What causes heart disease – Part 63

17th March 2019

[Is stress the most important cause of cardiovascular disease?]

Forgetting for a moment attacks by various people, and newspapers, that shalI remain nameless [Mail on Sunday UK], I thought I would return to the more interesting topic of what actually does cause cardiovascular disease and. As I have done several times before, I am looking at stress/strain.

I know that, deep down, most people feel that stress can lead to illness. ‘Oh, I was terribly stressed, then I went down with the flu.’ Or ‘He has been under a lot of stress and had a heart attack.’ If we go back over a hundred years William Osler, a famous physician, described a man suffering from angina as ” … robust, the vigorous in mind and body, the keen and ambitious man, the indicator of whose engines are always at ‘full speed ahead’ “.

The idea that hard driving Type A personalities were more likely to die of heart attacks gained great popularity at one time. But you don’t hear so much about this anymore. It is all diet, and cholesterol, and blood pressure and diabetes and tablet after tablet. Measure this, monitor that, lower this and that.

I believe that the side-lining of stress to be a monumental mistake. Because it remains true that stress is the single most important cause of heart disease, and I intend to try and explain exactly how this can be. Once more into the breach dear friend.

I shall start this little journey by explaining that stress is the wrong word to use. In fact, the use of the word stress has often been more of a barrier than an aid understanding. This is because, when we talk about stress, we really mean strain.

Stress or strain

It was Hans Seyle who coined the term ‘stress’ to cover the concept of negative psychological events leading to diseases, specifically heart disease. Of course, this is a terrible oversimplification, but it will do for now. Seyle later admitted that, had English been his first language (he was born in Slovakia) he would have used the term strain, not stress.

This is because stress is the external force placed on an object, or a human being. Strain is the resulting deformation or damage that can occur. Therefore, it is the resultant strain that is the driver of ill health.

For example, being told you are a useless idiot by one or another parent would be considered a significant external negative ‘stressor.’ The resultant anxiety and upset then represents the strain. However, the two things do not necessarily match up very well.

If you are highly resilient, or perhaps deaf, being told you are a useless idiot may have absolutely no effect on you whatsoever. You will continue to whistle a happy tune, whilst skipping along the pavement.

If, on the other hand, you are a rather more sensitive soul, or perhaps being told you are a useless idiot is a daily occurrence, then the resultant strain/deformation may be quite severe. In this case, the same external stressor can result in completely different levels of internal strain – depending on the resilience of the individual.

To give another example, some people enjoy giving public talks, they look forward to it. Others would rather chew their own arm off rather than stand up and talk in public. Once again, we have the same external stressor, resulting in completely different levels of internal strain.

The death of a close relative, such as a husband, is a major negative stressor which, for most people would cause a significant burden of strain. However, if the husband was an abusive bully, who regularly beat his wife, the death may be a blessed relief and the levels of strain will be reduced greatly. Then again, the conflicting feelings of guilt, relief, happiness and grief can lead to immense strain.

In short, there is no point in saying that an individual is under a great deal of stress. That may or may not be true, but it is very difficult to define, or measure. What matters is their response to negative stressors – real or perceived. The internal strain.

Of course, this does not mean that you can discount external stressors. These can be very important on both an individual, and a population wide basis. So, before looking at strain in more detail, I am going to review external ‘population-wide stress(ors)’.

Population-wide stressors

Whilst this is a fascinating area, the terminology used is more than a little variable, and confusing. One of the problems is that the terminology swirls around, and people write about the same thing using different words or use the same words to describe different things. A bit like using IHD, CHD, CAD and CVD to describe much the same thing, I suppose.

To keep this simple, and stripping terminology down things down to basics, the concept I am trying to capture, and the word that I am going to use, here to describe the factor that can affect entire populations is ‘psychosocial stress’. By which I mean an environment where there is breakdown of community and support structures, often poverty, with physical threats and suchlike. A place where you would not really want to walk down the road unaccompanied.

This can be a zip code in the US, known as postcode in the UK. It can be a bigger physical area than that, such as a county, a town, or whole community – which could be split across different parts of a country. Such as native Americans living in areas that are called reservations.

On the largest scale it is fully possible for many countries to suffer from major psychosocial stress at the same time. This happened very dramatically after the breakup of the Soviet Union, which started in some countries earlier than others e.g. Poland. But the main event was the fall of the Berlin wall, and the collapse of communism across most of Eastern Europe. It was studied quite closely by a number of researchers. Here is one paper:

‘The mortality crisis in transition economies. Social disruption, acute psychosocial stress, and excessive alcohol consumption raise mortality rates during transition to a market economy.’ 1

As the paper states:

‘Acute psychosocial stress was one of the main drivers of the sharp mortality increase experienced by the former communist countries of Europe. In central Europe, the post-communist mortality crisis was quickly solved, while in much of the former USSR, life expectancy at birth did not return to 1989 levels until 2013.’

The splintering of the Soviet Union is something to be, generally, celebrated. However, it caused a massive surge in premature deaths, mainly from cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Below is a graph which tracks at CVD deaths in men under 65s in four former Soviet countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus. The graph starts in the year 1980 and goes on to 2015 2.

CVD was similar in all four countries and was pretty steady, perhaps gently falling. Then, Berlin wall fell in 1989, with major disruption hitting Russia by 1991 when Gorbachev was ousted by Yeltsin. At which point CVD took off in all country.

It may be easier to see a clear pattern if we look at a single country in the Soviet Union, Lithuania. This is a graph that I have used several times before. Figures are from Euro Heart Statistics.

In Lithuania CVD was gently dropping until 1989 then – Bam! Virtually a doubling of the rate in a five-year period. Then it dropped straight back down again.

If you want a comparator country in Europe, here is the UK during the same time period. A steady uninterrupted fall (completley undisturbed by the launch of statins in 1987) Every other country in Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia etc. show the same pattern as the UK – a steady fall.

Getting back to the Soviet Union, it is it interesting that the main increase in those who died was seen in men, mainly middle aged men. To quote from the social disruption paper again:

‘Looking back, it could have been expected that the European mortality crisis would primarily have affected children, pregnant women, the elderly, and the disabled. Yet, as shown.. men were much more affected than women in every transition country. The fastest relative upswing in mortality was recorded for 20−39 year olds, who experienced a marked rise in violent deaths, while the fastest absolute rise occurred among 40−59 year olds, who were mainly affected by a rise in cardiovascular deaths.’

It seems inarguable that extreme psychosocial stress, as experienced in ex-Soviet Union countries after 1989, drove a massive spike in CVD deaths, which is only now beginning to settle down in many of the countries.

As an important aside, you may notice that, in Russia, the rate of CVD rose quickly from 1990 until about 1995, then dropped. Then it jumped up again in 1998. You may ask, what happened in 1998? Well, this was the year of the collapse of the Ruble – known as the Ruble crisis. It resulted in massive financial chaos, and levels of poverty exploded.

‘Mobs trying to get their savings were barred from entering the banks, executives flew to London to get suitcases full of dollars and coup plans were discussed in the newspapers. The value of the stock market dropped to 10 percent of its value of the previous year, the value of Ruble tumbled by 75 percent, and 18 of Russia’s 20 major banks effectively collapsed under massive debts. Foreign investors, some of them calling Russia “Indonesia with nukes,” fled the country.

Some have said the damage to the economy was greater than that unleashed by Hitler’s armies in World War II. By the time of the 1998 Ruble crash ran its course the poverty level had increased from 2 percent of the population in the Soviet era to 40 percent.’  3

Moving away from the Soviet Union to the population that has undergone the single greatest and most extreme form of social breakdown and disruption, social stress and dislocation known. This is the Australian aboriginals. A group of people that has been subjected to an immense burden of negative stressors.

