion”), that, while viruses may be detected in paralysis cases, it is a chemical, whether DDT, arsenic, or other paralytic agricultural chemical which is responsible for compromising the anterior horn cells at the top of the spinal column and allowing toxins to enter and damage the myelin sheaths of the nerve cells in the spine, causing paralysis. In addition, vaccine-strain paralytic polio can, and does occur in places, such as India, where universal sanitation does not exist. The vaccine-strain virus readily sheds in feces. You’re certainly right about over treatment. They want us all to be customers.

      13. AhNotepad

        David, was it conclusively proved that what you had was polio? if so you only have to look at Klenner’s work for a suitable treatment.

        Any child would be better off with reasonable sanitation, and good nutrition than having a mixture of toxic substances and pathogens administered either orally, or worse by injection. Remember there has never been a proper placebo controlled trial for these concoctions.

        If ebola appeared in the UK, I would be safe. It is a hemorragic disease, and easily countered by adequate antioxidants, vitamin C for example.

      14. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: And the survivors all had good selenium status. Hard to know what to believe about Ebola, since all the information we receive about it is from the mainstream media and WHO, neither of whom is trustworthy.

      15. Martin Back

        “rumours arose in the Muslim world that immunization campaigns were using intentionally-contaminated vaccines to sterilize local Muslim populations or to infect them with HIV. In Nigeria these rumours fit in with a longstanding suspicion of modern biomedicine, which since its introduction during the era of colonialism has been viewed as a projection of the power of western nations. Refusal of vaccination came to be viewed as resistance to western expansionism, and when the contamination rumours led the Nigerian Supreme Council for Sharia to call for a region-wide boycott of polio vaccination, polio cases in the country increased more than five-fold between 2002 and 2006, with the uncontrolled virus then spreading across Africa and globally.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eradication_of_polio

        The “hygienic, nutritional and social conditions” didn’t get five times worse, they didn’t re-introduce DDT (AFAIK), they didn’t do anything much different except stop vaccinating, and the rate of polio infections soared. That tells me that it was the lack of vaccinations that caused the increase in polio cases, and therefore that vaccination is effective against polio.

      16. AhNotepad

        Um…..Martin that is a wikipaedia article, and being extraordinarily sceptical is a requirement before believing anything to do with medical matters on wikipaedia. Is it not?

      17. Jerome Savage

        CHARLIE on Norton M Hadler
        Re “Coronary artery bypass grafts, angioplasties, or stents to save lives or improve symptoms” & suggestion that such are non beneficial, I would have thought that where a severe restriction in a heart artery has occurred that is recognised as life threatening, then surely a stent (as in my case) or a bypass, are practical and position interventions. Diet would take weeks to clear up any arterial blockage, during which time a heart attack could occur.
        No ?

      18. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: Remember, these are population-based judgements. That a CABG or stent is no better than placebo in the general population does not mean it may not be better in an individual case, such as yours. In an individual case they may be life-extending. If it worked for you, more power to you.

      19. Martin Back

        Ah,
        I remember the reports about polio returning to Nigeria due to political agitation when they first came out, long before reading them on Wikipedia. I have no doubt that they are true. I use Wikipedia because it’s quicker to go to Wikipedia than search for the old reports using Google.

        Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Wikipedia is a very valuable resource, but should be used with caution, like the products of the pharmaceutical industry.

      20. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: Nigeria, like India, still manufactures and uses DDT. It is a central nervous system paralytic. This is how it kills insects.

      21. David Bailey

        Regarding polio, I am of course British, so there was nowhere near as much DDT being used as in parts of the US, also as I understand it, polio starts as a typical childhood fever, and then about 0.5% of people go onto get the full disease. Even then, it can cause temporary or permanent paralysis. In addition, it was claimed that polio used to be caught so young that it did little harm, but that improved sanitary conditions meant that children started to get it a bit later in life, when it was more damaging.

        Thus there are lots of factors that might generate a confusing picture.