Here are a few bullet points from a study carried out by the Australian Government:

  • Stress is a significant factor of the lives of Aboriginal young people.
  • High levels of self-harming intent and behaviour. Feelings connected to loss of hope – high levels of anxiety and depression
  • Rapid social change in Aboriginal communities.
  • Interpersonal violence, accidents and poisoning, stress, alcohol and norms of violence as in male to male fighting.
  • Domestic violence and child abuse, as well as sexual assault, are further stressors and sources of mental ill health.
  • These behavioural outcomes reflect the impact of historical factors, colonisation and disadvantage.

What impact has this had, specifically on cardiovascular disease rates? A research study was done, called the Perth Aboriginal Atherosclerosis Risk Study (PAARS) population. The investigators looked at CHD (coronary heart disease), not CVD (cardiovascular disease) – which would also include strokes. Sorry for jumping about in the terminology, but everyone does. Indeed, it is hard to find two studies that use the same terminology, or end points.

Sticking to CHD, which basically means deaths from heart attacks, researchers found that the CHD rate in Austrailian Aboriginals was 14.9 per 1000/year versus 2.4 for the general population. This is 1,490 per 100,000 per year [this is metric most commonly used] and represents the highest rate I have ever seen in any population, in any country, at any time – ever. Although Belarus came pretty close at one point.

What also stands out is that the rate of heart attacks in Aborignal Australians was six fold higher than the surrounding population. However, if we separate the figures from men and woman, we can see something even more astonishing.

For Aboriginal men the rate of CHD was 15.0 versus 3.8 per 1000 per year. A four hundred per cent increase on men in the surrounding population. For aboriginal women the CHD was almost exactly the same as for the men, 15.0 per 1000 per year – which is highly unusual in itself – as men normally have a much higher rate than women.

The astonishing fact is that Australian Aboriginal women had a rate of CHD that was ten times the rate of the surrounding female population. Or, to put it another way. One thousand per cent higher. 4

A similar picture, though less extreme, can be seen in Native Americans. As outlined in this 2005 paper. ‘Stress, Trauma, and Coronary Heart Disease Among Native Americans.5

‘This study quantified exposure to trauma among American Indians, adding to the existing evidence that this population experiences a disproportional amount of trauma. We were intrigued by the statement “It may be that high rates of trauma exposure contribute to the increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease among American Indian men and women, the leading cause of death among this population” and wanted to lend support to this assertion. Indeed, American Indians now have the highest rates of cardiovascular disease in the United States.

In a study similar to the AI-SUPERPFP study (American Indian Service Utilization, Psychiatric Epidemiology, Risk and Protective Factors Project (AI-SUPERPFP) Team). Koss et al. documented adverse childhood exposures among 7 Native American tribes and compared these exposures to levels observed in the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a health maintenance organization population. Compared with participants in the ACE study, not only did the American Indians have a significantly higher rate of exposure to any trauma (86% vs 52%), but they also had a more than 5-fold risk of having been exposed to 4 or more categories of adverse childhood experiences (33% vs 6.2%).’

Wherever you look, you can see that populations that have been exposed to significant social dislocation, and major psychosocial stressors, have extremely high rate of coronary heart disease/cardiovascular disease.

This can be supported if we look at the twenty countries in the world that have the highest rates of CVD – both men and women. Figures from WHO 2017 6.  Ex-soviet countries in bold

  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Belarus
  • Uzbekistan
  • Moldova
  • Yemen
  • Azerbaijan
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Syria
  • Pakistan
  • Mongolia
  • Lithuania
  • Georgia
  • Sudan
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Lebanon

I feel that some of these figures may not be entirely accurate. Such as the CVD rate in Syria, or Iraq in the last few years. As for the rest. I would not like to comment on the social and political situations in all of these countries in too much detail. However, we are not looking at peaceful and mature democracies here. Mainly dictatorships and countries riven by internal conflict.

Winding this back to the US, there is a pattern of CHD showing that certain counties suffer much higher rates than others. Figures taken from the CDC. On this graph darker means a higher rate of heart disease, lighter means less heart disease. These are deaths per 100,000 per year. You may discern a pattern.

The UK shows precisely the same sort of picture with inner cities and more deprived areas, having much higer rates than affluent suburbs.

Wherever and however you look it becomes apparent that higher levels of psychosocial stress are strongly associated with CVD/CHD. In some cases, very strongly indeed.

But how can psychosocial stress and factors such as childhood trauma, as seen in the Australian Aboriginals, or Native Americans, lead to a build up of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries,the main cause of CVD?

Or to put it another way, how does a negative external stressor, lead to the internal physiological strain, that causes CVD? For that we need to turn to Sapolski, Bjortorp and Marmot. Which comes next!


1: https://wol.iza.org/uploads/articles/298/pdfs/mortality-crisis-in-transition-economies.pdf

2: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/publications/statistics/european-cardiovascular-disease-statistics-2017

3: http://factsanddetails.com/russia/Economics_Business_Agriculture/sub9_7b/entry-5170.html

4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20427550

481 thoughts on “What causes heart disease – Part 63

  1. rnspainter

    Hi Malcolm

    Didn’t see this before it went out – should i have?

    You may like to correct the missing “cause” in the first para on your blog site:

    Forgetting for a moment attacks by various people, and newspapers, that shalI remain nameless [Mail on Sunday UK], I thought I would return to the more interesting topic of what actually does CAUSE cardiovascular disease and. As I have done several times before, I am looking at stress/strain.


  2. Dorcas Walters

    Having recently heard about research in to the data gap between genders, I’m interested in why the graphs showing deaths from CHD are only for men? Were women’s deaths not measured or did no women die from CHD? What might we be missing in not knowing the rates in relation to women? This also begs the question are women regularly put on statins based on research that relates only to men?

    1. Janet Love

      Dorcas, Yes, a big fat, emphatic YES… so many ‘Drug Trials’ are done with or aimed at men…that I’m wondering if the majority of breast cancer research is done with….
      Women !
      To answer your implied question. No, women on statins may not ‘enjoy’ the same rate of benefits that men (supposedly…) receive, and certainly the older we are, the less either gender benefits from lowering cholesterol, as the more recent Framingham results are showing.

      1. Dorcas

        I must look up that Framingham study because my 80 yr old Dad I had been put on statins with an only slightly raised cholesterol. GP also wants my 83 yr old mother to take them but I think her higher cholesterol is related to her hypothyroidism.

      2. David Bailey


        I’d recommend you read Statin-Nation, if you haven’t already. Armed with that information, would it be reasonable for either of your parents to take such a horrible drug? I cringe at the thought of anyone being put on statins after what they did to me, but at age 63 I had more resilience to get over the experience!

  3. barovsky

    You mentioned this is your book, where you used exile as your measure, an experience I can relate to. But how, exactly does stress translate to dis-ease? Is it as you also mentioned in the same book, the HPA Axis that is the ’cause’, or at least in some individuals, the trigger? Cortisol and adrenaline flooding the arteries, causing inflammation that the body reacts to by producing to much cholesterol, the ‘repair’ molecule?

    It would explain why some people under continual stress, react differently, perhaps measuring the levels of cortisol and adrenaline might shed some light in the issue, or maybe this has already been done (PTSD for example).

    1. HB

      I’d love to know why so many people writing online about health put an unnecessary hyphen in the middle of the word “disease”. It grates on me terribly.

      1. JanB

        HB – but it does make one think about the meaning of the word ‘disease.’ – a state of mind or body that is not at ease with itself.