        Surely it is implausible to blame a chemical for the original polio infections, and then to blame the vaccine (made from polio virus) for subsequent cases? Also, wouldn’t DDT poisoning mean that small rural communities were particularly likely to see cases?

        I do recognise that after ploughing through some of the modern medical scandals, it is easy to accept any new scandal, but I am wary of being too gullible. On the other hand, if HIV turns out not to be the cause of AIDS…….

      22. Jerome Savage

        Gary Ogden
        I appreciate your input, it is thought provoking and provides a new & realistic perspective on modern medical treatment. One thought occurs to me and that is if modern medical treatment is so damaging why is the human population living longer ? (with the exception of mid West US populations exposed to the opiate epidemic -one exception that I kno of). It may b the case that some lives are being extended, but in a zombie like vegetative state but cant account for all.

      23. AhNotepad

        Jerome, is the human population living longer? I agree that is what is claimed in the media, and is probably contained in supposedly respectable medical literature, but what is the source data? My opinion is that much of the apparent increase in age is because there are many people born since WW2 that are now skewing the figures, and also the improvements in sanitation reducing deaths in the very young. Perhaps a meta-analysis would help 🤭 or perhaps it would serve to deceive. 🤷🏼‍♀️

      24. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: Yes, I find it fascinating to speculate about the rise in longevity during the 20th Century. Infant and child survival is clearly the largest factor, with improved living conditions, the end of child labor, the automobile, universal sanitation, clean drinking water, the razing of slums, the replacement by machinery of dangerous labor, improved nutritional status, and antibiotics, among other things. We know from the historical record that in previous centuries, even in antiquity, individuals lived to great age. We do not, and cannot, know the average longevity of those who survived childhood in previous centuries, but I suspect for those not involved in hard physical labor, well fed and from well-fed mothers, it was reasonably comparable to what it is today. Here in the U.S. it has been going down since 2016 (and in the Philippines, both in number of years and world ranking since 2011). According to the CDC (they can sometimes be trusted), the major reasons for this are opioids and suicide. The suicide rate among the military, both active duty and veterans, is five times that of the general population. I wonder what the CVD rate is among current combat veterans, as I am certain this was a major factor in my father’s fatal MI at age 32.

  43. Randall

    The relationship between vitamin K and peripheral arterial disease.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm…pubmed/27494446
    (CONCLUSIONS: High intake of menaquinones was associated with a reduced risk of PAD, at least in hypertensive participants. High intake of phylloquinone was not associated with a reduced risk of PAD.)

    Reply
  44. Charles Gale

    TomLin

    Many thanks for the link to the Bill Sardi article on the vitamin C development called Formula 216.

    Interesting to note Dr Levy’s comments, the vitamin C guy.

    Just done a bit of googling and there is a website for this vit C formulation:

    Here’s a link (to the Q&A section of the site):

    http://formula216.com/qa/

    Plenty of other stuff on the site, such as the reports section.

    Reply
  45. Ruth Baills

    This morning had my stress Echocardiogram was told I was a fit lady and the attending Doctor said as far as he could tell there it’s any damage to my heart, but still to see cardiologist on the 12/02/19 for results. Dr Malcolm Kendrick I have just finishing reading you wonderful book A Statin Nation. Thank you. One question chapter 18 you stated “In my view, if you are going to measure anything, measure HRV”. How is this measured. It is done by a holter monitor?

    Reply
    1. Anne

      I got a wonderful biofeedback computer game many years ago called Journey to Wild Divine, The Passage. It works by measuring heart rate variability and galvanic skin response so you can make things happen in the game – you wear a device which picks up data via three fingers as you play. You can also just use a raw data program to check heart rate variability and to try to enhance it with breathing techniques. I have kept an old computer so that I can still use the program.

      Reply
  46. Ingo Strich

    Dear Dr Kendrick ,

    ““A high cholesterol level still needs to be lowered” we will be told. ”
    Are you kidding ?

    “A low cholesterol level still needs to be lowered” we will be told instead !

    Preferably in utero, by the way.