    2. chris c

      Yes agreed, and you can work this backwards as well. I lack a proper Phase 1 insulin response but still have plenty of Phase 2. As a result any appreciable quantity of carbs spikes my blood glucose, and there is a subsequent drop a couple of hours later, enough to cause a release of “counterregulatory hormones” including cortisol, epinephrine, nor epinephrine and others. I worked this out with a glucometer but more recently people with CGMs are finding the same thing – “hangry” and the next step reactive hypoglycemia which is probably more common than it is supposed to be. In fact it is no longer supposed to exist, the diagnosis having been changed to “idiopathic postprandial syndrome”, ie. we are going to ignore what causes it.

      In retrospect I spent the first fifty years of my life reacting AS IF I was under high levels of stress when I was actually under low levels, or none. Now I know what it is and what to do about it my moods are much more level along with my physical energy. It would be interesting to get cortisol and adrenaline measured (and insulin too). I can reverse this on demand simply by eating cornflakes. Things run in both directions over the HPA axis from the physical to the mental as well as vice versa.

      The corollary is people who have truly dreadful lives yet fail to react to the stress.

      1. barovsky

        I didn’t understand some of your chemical references but I got the gist of it and in fact around a year ago my heart started missing beats that freaked me out! Went to GP, got bloods done etc and my blood sugar had spiked (I’m not diabetic) and one GP said I was ‘pre-diabetic’. Had 24hr ecg test which calmed me down no end (it turned out to be ectopic arythmia). Blood sugar back to ‘normal’, so clearly a link between stress and blood sugar, ergo the heart.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Under stress/strain you release adrenaline, growth hormone, glucagon and cortisol. All four are directly antagonistic to insulin. It is no surprise the blood sugar rises.

      3. barovsky

        Growth hormone?! What kind of effect does this have on me. You mentioned in your book on cholesterol that continuous stress/strain effectively ‘turns on’ the HPA system permanently, thus flooding the system with adrenaline, cortisol etc. As I have a healthy diet, exercise (moderately), don’t drink and don’t smoke, I can only assume my 2nd heart attack (7 yrs after the 1st) could be down to stress?

      4. chris c

        Yes and it works the other way too, a rapid drop in blood glucose causes the release of the stress hormones, probably one (of many) ways the insulin’glucose axis is involved in CVD.

  4. abdlomax

    Right on, Dr Kendrick. Especially distinguishing strain from stress.

    In that line, I distinguish conditions from our responses. We may have little choice about conditions, sometimes, but always a choice about responses, if we recognize the possibility.

    There is a whole technology for detaching from reactions, “natural responses,” that can kill us.

    Those responses are amygdala-generated, and are useful in an emergency, where we don’t have time for reflection and all that cerebral cortex stuff.

    The technology is about how to reprogram the amygdala, to quiet it when we assess there is no emergency, and that the fear and strain will do more harm than good. (We do not want to shut off the amygdala, it can save our life! But worry — strain! — is not part of that.)

    So in the places you covered, there were stressors, and statistically, many will not know how to handle them, to accept reality and deal with it with faith and sober action. We are mostly not trained how to do this.

      1. washjohngalt

        Hmm. I also wondered what “technology” abdlomax was referring to. However, my mind went to things like meditation, psychological tools to put things in perspective & alcohol.

      2. abdlomax

        Actually, “meditation” is a technique which can be used as part of the technology, and, to be sure, the technology I referred to can be a whole range of techniques and trainings. Some people can do this naturally, others require training, and, in fact, everyone can benefit from training. Consider the difference between just sitting quietly for a few minutes, or actually sitting with and being guided by, say, a Zen master or other expert.

        There are programs that are free, but not necessarily reliable, such as 12-step programs, and they are a bit loose to be called “training.” Still, I highly recommend them and similar peer support groups.

        The training I went through was Landmark Education. I had years of experience with various “spiritual traditions”, including Buddhism and 12-step work and various psychological approaches, and I had credentials as a teacher in several traditions, but I found that Werner Erhard (who is no longer working with Landmark, and he isn’t even mentioned, usually) had, around 1970, developed an approach that was highly efficient (and little in it was new, it was put together from older work, including Buddhism. But it is entirely secular, there is no religious component.) It is a technology of transformation. I had never paid for training in my life, and resisted the idea. I was pretty convinced that it must be some kind of scam. The ontology was familiar to me, but what nailed it was when I saw it in action, with ordinary people, when I saw these people wake up, and when I met people with high experience in that work.

        So I went for it, and did the entire basic Curriculum (it is not expensive for the value) and then did Leader training (which is free, but you work). I have no current connection with Landmark, but the technology, I use constantly. It works. I can tell so many stories of what, to ordinary thinking, would be miracles, but I knew what I was doing.

        I wrote about it in my post. The amygdala is programmable, and what the cerebral cortex can accomplish when the amygdala is quieted, and when we start driving this bus instead of just riding in it, is . . . utterly amazing. I write about this on Quora a lot. Landmark is not perfect, I got to know the organization quite well, it is a human organization with all that this can imply. But it’s damn good.

        So what is generic here is learning how to handle “difficult conditions” without strain. Yes, what the mind/body can do has no specific limits. I’m a skeptic, actually, as to the paranormal, but pseudoskeptics have a very narrow idea of what might be possible. What is possible may be far beyond what is “normal.” Language matters. What I wrote here about homeopathy and the placebo effect was along those lines.

        So by “technology” I mean a bit more than one technique, which one might think meditation is. I mean the whole toolbox, and learning to use it as a master craftsperson.

        washjohngalt was right, and even about “alcohol,” which can be a way that people treat themselves for anxiety, and this may be related to the benefit of small amounts of alcohol. The Qur’an even says about alcohol that there is some good (and then it says that the harm outweighs the good). My sense is that if only alcohol is used to handle stress, there may be a short-term benefit, but then, what happens if the stress increases? So we need more tools without those side-effects. And then we can discover that these tools can take us in to a new life, far beyond what we might imagine.

      3. Sasha

        Yes, people can choose whatever approach works for them: meditation, 12 steps, Landmark, etc. I disagree with your characterization of 12 steps as “unreliable”, though.

      4. abdlomax

        Sorry. That word was not carefully chosen. I am a very strong supporter of 12-step programs, I was actually world service conference chair, one year, in one, but they don’t have a 90% success rate. Anyone with an issue where there is a 12-step program, I would highly recommend making it work..

        Alcoholics who are actively drinking and heavily habituated may need a residential treatment program, which is phenomenally expensive, but which can also be life-saving, if the person, once again, makes it work. Alcoholics Anonymous would then be crucial for maintaining sobriety. There is actually no dogma in AA, there is merely a common consensus that is not enforced (if it is, that would just be some dry drunk running a power trip.) The key is people communicating and sharing “experience, strength, and hope.”

        AA is cheap, commonly available, and if one realizes what makes it work, and dedicates oneself to that process, it becomes quite reliable. But many, many alcoholics don’t do that.

        Anyway, the relevance here is about how to reduce what is being called “strain,’ i.e., dysfunctional response to stress. From AA, “Easy does it,” “This too shall pass,” “One Step at a Time,” come to mind. I just looked up “252 AA slogans” and they are mostly about letting go of stress. (By the way, I’m not an alcoholic, but I used to go to open AA meetings for the inspiration that is common there, and I even was invited to speak at one (which is quite unusual). That was fun!

  5. Vlad

    Makes sense. Also explains the connection between cigarette consumption (but not cigar/pipe which are associated with relaxation/celebration) and CVD. People are stressed, they smoke, as the stress gets higher, they smoke even more and indulge in comfort eating and other deleterious behaviors.

    1. Anna M

      Actually I suspect that while the harms of cigarettes outrun the benefits, there is a slight benefit in that tobacco has a calming effect.

      1. abdlomax

        Yes. So then notice that we need calming and learn to do it without a drug. That is relatively easy, by the way, if one is willing to be what is called “coachable,” to try stuff and find out what works.

      2. chris c

        Yes I have always had a predilection for dopaminergic drugs. I noticed my consumption of nicotine and caffeine went way up when I was on an SSRI and dropped again when I changed to Venlafaxine. Last fourteen years I have not needed antidepressants (or statins) but I still do the caffeine. Well nobody’s perfect . . .

    2. Martin Back

      As a young man I used to commute to work by train, and I discovered that all the prettiest girl commuters sat in the front carriage where they could smoke. The other carriages were non-smoking.

      I had two theories about this: A) pretty girls smoked to keep thin; and B) pretty girls smoked due to stress because they were constantly having to deal with the attentions of men.

      I seldom travelled in that carriage, although I was a smoker myself. The smoke used to form a long cloud near the ceiling which slowly rose and dipped as the train accelerated and braked. It was almost unbreathable.

      Thinking back to the days when everyone smoked everywhere — in bars, cinemas, restaurants, at work, etc — it’s amazing we didn’t all come down with lung cancer just from second-hand smoke.

  6. smartersig

    Stress = Cortisol production
    Cortisol = Insulin resistance
    Insulin resistance = heart disease

    All above are proven links

    1. andy

      smartersig, I would add:
      insulin resistance + stress = accelerated mortality
      Stress could include anything in excess that upsets body chemistry I.e. alcohol
      In a population that experiences a sudden stressful condition, the first to succumb will be the most insulin resistant. Hence a bump in mortality followed by a decline. Just thinking.

  7. washjohngalt

    Nicely setup, I’m really anxious to read part 64. But, I don’t see the correlation between the CDC CHD map and urban areas though, especially in my state of Washington. Nevada seems really strange too. This obesity map seems to correlate more to the CDC map than urban centers: https://maxmasnick.com/2011/11/15/obesity_by_county/ The deep south is poorer, but the people I’ve met there seem quite happy, but they do like to eat. A lot.

    1. barovsky

      The data doesn’t bring ‘race’ into the picture. It’s the South, there are a lot of poor Black people in the South who live, like the Australian Aborirginals, live extremely stressful, precarious lives and shit diets. Is this data available Malcolm? Read Joe Bageant’s, ‘Dear Hunting with Jesus Dispatches from America’s Class War’, or his last, ‘Rainbow Pie’ A Memoir of Redneck America’. Brilliantly written, witty, wry and although its focus is White, Redneck America in Virginia, just multiply the effects for poor Black people.

      1. Anna M

        I really think this is no longer particularly true. Lots of blacks and lots of whites lead similar lives with poverty and very poor diets – which is done from ignorance, not lack of access to better foods. It is part of the current class war in America for the white collar types to pretend that there is significant oppression of blacks so that they can avoid noticing that it is the poorer class in general who has been getting poorer. Of course, poverty and past traumas take time to recover from but this goes for everyone.

    2. Angelica Nelson

      I think from my POV, the question is, do people feel that they can provide for their family on par with their neighbors? Can people who are currently in poverty, feel confident that with hard work they can achieve middle class status in their lifetime? Take a look at Hawaii and Minnesota. Both with low rates. Hawaii is known for an egalitarian social situation, and Minnesota Nice is a slogan that’s similar to the Japanese idea of harmony. That is, it’s not that you can’t talk about things that may upset people, but if you do, it’s a finite currency that can run out if you run around doing it too much. Long ago in the pre Internet days, the old school politeness rule was similar. You used up social currency if you upset people. Sometimes it was necessary, to solve a problem, but just debating to debate was frowned on.

      I couldn’t say if that’s the answer, but it looks likely that social harmony has a positive impact on health.

      Have there been more heart attacks in the West, since the Internet went live around 1992, and the impact would’ve been visible starting around 1995?

    3. Frederica Huxley

      I was also struck by Nevada! JDPatten made the comment that the heavy red on the map often tied up with red states; that I can understand, but I can’t fathom Nevada.

      1. washjohngalt

        I don’t see the connection to politics at all. Maybe as a 4th or 5th order factor tenuously linked to stressors and the strain various personality types might accentuate, which in turn are weakly correlated to political affiliation. [Ad hoc hypothesis, hmm] Here’s the county map from the last presidential election: https://brilliantmaps.com/2016-county-election-map/ Lot’s of blue along the Mississippi R. and South AL. My main contention is that the CDC map doesn’t overlay very well with inner cities and deprived areas – at least at the resolution of the map.

    4. washjohngalt

      I don’t see much Indian population in Nevada nor do I see US relative poverty. Bill in Oz do you have a source? Most of Nevada counties are < 10% Indian and only 2 counties reach the mid range for relative poverty.


      The largest overlap of %Indian population and %Relative Poverty is the 4 corners area and that section of the CDC map is pale pink! Eastern OK is more of a mix though.

      1. Eric

        Not only that, but the Indian hot spots in Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico are not at all where the CVC hot spots are.

      2. Mr Chris

        Reno, Las Vegas?
        Elderly men keeling over as they get divorced or loose all at gambling?

  8. AhNotepad

    At least WordPress are sending the new blogs 🙂

    Fiona Burns, who can be found on Ian R Crane’s videos, suffered from cancer, and was lucky enough, for a while, to get help from GcMAF. Her attitude was enlightening in that she was taught that if anything happens, welcome it. Thinking about it may possibly be a helpful thing to do. If you have some malady and you think you have to fight it, that must be a stress response. On the other hand, welcoming it seems more like a sympathetic and consequently low stress response. It’s mind over matter, and it won’t work for everyone, but given the alternatives, it must be worth a try, especially given the dark red blotch covering the SE States in the mp above.

    1. Frederica Huxley

      Poverty and obesity in those states is rife, but what is appalling is that medical care is out of the reach of these marginalised people. For many, the only care they will ever be able to access is when groups of medicos, dentists and ophthalmologists volunteer set up mobile centres, treating patients for free. Makes the NHS all the more precious.

      1. Anna M

        Which country are you speaking of? State laws differ, but those in real poverty are eligible for medicaid.

      2. Frederica Huxley

        Unfortunately, many people do not have access to Medicaid. As well, there are heartrending stories of couples having to get divorced so that one of them is eligible for care.

  9. Jonathan Bacon-Sandwich

    Great piece, worth subscribing for this alone.
    Shit life syndrome is a phrase recently coined in the UK. Pop in to our local A+E dept (or some of the wards) for classic specimens. Unhappy people suffer more and die sooner QED.

  10. Sasha

    I am surprised Mongolia made that list.

    Interestingly, ACE lead not only to large increases in CVD but also in cancer, diabetes, and in what seems to be every other chronic disease known. There’s even a book about it, I forget its name.

  11. JDPatten

    My Massachusetts county is the palest pink. Guess I’ll just stay here,
    Interestingly, there’s a pretty fair correspondence between pale pink on this map and blue on political maps of the U S.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Bill in Oz: Indeed, I froze my fanny off last week, but it’s warming up now. 80 today; time to unload the greenhouse. I guess global cooling is finished for the year, and global warming is ahead. I say, bring it on. Plants grow faster with more CO2, and what’s not to like about a longer growing season? I sure like warm weather better than cold. I no longer ski, so winter is kind of a pain.

    1. Anna M

      See JD, that sorta proves my point I made above. The issue is class division, not race. That’s mostly a red herring. The upper classes have benefited from our past few decades of policies that have further impoverished the lower ends. Actually, it is poor whites whose life expectancies are showing as the first to drop.