    And if not the cholesterol then t’is er… how do they say ? ah yes , the pleiotropic (that is a noble word that inspires respect hey ? ) effects explain it all !

    On a sadder but more serious tone you’ll be told “How come you don’t abide by sparkling SPARCL ?

    On a more serious tone I wonder what brought these authors to test this hypothesis or maybe it’ s just part of another study ?

    I haven’t managed to retrieve it yet.

    But , had the study found an association between low cholesterol and better survival I admit I would’nt have taken the causation for granted because of its observational nature as you said.

    But I still like the results !

    Sincerely

    Reply
  47. Gary Ogden

    “The Great Cholesterol Con” is on its way, from Illinois, of all places. How it got their in the first place is a mystery, but it will soon be in its rightful home in my library. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  48. Andy S

    My only concern is that TG tends to be increased on a low carb diet for some people. My TG number is 1.62 mmol/L, LDL-C 5.79, HDL-C 1.62, cholesterol 8.29. My GP is alarmed.
    Converted to American units my TG:HDL-C ratio is 143:68=2.1 therefore not insulin resistant and low risk. Apparently coffee can raise TG levels.

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/647239

    Main results
    The major new finding from this study was that men with major classic risk factors of IHD such as a high LDL-C level, hypertension, low physical activity, and smoking2,3 still had a low risk of IHD if they had low TG–high HDL-C concentrations. In addition, our results showed that a high TG–low HDL-C concentration was a stronger risk factor than several major conventional risk factors of IHD.

    Reply
    1. Jerome Savage

      Supported by American Medical association
      Following may be relevant
      “Eliminating competitors to drug based paradigm
      In his 1994 book, The Assault on Medical Freedom, author P. Joseph Lisa gained access to secret files in the AMA’s Chicago Department of investigation under the guise of collecting information to expose “mental health quackery.” In the process, he uncovered hundreds of AMA photocopies of memos, minutes and other documents. In a subsequent ten year investigation, he found little evidence of “quackery” and much evidence of an organized propaganda campaign to discredit alternative medicine and foreign drugs”

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Also Andy S
        More stuff on AMA
        “AMA has lost a significant amount of credibility in recent years. The American Medical Association has offered its “seal of approval” to various products and drugs despite the fact that the organization has no capacity to test such drugs. Instead, its doctors reaped advertising fees from these products to feature products in AMA publications. The former editor of the organization’s Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) was indicted on federal racketeering charges for his activities”

      1. Andy S

        chris c: thanks for the TG caffeine study. We are all different and the best study is the N=1 in these situations.

  49. Martin Thomason

    Dr Kendrick’s indefatigable persistence in ensuring the truth is told – despite the backlash from those who ought to know a damn sight better, reminds me of the Dr Seuss quote in ‘The Lorax’ (although the original was in reference to the loss of truffula trees) – “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
    Sums it up.
    Dr K and all of us who ‘care’ have a duty to carry the message further afield. Some really encouraging posts show that the medical profession are no longer unchallengeable.
    The truth will out.
    Martin T

    Reply
  50. K J Evans

    Surely all cats should be fed a low carb diet for their entire lives as they are obligate carnivores and meat tends not to contain many carbs. Shame pet food manufacturers don’t seem to know that

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      My extended experience of cats catching mice is that they always start the feast with the head where all the EPA and DHA is accumulated.

      Funny world we are living in since a hundred years ago brains were often seen as a part of culinary experience according to my old cookbook (end of the 19th century) but today a butcher has to pay for the disposal and where it is used as fuel in some way.

      Reply
      1. K J Evans

        My cat definitely eats the head of a mouse first, but the stomach area of a bird. He eats the heads (and everything else) of small birds, but only the stomach of larger ones. My mother used to feed me brains as a child, but you don’t seem to be able to get them in shops any more.