  12. Anne Robertson

    2016 was the year the strain got me. In April, my favourite cat died. He was 15 but he was special. In June, Britain voted for Brexit. I’ve lived in France since 1983 and realised I had better apply for French citizenship, a long and fairly expensive business. In July, my retired guide dog died aged 15 too. She was extra special. She was born on the day I had my liver and kidney transplant which saved my life. In August, I had an infected tooth extracted. That’s another risk factor for heart attack and stroke. In November, I had a mild TIA which deprived me of the feeling all down my left side. Being unable to see my feet, I had to learn to walk safely before I was allowed to leave hospital. I still got out after 6 days. On 23rd December, our other cat died also aged 15. Then, on Christmas Eve, I had a mild heart attack and found myself stented. By this time, I had been eating very low carb for almost 8 years, and all tests had shown my heart to be in excellent condition. Being very well informed on the subject of statins, I refused to take one which annoyed the hospital cardiologist. I chose to find my own cardiologist and eventually did so. He looked at all my medication related to my transplants and agreed that a statin would be one too many. I still have residual problems of numbness in my left hand and left foot from the TIA, but apart from that, I’m doing pretty well. So, you can do all the right things as far as diet and exercise is concerned and still fall foul of the stressors of life. Oh yes. I’m now happily French as well as British!

  13. Charles Gale

    Dr Kendrick writes “most people feel that stress can lead to illness”


    For example, ulcers…skin problems…mental health issues.

    Stress and strain? Also, the difference between pressure and stress? The difference? Pressure can spur you on but stress can make you ill or kill you.

    But not when it comes to CVD!

    No such thing as stress causing CVD. At least not in my n=1 experience on the slab nearly 3 years ago.

    Neither professionals (GPs, cardiologists, an endocrinologist – she couldn’t stop looking at my lipid profile and list of meds…didn’t want to know about cortisol testing and so on. She was also too busy to keep up on research and the work done by, for example, Zapolsky in his Zebra book) and non professionals (friends, family) gave it any credence.

    Strange, rage inducing times as the ad hominem attacks and undermining began on me.

    I’m still baffled why GPs sign people off work on the patients say so, and don’t avail themselves of some scientific testing.

    I fear there may be problems with lack of data here, in establishing this as a cause of CVD. In fact, with any non mainstream cholesterol hypothesis.

    In my experience (NHS in England), no one was testing my…to choose just 3…(1) homocysteine levels (2) chondroitin sulphate levels and (3) HPA axis functionality.

    I had 2 of those 3 checked myself and, as far as I’m aware, the results stayed with me and never found their way to interested parties in these hypotheses.

  14. Angelica Nelson

    When talking about the example of the Soviet Union or Lithuania or Poland, and why they had so many men die of heart attacks after the iron curtain fell. There’s a specific circumstance that may be missed. The people living there, behind the “iron curtain” (my family included) were under chronic stress and they were daily thinking, “OK I can manage this… I can cope with the next annoyance.” And then one day, or a series of weeks, you had everything changing. Absolutely everything. Factories that were subsidized collapsed, people out of work, nobody knowing where to find the stability to provide for themselves. Revenge killings, corruption unchecked by corrupt government even. Feminism aside, when a society is destabilized at the most basic level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it’s the men who feel the most responsible to protect their family. They will take the hardest stress hit, and in moments of chaos, you can’t inch-by-inch learn to cope with outrageous situations.

  15. Charles Gale

    Smartersig – proven links


    Here’s another one, for those without diabetes/insulin issues:

    Stress = excess cortisol production
    Cortisol = arterial damage
    Arterial damage = repair e.g. increased cholesterol, lp(a), fibrinogen and calcium production

  16. Gary Redman

    Mmm. Statistics don’t lie. One thing that becomes exceedingly obvious when you study anything. I used to believe that stress was a cop out or garbage but through your books and this article and several others I’ve read I must say I was incorrect or misinformed. You have to be able to admit your mistakes. As apparent as a kick to the jatz crackers when you see it in this light ala the graphs on saturated fat that first sparked my interest a couple of years ago. Again statistics don’t lie. Another eye opener. Great article.

  17. LeftyGreenMario

    Many things increase the risk of heart disease. Why not both high blood cholesterol and stress? Can one not say both are a risk factor?

    1. Bill in Oz

      Ummmm I took some vicarious delight in down thumbing you LeftyGreenMario. Just set aside all thought of cholesterol in your mind…. The next step is to stop those statins. Then gradually you will be able to think with more clarity.

    2. Jerome Savage

      Based on comments by C Gate above I sent following to a friend
      Stress = excess cortisol production
      Cortisol = artery wall damage (which causes blockages in arteries which causes heart attacks and strokes)
      Arterial damage = repair of the artery walls begins by increasing cholesterol.
      Thherefore increased cholestoral is a result of, not a cause of heart disease. Getting rid of cholestoral slows down the repair and healing of artery walls. That’s not good for the heart etc
      NB If you come across lots of fireman at a fire, you don’t blame the firemen!

    3. David Bailey


      If you think cholesterol or LDL is a problem, take a look at these studies that compare mortality rates in people with different levels of blood cholesterol and/or blood LDL.


      The extraordinary result is that people all over the world with higher cholesterol/LDL live slightly longer on average than those with less.

      Look at those graphs and ask yourself why exactly you would want to lower your cholesterol/LDL by any means whatsoever.

      The scandal here is that these studies get done, and are then not presented to the public, or statistically mangled until they seem to portray the opposite!

      1. Jerome Savage

        I usually jump to the end bit. Noteworthy is the following
        “Our fervent wish is that, through this supplementary issue, people can see that the cholesterol hypothesis relies
        on very weak data—and sometimes considerably distort-ed data. Indeed, many studies in Japan actually show that cholesterol plays a very positive role in health. We hope that JAS, and the government authorities that defer to
        JAS’s recommendations, will move toward recognizing cholesterol as a friend not an enemy. In the meantime, we will continue pushing for acceptance of the anti-choles-terol hypothesis, to reverse what we see as the biggest mis-
        take made by medical science in the previous century.”
        My cardiologist referred to genetic differences – presumably he was referring to the Japanese study. Such difference was why why I should take my statin. I didn’t and don’t

  18. Chris Blair

    A BBC program a few decades looked at resilience in people who were in their nineties and who still were mentally very acute.
    All emphasised the importance of resilience and acceptance of the highs and lows of life as they happen.
    So it is your reaction to events that is the key.
    Easier said than done but perhaps a worthwhile goal.
    See Kiplings poem If.

  19. Soul

    Timely reminder about stress and heart disease. My sister and her family arrived today for a weeks stay. There will be stress! I’ll need to find a safe space.

    I’ve personally not thought well of the idea of stress and disease. That isn’t your fault though. My poor thoughts on disease and stress began as a young boy. I developed a severe stomach problem when 15 years old. Naturally my parents took me to the doctor in hopes of correcting this problem. After severals tests and not finding out what was happening, in the final visit the doctor called me and my mom for a talk. He told us he believed my stomach condition was caused by stress at school. I believed him awhile. When I would become ill in class I’d wonder what stressful event had occurred to cause this. It didn’t take me long though to begin to think poorly on that doctor’s idea since my condition continued to deteriorate. It remains will me today 30 plus years later. I now tell others, when the topic of stress and GI health comes up, stress makes things worse.

    Of course stomach conditions and heart disease are not the same.

    When I was in HS the most popular teacher in school had a heart attack while young, Mr Valentine. He taught psychology. All the girls were in love with him. He would talk about his heart attack to us students. He was always looking to loose weight naturally, even though he was already somewhat lean, as is often preached about in the news and elsewhere that weighing less is associated with less heart disease. Our popular teacher would tell us though he was afraid to loose weight in some respects as he said he believed the chances of a heart attack were higher as the pounds fell off.