      2. Philip Thackray

        Here in N. America, Goshawks often kill our chickens eating always the head and often leaving the rest of the body.
        Phil
        Renfrew, PA USA

    2. Pauline Moore

      British/Australian veterinarian Tom Lonsdale has spent decades on his own personal campaign to expose the collusion between the veterinary profession and the global pet food manufacturing industry. He believes it is unconscionable for vets to promote the sale of disease-causing high-carb food (CIAB) and then profit from the expensive treatments necessary to keep those voiceless animals alive a little longer.
      Sound familiar?

      For his trouble, Dr Lonsdale has been vilified and insulted for years by many members of his own profession, but his courage admired by the grateful owners of domestic dogs and cats who have seen the beneficial changes in their own pets. You are not alone, Dr Kendrick.

      Tom Lonsdale’s book ‘Raw Meaty Bones’ is well researched with practical dietary advice for pet owners on how to easily and economically feed a species-appropriate diet; it also details his battles with the veterinary Boards in both the UK and Australia. This is his website: http://www.rawmeatybones.com/index.html

      Reply
  51. TS

    To add a bit to the philosophy… I have a few books by Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986). (He was not religious.)
    Here is some dialogue of his with students at his Brockwood Park School in 1971.

    ‘Do you know what fear does? It makes you aggressive, violent; or you withdraw and become slightly neurotic… If you don’t solve these fears now, when you are young, fresh and have plenty of vitality and energy, later on it will become much more difficult… You feel you have to conform, don’t you? And you don’t want to… And yet you are conforming. You have an image of yourself which has been created by the culture in which you live… The world is cruel, brutal, harsh, violent, full of competition, hate, struggle, everybody trying to get a job. That is a fact, isn’t it, so why do you have an image about it? Why don’t you say, “That is a fact”? The sun is shining, that is a fact. You don’t fight the fact. You say that is what it is. Right?… The culture in which we are born makes us conform. Conformity brings fear, comparison makes you fear. At home, in the school, in the college, in the universities and when you are out in the world, everything is based on it. If you are frightened, then you are caught forever. But if you say, “I am not going to be frightened”, let’s examine it and find out how to live in this world without being frightened, without conforming, without always comparing yourself with somebody. If you know how to live that way you will never be frightened.’

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      TS,

      I think this is something all successful fighters against oppressive establishments learn by necessity – to overcome the fear of punishment.

      The medicine establishment/Big Pharma are certainly set on scaring the GP’s not to step outside the line by inducing horrific examples of what can happen if they do. There are numerous examples and in Sweden we have our Dr. Dahlqvist, in South Africa prof. Tim Noakes and in Australia Gary Fettke – all overcame their fear and won their battles for science in the clinical practice.

      (BTW – the Yellow Vests in France have evidently also taken this “philosophical” attitude.)

      Reply
  52. Soul

    To give a final update on my mom, her hip problems, and statins. Mom was having a great amount of pain in her hips for the past year. Her doctor had tests done late last year. Her doctor said that a hip needed to be replaced and recommended surgery. I asked mom to stop taking the statin she was on to see if her hip pains when away. Mom agreed. She stopped taking the statin about a month ago.

    So far so good, mom’s hip is pain free since she stopped taking the statin drug. This morning I joined in with my parents and their friends for a long walk. Mom had no problems. Her friends were pleased for her and kept commenting that she is walking great. I’m exhausted myself from the long walk with the 70 year olds.

    On other medical family news, a doctor recommended that my father have his colon removed. The GI specialist was concerned that to many polyps were forming in the colon. I did some research and passed it onto my father showing that while polyps might not be good, the risk of them developing into cancer was tiny. I was hoping dad would not have the surgery as being in his middle 70s he would likely have a steep hill to climb with recovery. Dad went to see the surgeon though that would do the colon removal operation. The surgeon politely told my father he did not need the operation. The surgeon added he would feel awful if he performed the operation, as recovery could be difficult and complications, even death was possible. So with that dad has decided against having his colon removed.