    Having looked up this idea mentioned by my late teacher, he died of a heart attack the year after I graduated, I have seen studies mentioning the chances of a heart attack are significantly higher due to weight fluctuation. I have no idea if the studies are well done. I should spend some time looking into that out of curiosity. As an example on this idea ~

    “Repeatedly losing and gaining weight may increase your risk of heart attacks, stroke, and death, a new study says”


    The weight fluctuation heart attack theory, if true, has made me wonder about your past mentions on what happened in Russia. Russia’s economy fell apart. Jobs were hard to find. The people were stressed greatly, naturally. What has made me curious about the increased rate of heart attacks seen in Russia after the fall of their government is if Russians lost weight, or were experiencing frequent weight fluctuation due experiencing times of not being able to afford as much food. I would think that many Russians did experience weight fluctuation but don’t know.

    Anyway just a ramble. Looks like I’ll find out more in the next blog post about stress and heart disease.


    “If you want a comparator country in Europe, here is the UK during the same time period. A steady uninterrupted fall (completley undisturbed by the launch of statins in 1987) Every other country in Western Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia etc. show the same pattern as the UK – a steady fall.”

    The above is a quote from your Article. What explanation do the drug companies (who make and distribute the statins) have as to the efficacy of statins if in fact there was no change or spike or blip apparent before and after the use of statins.

    1. Gary Ogden

      BERNARD TOEWS: Neither the drug companies nor the FDA are particularly interested in evidence. Post-marketing data concerning safety, with drugs, but not biologicals, matters, and, if worrisome enough, can lead to the removal of a drug. As far as I know, there is no system for evaluating post-marketing efficacy for either drugs or biologicals. We are the guinea pigs.

      1. anglosvizzera

        Rather like the graphs that show that vaccination had little impact on the decline of most diseases…

      2. AhNotepad

        But it’s well known the measles vaccine would need just one shot to eradicate measles in one year, er, didn’t it?

  21. Gary Ogden

    Bullseye! And a good reminder to continue to roll with the punches. Looking forward eagerly to Sapolski, Bjortorp, and Marmot.

    1. James DownUnder

      Gary, I just YouTubed Robert Sapolsky’s talk on ‘Depression’, and it was worth it’s weight in gluco-corticoids…. and I’ve got his “Zebra” book on order. Either/both would be great preparatory for The Kendrick’s next offering, #64.

    1. David Bailey

      If you want to take medical advice from the Daily Mail, you have to collect several articles and then average them (if such a thing is possible).

      Personally, I will continue to take my 75 mg aspirin, because my suspicion is that the evidence for its usefulness is downplayed now because it makes negligible money for Big Pharma.

      If I suffered from frequent indigestion, I guess I might think again.

      1. Jean Humphreys

        Dear David Bailey
        Keep taking the aspirin – it works for me, and I have been taking it for 22 years. No hint of stomach problems. Although I was a martyr to heartburn. Take this acid reducer, they said. No help. Turns out it was caused by insufficent acid, weakening the oesophogeal sphnicter. I got a teenage moment one day and said to myself “I want a pickled onion, and I will have a pickled onion. I can always take an extra pill.” I have never had heartburn or acid reflux since that day.. So what works for you is what you should have.

      2. barovsky

        David, I’ve been taking aspirin for 7 years, without ‘side effects’, although it didnt stop me having a second heart attack 6 1/2yrs after the first one. In any case, how do you know what effect such allegedly preventive measures, have?

      3. chris c

        Watch out for tinnitus! That’s what made me stop. I feared it had become permanent but after several years either it has improved or I got used to it.. Still avoid NSAIDS as I don’t want it to return.

      4. barovsky

        So are you saying there’s a link between aspirin and tinnitus? My understanding (I have tinnitus in one ear) is that it’s connected to loss of hearing. In fact, the noise we hear is most likely the sound of the brain working as it ramps up the hearing sensitivity to compensate.

      5. chris c

        Some other NSAIDS are worse, one dose can cause tinnitus in susceptible folks. I first noticed tinnitus with aspirin which was reversible (I didn’t take it often) then it started to occur with Ibuprofen and even Ketoprofen ointment when applied to my shoulder, so I avoided all such drugs until I was persuaded onto the low dose aspirin. I believe the mechanism is that they damage the fine blood vessels that feed the inner ear. Problem is many other things may cause it also.

    2. BobM

      This isn’t the only advice against taking aspirin. See the following:


      I have been told to take aspirin, but have never done so. I read enough studies that said that any benefit to anti-coagulation is outweighed by internal bleeding.

      Personally, I think fasting does as much or more for anti-coagulation/inflammation reduction as aspirin does. So, that’s what I do instead of taking aspirin.

      Everything we take has benefits and detriments. For me, after reading the studies, I’ve not taken aspirin, though I lie to my doctor and say I do.

      1. David Bailey


        I think the problem is, that any studies that are funded directly or indirectly by Big Pharma are likely to try to pour cold water on the idea that aspirin is useful – just as they downplay the value of vitamins.

        For that reason, I’d rather rely on the old advice that aspirin is useful, than follow the latest scientific evidence! In a way, the science establishment have really shot themselves in the foot – because once people come to realise that scientific evidence is routinely gamed, they lose respect for it – even those like me, who studied science at university and even went into research for a while.

      2. Jerome Savage

        David Bailey
        Was put on Aspirin as blood thinner too many years ago. That changed to another “benign” thinner after developing a stomach ulcer. No problems since, – tho raw garlic is possibly a better all round alternative & is now preferred.

    3. Angelica Nelson

      I’ll stay with the aspirin, but if someone’s having a problem they do make natto tablets. And the “bad effect” of 1k IU of vitamin E is blood thinning. So we’re not going to run out of options.

      1. barovsky

        I raised the issue of aspirin with my GP (who is quite sympathetic to ‘new’ ideas’) and she straight up told me to keep taking it. I suppose I’m one of the lucky ones who don’t appear to have negative reactions to it, though I do take it religiously with food and first the Ranitidine and have done so for almost 7 years. BTW, I’m also on an anti-platelet for a year, until October following my last op.

  22. James DownUnder

    When I suggested 12 months of financial, personal and career-ending STRESS’ (ok, ‘strain…’) as being a major factor in my previously clear coronary arteries deciding to clot up… my (ex) cardiologist -derisively – poured scorn over the idea and by implication, the ignorant fool proposing it.
    – My current Cardio also has a Doctorate in Philosophy, and it shows…

    1. Janet Love

      Bill, sadly because nothing has changed, and another paper would be so similar it would be mistaken for plagiarism !

      1. Bill in Oz

        I asked mereely because there has been a program for the past 8 years to significantly reduce the CVD rate among aboriginals. I wonder if it has made any difference. I suspect not.

  23. Cary Blackburn

    It might be interesting looking at the UK figures in a few years to see what effect Brexit may have on the population.

    1. Gary Ogden

      UnlicencedThinker: Yes. Lots of fine folks down there! Although the government seems worse than even the swamp in the U.S., if that is possible.

      1. Angelica Nelson

        Heh, this made me go yey, we’re number 2! (and now I’m going back to grimly waiting out the next 1.7 years).

    2. James DownUnder

      … Perhaps his proven propensity for puncturing pomposity… a fundemental Aussie trait.
      And his irreverent sense of humour…

  24. goransjoberg2015

    Posting: Well, everyones life in any society is a complex web of stresses induced by the specific surroundings in the actual societies. To feel helpless is not a good starting point for CVD “recovery” and my guess is that it is a good strategy to “fight back” against medical “crimes” but first of all to try to cope with your individual stress situation

    I just saw the impressive “fighter list” against the cholesterol medical fraud, the THINCS group, and was duly encouraged.


    On this list we of course find Dr. Kendrick.

    I am also impressed with what i now see happening in France were the Yellow Vest movement is persistently (18 weeks now) fighting back against the oppression from the establishment and the “rich”. My guess is that we at the same time see provocations and vandalism from “dark forces” infiltrating the movement, the outcome of strategy is just to justify more oppression.

    (The Aboriginals were however as vulnerable as any indigenous peoples through history when confronted by the “globalism” of the Europeans.)

    1. David Bailey

      I am also very impressed by the yellow vest protests. Some of them face a heavy price as well because some of the crowd control grenades are far too powerful – several people have lost eyes. Also the French people don’t seem taken in by the argument that because the protesters use some minimal force, that invalidates them.

  25. Post Peak Medicine

    I think the world is going to come under a great deal of stress as climate change, resource depletion and economic instability start to bite, and all-cause mortality is likely to rise including cardiovascular disease, depression / alcohol abuse and suicide. Think Russia in 1991 but across the planet. I’ve put together a few thoughts about this in some books and other materials which are available for free download from my website Post Peak Medicine:

    1. David Bailey

      If we continue to grow our populations, we will suffer resource depletion, but in my opinion, ‘climate change’ is just a distraction. We are destroying our reliable electricity supply rather as previous civilisations have sacrificed their animals (or even their children) to the gods. We take no notice of the fact that countries like China and India have signed the Paris accords but are digging more coal than ever and opening more coal fired power plants.

      1. Mr Chris

        China as part of the Belt and road initiative is building large numbers of coal fired power stations. If you add together the climate effect of those, plus private jets plus cruise ships plus the electricity requirements of social media, it is quite a figure.

      2. David Bailey

        Mr Chris,

        I have a feeling that CO2 has little if any warming effect – so we can add together as much as we like! I don’t want to drag this forum off topic, but there are numerous reasons to doubt this is a genuine scare.

      3. washjohngalt

        Yes the electric grid and fossil fuels are essential to our civilization and standard of life. 1.5B people have no access to electricity. Alex Epstein has a number of talks and books that use the standard of “human flourishing” rather than an unchanging nature as the framework within which to evaluate energy/climate. I’ve found that POV rather unique in the whole “discussion”.

  26. Martin Back

    Certain be-knighted professors, who shall remain nameless, might say that cholesterol is the stress and plaque is the strain. For which they have the answer. A statin pill, and cut out eggs and artery-clogging fat. Nonsense, of course, but it does give the patient the feeling that they can control things to some extent. Hence reducing their existential stress. Hence improving their health, in a left-handed kind of way.

    1. chris c

      Yes that’s what I was thinking – the stress caused by the FEAR of cholesterol is the culprit, not the cholesterol itself, and statins work by lowering the cholesterol and hence lowering the fear. Oh but then you have to ignore PCSK9s which put LDL through the floor without affecting mortailty. Maybe the fact that they are expensive injections works against them and increases the stress again . . .

      1. Martin Back

        Ah, but the public know and love the word ‘statins’. They think statins are miracle pills. PCSK9s sound like experimental drugs, which one hesitates to put into one’s body for fear of adverse consequences.

      2. Jerome Savage

        Just bring in the marketing folk & a new digestible sweet little name will make the tab sellable & digestible. Market share & turnover will surely please the directors and the big(ger) yacht.

  27. colettebytes

    Interesting reading. I think you ‘hit the nail on the head’ with the socioeconomic ‘strain’ response to unavoidable stress.
    There is a mental component to life that can determine whether we are a ‘glass half full,’ happy, healthy, content person, or, va glass half empty, miserable, unhealthy malcontent person.
    Life is so much better and healthier if we can roll with the pouches that life throws at us.

    So, is CVD also a disease that comes along with mental health issues? Has a study ever been done in this regard?

      1. anglosvizzera

        Certain nutritional deficiencies also have a great impact on mental health and the ability to cope with ‘stress’. Magnesium, for example, is said by many nutritional experts to be in short supply these days and, in addition, is depleted in the body in ‘stressful’ circumstances. Magnesium is known to be an important nutrient to regulate the body’s stress response, so a deficiency leads to a vicious cycle. And that’s just one micronutrient…

        I feel that many people today are suffering from malnutrition when it comes to micronutrients, from modern farming methods that produce foods deficient in essential micronutrients, and also from the rubbish diet that many people eat.

      2. chris c

        Indeed, as someone wrote we are overfed but still malnourished. Wheat for example has pretty much doubled its yield in recent decades but the roots don’t grow any bigger so the micronutrients are diluted. Cows, not so much.

      3. Martin Back

        Cows bred for milk yield are reaching their genetic limits. I’ve seen picture of cows with such huge udders they have to wear a brassiere for support. It’s unnatural.

        “Milk yield per cow has more than doubled in the previous 40 years and many cows now produce more than 20,000 kg of milk per lactation. The increase in production should be viewed with concern because: i) the increase in milk yield has been accompanied by declining fertility, increasing leg and metabolic problems and declining longevity; ii) there are unfavourable genetic correlations between milk yield and fertility, mastitis and other production diseases, indicating that deterioration in fertility and health is largely a consequence of selection for increased milk yield; and iii) high disease incidence, reduced fertility, decreased longevity and modification of normal behaviour are indicative of substantial decline in cow welfare.”https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228675305_The_impact_of_genetic_selection_for_increased_milk_yield_on_the_welfare_of_dairy_cows

      4. chris c

        Yes I’ve heard that about “them kipper-arsed Holsteins” as one farmer described them – they are so developed at producing huge milk yields that they are no longer able to maintain their bodies properly, hence equally huge vet bills. They are an American derivation of Friesians.

        Fortunately here we have a lot of “old fashioned” breeds especially for beef, they are a lot more robust (and tasty).

  28. Martin Back

    Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac
    The Age of Anxiety: A History of America’s Turbulent Affair with Tranquilizers
    Before Prozac: The Troubled History of Mood Disorders in Psychiatry

    Psychotropic drugs are sometimes used to treat particular diseases such as obsessive–compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and panic attacks. More often, however, they are used to alleviate the stresses of everyday life and to enhance well-being. This more general use seems to account for the enormous popularity of Miltown (meprobamate) in the 1950s, of Librium (chlordiazepoxide) and Valium (diazepam) in the 1960s and early 1970s, and of selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac (fluoxetine) today.

    Heart disease started declining in the 1960s.
    ‘Happy pills’ to relieve stress became available from the 1960s.

  29. Jerome Savage

    The American institute of stress in a somewhat rambling report on our subject matter (link below) discounts cholestoral as a cause while knocking Ancel Keyes study in the process (Surprise surprise), but goes on to refer to an NIH sponsored extensive study involving thousands, where after 2 years propanolol (Inderal) had been shown to reduce mortality by 26%. (Beta-Blocker Heart Attack Study Group 1981 & Beta-blocker heart attack trial 1982) AIS identifies stress-related sympathetic nervous system drive and catecholamine secretion as the major culprits in coronary heart disease. 2018 report by all accounts.

    1. chris c

      That was pretty interesting.

      Males in one line of my family often die prematurely from CVD. They also suffer from a weird genetic form of diabetes which may be connected over the long term.

      My mother lived to 95, her own mother 90, her cousins 88 and 91 and they basically died from being completely worn out. Her brother barely made it to 70. Actually he had been drinking whisky and playing chess with friends and had just won a rather fraught game when he dropped dead of a massive heart attack. Stress?

      Apart from that he was pretty much the opposite of a Type A personality, a fairly typical “absent minded professor”. Once he reported his car stolen. The Police found it outside his friend’s house where he had left it the previous night and walked home. So laid back he was almost horizontal. I wonder if acute stress has a worse effect on otherwise calm people.

  30. Frieda Paton

    Great epidemiological statistics! Thank you for your continuing efforts – one day the truth will prevail! I look forward eagerly to each of your posts.

    Was wondering myself just the other day what happened to the Type A personality theory that was prevalent when I was a young nurse. With a strong family history of high cholesterol and CAD, I experienced 4 CAD episodes and 5 stents over a period of 13 years (female, then aged 45 – 58) and just “knew” that stressors were the cause – some I could actually pin-point.