    This kind of stuff has been somewhat common the last few years. Basically my parents hospital is keeping me busy. I say this jokingly somewhat, it has turned into a full time job for me trying to keep my parents healthy from the hospital they frequent.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Both those pieces of news are splendid, and speak volumes about what has gone wrong with the NHS and medical science in general.

      concentrating on your mother’s experience, I hope she feels up to confronting her doctor (in a nice sort of way) with the reality of statin side effects. They aren’t some sort of reverse placebo effect, they are real and seriously debilitating, and the symptoms can obviously masquerade as a whole slew of other degenerative diseases, some of which end up being ‘treated’ invasively.

      The size of this statin scandal is hard to even comprehend.

      Reply
      1. Soul

        David, I doubt my mom will mention anything to her doctor. She is very pro modern medicine. That might be due to working in a hospital for awhile. She has friends that work or worked in medicine too. Bad mouthing medicine in anyway is not something I would expect from her. Yeah, even her and her friends donate to a local hospital. It’s a social event. Personally it makes me chuckle as it is the most expensive hospital in that town. (We live in America.) Those bozos don’t need the money! I’m starting to sound like my grizzled grandfather now.

    2. David Bailey

      I wonder if GP’s (such as Dr K) can obtain and publish anonymous statistics based on their own surgery. Would there be any way to look for a correlation between statin use and the need for hip replacements. There must be some people like me, in the 60-80 age range who don’t take statins, and there will be plenty that do. It would be fascinating to know if the probability of needing a new hip depends on statin use. I know it wouldn’t be a randomly controlled trial, but it might shake up a lot of GP’s.

      My partner’s mother ended her days in a wheelchair because of hip problems (she had other problems which meant a replacement was not advised). We know she was on quite a collection of drugs, but we don’t know if that included a statin – it might well have.

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Stem cell treatment is being mooted as an alternative treatment for arthritis. So far, public health services have not bought in to it even tho, we are told, that your average hip replacement is €15,000 v €3,000 for SCT. Are public services taking the correct course of action or is there vested interests at work ?

      2. chris c

        Yes that would be interesting, however not the only factor. Back before statins my landlord and landlady both had hip replacements, probably from being farmers and lifting heavy things for years leading to mechanical wear and tear.

        I knew someone else who had a hip replacement and a few years later the replacement needed replacing, it seems there was a duff batch of joints that wore quickly.They came from a supposedly reputable manufacturer.

        Also be interesting to see if there has been an increase in osteoarthritis since high carb low fat diets were invented.

  53. chris c

    Off topic but may be interesting in terms of looking at endothelial damage as scarring – I was washing a wine glass when it exploded and cut my thumb rather badly. Blood poured everywhere. The initial scab was not very useful, it tore and I started bleeding again. The second iteration was better though it still leaked fluid. The third iteration is considerably better, so far it is healing with no problems. No infection which would have been inevitable on my previous high carb low fat diet. But then in the last fourteen low carb years I hardly ever get colds let alone the flu or “food poisoning” from which I assume my immune system finally started to work properly, unlike the previous fifty years.

    Tim Noakes rightly calls diabetes “disseminated arterial disease” and mine started at the periphery, PAD which is much improved with exercise to drive collateral circulation and currently a regime of various Malcolm-approved supplements along with the low carb high fat high nutrient diet. I wonder how much what is happening to my thumb parallels what is happening within my arteries. In the past antibiotics would have been inevitable. Likewise stents for the leg arteries.

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Chris

      “But then in the last fourteen low carb years I hardly ever get colds let alone the flu ..”

      I have got the same experience for my 10 years on strict LCHF. Though I was hit by pneumonia some years ago which I attributed to my cheating for a while on the “concept”. I can of course not prove this but it is still my strong suspicion about the “cause”.

      Reply
      1. chris c

        Yes it’s very common. Mainly at worst I feel like I am going to get a cold soon for a few days, then I feel like I had a cold for a few days without actually having the cold in between. I did actually have a pretty bad one once so nobody’s perfect, I guess like your pneumonia some viruses/bacteria overcome even the most finely tuned immune system.

        The downside is that I developed hyperthyroid which MAY be autoimmune, no-one knows for sure. It is mostly under control but currently having a minor flare and I am taking a quarter tab of carbimazole.. I guess like most things it’s a U or J curve, the immune system needs to be strong enough but no more.

      1. chris c

        Only by myself! After my divorce I moved back with my mother temporarily, then when I moved out I brought her with me. I’ve been alone for the last eight years now since she died at 95.

        Of course there are differences as well as similarities in the process, the thumb is exposed to air rather than blood. I thought of rubbing statins on it to calcify the scab but I don’t have any.

        I had another thought, CVD is related to gum infections, one mechanism seems to be that certain bacteria infect the heart valves and may also affect the arteries. Malcolm posted something recently about nanobacteria too and again I wonder if a defective immune system might have an effect.

    1. Gary Ogden

      John Collis: Not only immortality, but an improved quality of life! Where do I sign up? Something tells me the BBC is unreliable on such matters, though.

      Reply
    2. Stephen Rhodes

      It is all about the money I suppose since, as Dr M has clearly shown, the benefits of statins are vanishingly small even in the very small number of patients who ‘could’ benefit. And even then, the side effects make any life gained less enjoyable.

      Since you raised the BBC, Angela Rippon ‘hosted’ a programme on antibiotics on BBC2 last evening. All the approaches examined by the programme, except the last, were going to take up to 20 years to reach the market, we were told in all seriousness. The reason was clear, you cannot patent something that exists in nature so, having identified some likely candidate, the drug companies will then have to create a drug that ‘mimics’ the naturally occurring antibiotic, then demonstrate that it is efficacious and safe, and then rush to get a patent and bribe doctors to prescribe it to steal a march on any other drugs produced by competitors. I would think that the natural, unpatentable, already efficacious, ‘antibiotic’ would likely be safer (depending on how ‘related’ we are to the organism that evolved the antibiotic defence) and should be capable of being brought to market far more quickly.

      The last approach covered by the programme was interestingly presented, the BBC being an organ of a Government totally bought into the American political establishment’s hatred of anything Russian. The segment covered the use of bacteriophages but attributed their ‘discovery’ and utilisation against bacterial infection, to “Eastern Europe”, although the lady in the case study obtained the phages she successfully used from a supplier in Georgia (that was ok because most viewers probably assumed that was the one in the USA that the ‘midnight train’ goes to.) but they couldn’t edit out the lady saying clearly that is was from the former USSR.

      And again, but this time the villains are the drug companies, the ‘project fear’ was the huge number of people who are going to die from septicaemia if the government – i.e. us – don’t stump up the cash to bung the drug companies to ‘reinvent the wheel’ of already existing naturally available antibiotics.

      Of course, the programme couldn’t cover everything, but since the septicaemia collection plate was being so enthusiastically rattled, it would have been good to see some reference to the success some A&E units across the developed world are having preventing imminent death by using intravenous Vitamin C, Thiamin, and corticosteroids. Despite the success many eminent academics are being wheeled out to pooh pooh the procedure and cast doubt on its efficacy and safety, doubtless they are content that people will continue to die because patentable antibiotics are no longer efficacious and little if any money can be made out of the natural compounds that would save them (temporarily of course).

      Reply
      1. chris c

        The Anointed Strike Back.

        Bacteriophages are interesting, I read about then decades ago. I think then it was also Russian researchers who were collecting them from hospital drains where they fed on the bacteria running out in the water. I believe they are effective for external bacterial infections but not internal but haven’t read anything on the subject recently.

    3. Tuuba

      “Researchers said thousands of lives could be saved each year if more than the estimated third of UK over-75s who do take statins, were given them.”

      Kendrick has been talking about this phrase. “Lives saved” doesn’t mean anything but statistical shit about delaying some lives a tiny amount of time.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        Prof Baigent said side effects were “massively outweighed, both in middle age and the elderly, by the benefits of statin therapy that we already know about”.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47058919

        If you are not the person suffering the side effects, then sure, they aren’t important. But if you have to face every day with muscle pains, brain fog, and T2D, you have to ask yourself if enduring the side effects is worth the tiny benefit of a few extra days of life, at a time when the muscle pains, brain fog, and T2D will be even worse than they are now.

        One wonders why medical professionals even bother prescribing statins, since so many people voluntarily stop taking them. Statins must be one of the most rejected medications ever. It looks like many of the general public have enough good common sense to listen to their bodies and stop taking damaging substances, despite what the doctors say.

        Previous studies indicate that as many as 50% of statin users discontinue medication within months of the initial prescription and up to 25% stop after one month—quite possibly after filling only a single order at the pharmacy. Nearly 75% of new users discontinue their therapy by the end of the first year.

        More than six in ten respondents (62%) said they discontinued their statin due to side effects, with the secondary factor (17%) being medication cost. Only 12% of respondents cited lack of efficacy in cholesterol management as a reason for stopping their medication. On average, respondents who experienced side effects due to their statin stopped after trying two different statins.http://www.statinusage.com/Pages/key-findings-and-implications.aspx

  54. Steve Bohn

    I haven’t seen it mentioned here… Watch “Root Cause” on Netflix. Fascinating expose on just where all that arterial damage is coming from.

    Reply
    1. Soul

      I’ve not seen the documentary Root Cause. I have read though about that theory, that root canals can be a cause for cancer and heart disease. I don’t know the answer if that is true or not. It is an idea though that I’ve wondered, what comes first.

      I have a unique experience I believe. My teeth are in poor shape. I also have an IBD (stomach) condition somewhat similar to Crohns. What is unique is that I’ve learned the health of my stomach and the amount of energy/ fatigued feeling I’m experiencing determines the health of my teeth. (Fatigue is a common issue for those with IBD conditions.) When the stomach is grumpy and fatigue a big problem my teeth fall apart. Cavities become common, I might have a root canal done, and even chipped teeth can occur from simply eating food.

      On the other hand, I’ve had times where the stomach was in good shape and my energy levels are high. During these times my teeth and gum health were good. No cavities would form. No root canals were needed when I am not experiencing fatigue.

      I believe diet plays the largest roll in the health or my stomach and the health of my teeth. Unfortunately I’ve yet to figure out the problematic foods for certain. It’s a work in progress. Currently I’m avoiding dairy, beef and pork and having moderate success with energy levels.

      So what puzzles me is what comes first or what causes what. I also have plaque in an artery. This developed at a young age for me. According to the documentary it sounds like a root canal I’ve had is a likely cause for my artery plaque. To me though I suspect this is wrong. My guess is that my poor gut health and likely food allergy is a more likely candidate. I likely have poor wound healing going on when fatigued.

      Anyway, it’s one of those things I hope I find out the answer to. I suspect if I ever get the gut healthy and with that energy levels high, dental health good, that the artery plaque will stabilize, despite having had a few root canals done.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        Teeth (and bone structure in general) reflect what ancient Chinese called “Jing Qi” – what we got as a genetic inheritance from our ancestors. Jing is one of the strong determinants of our health as we go through life. It’s probably one of the reasons people “looked a horse in the mouth”, not just to determine its age but also its general state of health. They did the same thing with slaves before buying them.

        Another marker of the state of Qi are vitality and how well the body is able to control inflammation. Fatigue and IBS often go together so the connection you’ve noticed is real, IMO.

  55. Charles Gale

    Chris C – bleeding thumb

    I have similar thoughts concerning my years of stress induced dermatitis, and now consider that what’s been happening/happening on the outside (skin) is happening on the inside (arteries). Whatever chemicals flowing through my system are causing the dermatitis and also damaging my arteries.

    Reply
    1. chris c

      Oh yes I had patches of eczema for years, mainly on my left elbow and sometimes on the right one as well. Yet another thing that went away on low carb, I suspect the high glucose spikes not only feed bacteria and viruses and maybe cancer cells but also do weird things to parts of the immune system and the inflammatory response.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        I noticed that. A blinkered look at one aspect, not at the whole person.

        I can imagine a report: “The subject ended up with Alzheimers, in a wheelchair, and on dialysis. His heart was still beating. Conclusion: Treatment with statins was successful.”

      2. JDPatten

        This testy twitter run among (seemingly) professionals concerning the meta-analysis is interesting, perhaps a bit revealing.
        Have you ever considered contributing to such discussions??

      3. AhNotepad

        JDPatten, I had a look at the link. To me these twitter ramblings are just that, unless perhaps you are prepared to wade through pages of near trivia in order to pick up the jist of the conversation. I have better things to do. No wonder the IQ is dropping, there seems to be no structure, and little depth unless it’s hidden in there somewhere.

      4. JDPatten

        Yes, Ah, revealing, as I said. Gives you a picture of who wants to put themselves forward in social media. Makes me wonder if there’s some reasonable silent consensus among the professionals quietly busily going about their work. No way to know.

  56. Charles Gale

    Joe – “suggest them to ask their doctor for a water soluble statin…”

    Reminds me of my week in cardiology. Having got out of intensive care, with my brain slowly getting back into gear, I asked about this option (water soluble) when they were shovelling statins down my throat.

    The hot shot experts prescribing the meds didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. I guess under NICE guidelines…just following orders… etc they were prescribing what they told to, but still drew a complete blank from the healthcare professionals.

    In fact, time after time, this was and continues to be a common problem – disinterest in their profession. An endocrinologist who had no time to read about her profession, the people monitoring my implant not able to answer my questions.

    “Surely others have asked these questions?” I asked time and time again.

    Apparently not – I seem to recall a nurse saying that no one really did.

    Sad and worrying this amount of docility.

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Charles,

      “In fact, time after time, this was and continues to be a common problem – disinterest in their profession.”

      This is a very sad fact I have also noted with the cardiologists I have met but there is a logic. If they should be seriously interested in “understanding” I guess that their “house of cards” would crumble in front of their eyes.

      Reply
    2. Andy S

      Benefit of statins: they are antibacterial and antibiotic. Unfortunately gut microbiome and mitochondria will also be affected. Long term use may not be a good idea.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5240889/
      Antibiotics May Trigger Mitochondrial Dysfunction Inducing Psychiatric Disorders

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408379/
      Antibacterial activity of statins: a comparative study of Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, and Rosuvastatin

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5575577/
      Statins, Muscle Disease and Mitochondria

      Reply
  57. Charles Gale

    Joe – “Why would a doctor refuse to prescribe a CAC…?”

    Plenty of reasons.

    With the NHS here in England, perhaps money.

    My GP refused stating it was pointless because everyone knew I was buggered anyway. He was right about but I agree with your point Joe.

    It was like getting blood out of a stone to get his signature for a private referral.

    You may find a comment with this article by Ivor Cummins informative. Here’s the link:

    https://www.thefatemperor.com/blog/2016/8/10/repeat-after-me-calcification-score-blows-away-risk-factors-always

    Scroll down to the comments and look for the comment from Bob Niland headed “re: So how the hell is CAC not used everywhere?”

    He provides 4 reasons/scenarios.

    Reply
  58. Jerome Savage

    On a seperate note;
    “Autoimmune hepatitis triggered by statins.
    Published 2006 in Journal of clinical gastroenterology
    Although the cause of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is unknown, drugs are believed to be potential triggers in some patients. In isolated case reports, statins have been considered such triggers”
    There are many such reports & studies with the same conclusion. My own experience has encouraged me to research the subject but Dr Kendrick’s views would be most welcome.
    Another reason to avoid statins.

    Reply
  59. Jerome Savage

    Published in the Lancet June 12 2004 by Bernard Noel.
    “An unexpected number of autoimmune diseases (more than 20 cases) have been reported in patients treated with statins in the past few years. Most of these patients had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) but dermatomyositis, autoimmune hepatitis, and pemphigoides have been reported,2 and a lethal outcome has been recorded in one patient.”

    Reply

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