    Now, after conscious stress reduction and healthy lifestyle efforts (statins discontinued!), not even angina nearly 9 years later (except , admittedly, minor twinges when I push myself to total breathlessness on uphills during a 5Km Parkrun walk.)

  31. Sylvia Brooke

    Fabulous entry Dr Kendrick. Thank you.
    Like someone else who posted a comment a short time ago. I am currently trying to get my head around ‘A Statin Nation’ but sometimes I have a ‘eureka’ moment which is very satisfying.

    I have had real problems trying to post this comment. WordPress insisting that someone else has been using my account and asking me to create a new password. I have never had a password and everything has gone O.K. up to now. Anybody else had this problem?

  32. AnnaM

    The quality of journalism has hit a new low. Apparently it came out in multiple women’s magazines that eating keto will give rise to odors “down there.” Pretty absurd. Here’s a snip from Mercola’s writeup:

    Considering the complete lack of scientific evidence to support claims that nutritional ketosis can cause vaginal infections, one has to wonder where this story originated from. After all, some arbitrary anecdote simply won’t spread like wildfire for no reason, being picked up by major media simultaneously. Yet here are dozens of near-identical stories being featured in different magazines and news outlets on the same day.

    Two individuals have stepped forward with an answer. In the video above, Berry explains how, when browsing through several women’s magazines in a bookstore that carried the keto crotch story, he noted a curious pattern. Each of them had full-page ads for Weight Watchers, whose stock prices, incidentally, have plummeted by 80 percent since July 2018 — a drop attributed by Weight Watchers to the mass adoption of the ketogenic diet.27 In his video commentary, Berry says:

    “Rest assured … we see less and less things that could give you changes in odorous discharge when you eat keto. You don’t get more of that, you get much, much less …

  33. AnnaM

    When my daughter was 17 she went off in 2001 to be a foreign exchange student in the Moscow region. The family she stayed with had a doctor as a mother and the father did some sort of government work, I believe. At this time the worst was over actually and both parents were employed. But after the collapse the husband, and presumably most of his coworkers, continued to show up at his place of employment despite no pay for 5 YEARS.
    As an aside, when she told me that I began laughing, and then she began laughing, and we couldn’t stop for many minutes. And we both knew what tickled us so – the thought that an American would NEVER do that! Just wouldn’t happen!
    He died of a heart attack a couple of years after she came home and he was not that old, say around 60. The wife was a woman, of course, and also her work as a doctor – I think she was paid enough to at least eat – remained meaningful and needed.

  34. AnnaM

    The more I read and think, the more obvious it is that stress and strain contribute to all diseases. I’ve got a book written in the 70’s by a pair of doctors working with cancer patients, and they elaborate on the history of the understanding that cancer is caused by emotional strain and how this was understood for some hundreds of years or longer.

    Certainly that is my impression now. Since I live in the alternative cancer world, I have been surprised at the number of times those working with cancer patients or even just selling a supplement to them will say that the number one thing that they hear if the cancer patient is asked, Why do you think you got cancer? is that they had emotional stress.

    Like I said, the more I think about it the sillier it appears to resist this. We are not robots. Regardless of whether you think there is a spiritual dimension to reality, our bodies are primed to respond chemically and hormonally to our thoughts and emotions and to do so constantly all day long. This is so true that I think I could say it is nearly as important as the pain response in keeping one alive.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Western medicine has ploughed a furrow where the mind, and the body, are separate entities. Cartesian duality, if you like. This is clearly nonsense. But it makes life easier if you are a researcher.

      1. Anna M

        Yes, but like I said, it makes no sense at all. The bodily organism that does not respond to the emotions of its owner will not last long. And we know so much now about exactly what sorts of chemicals and hormones come on board with various emotional/life situations. It is quite obvious that the whole thing works together as a unit.

      2. Frederica Huxley

        And allopathic clinicians can be so horribly dismissive of the thought of psychosomatic causes of dis-ease.

      3. Göran Sjöberg

        As someone pointed out the homeostatic actions in our bodies is obvious to anyone who has given this fact a thought and this was well recognized already about two hundred years ago.

        Again, Schopenhauer triggered me on this subject by pointing me to a French medical genius, Xavier Bichat (1771 – 1802) who seems to be a founder of this idea. Bichat will be an interesting reading.

    2. PeggySue

      Reminds me of a saying I came across years ago, “Your biography becomes your biology”. It was an “alternative” practitioner that mentioned the idea. Considered a bit fringe in those days but has always made sense to me.

    3. Heather Green

      I agree with this assessment based on personal experience. I refrain from mentioning it to any doctors, however, as they don’t seem capable of processing that possibility.

      Some might be interested in a book called A Cry Unheard: New Insights into the Medical Consequences of Loneliness by Dr. James J. Lynch. This touches on the connection between disease and loneliness, and dovetails nicely with the current blog post and discussion.

  35. andy

    Putting stress/strain in perspective.Medical intervention could be worse.

    Iatrogenic stress
    Iatrogenic malnutrition- dietary guidelines
    Iatrogenic diseases
    Iatrogenic demise

    Can Iatrogenic Disease Really Be the Leading Cause of Death in the US?
    “iatrogenic Disease is illness (and death) caused by the medical system itself. It can come in the form of too many pharmaceutical drugs, hospital infections, botched surgeries, and more.”

    1. Harry Mossman

      250,000 die from sepsis/year although it has been known for about 20 years that very inexpensive intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone, and vitamin B1 can cure nearly all cases. I spent 3 weeks in a convalescent hospital with sepsis. But Big Med/Big Pharm are not going to get rich(er) from this cheap medication.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Harry Mossman: And the great tragedy is the the FDA has recently made it very difficult for doctors to obtain the bags of vitamin C for IV use. The swamp deepens and becomes more fetid by the day. So much for Trump, although he’s no worse than his nine predecessors.

  36. Jess

    Only just seen your posting of Part 63, extremely interesting and illuminating, must say I am not surprised at the results of increased heart disease during these events in history. In some ways it fits into my own theories as to why this might happen. I have been on this planet for perhaps more time than most on here and have come to realise that the body is a really smart piece of kit that will serve you well if it receives what it needs in terms of nutrients. Its a whole unit, it doesn’t work in separate pieces and cannot be classified as such.

    It has mechanisms to deal with stress but in doing so it uses up and eventually depletes the bodies minerals, magnesium being one. The greater the level of stress the greater the loss of magnesium. The lower your magnesium levels are to start with the more reactive to stress you become and the higher your level of adrenaline the greater the loss of magnesium from the cells. Magnesium is a pacemaker for the heart.

    Stress also affects the gut (deemed our 2nd brain) and induces changes in blood flow, mucosal permeability and gastric secretion, which result in poor nutrient absorption.
    You cannot make a baby without the full quota of nutrients, it wouldn’t be viable. These nutrients have to be maintained throughout life if we have any chance of staying healthy. When we run low the body tells us by creating symptoms and then we end up in the doctors surgery and begin the never ending trail of treating the symptoms but not the cause.

    I haven’t been to the doctors for 5 years, I couldn’t stand the pressure of the constant bombardment of being made to feel like a moron because I refused to take prescription medications (statins in particular). Having said that, in the short term I think they can help, long term they create their own nutrient loss and we end up of being worse off.
    The brain is not detached from the rest of the body, it perceives the threat and the body reacts, the problem arises when we run out of fuel..

    1. anglosvizzera

      Wise words – I have just read this after having put a reply further up about magnesium deficiency, stress and stress causing Mg deficiency. We may have enough quantity of food these days, but lack quality. I also avoid the doctors – only went there 6 years ago to register, but haven’t been back since! I’m sure the ‘statin’, flu jab and, now, probably hypertension conversations would be had…

  37. andy

    Eureka: stress affects the mitochondria!

    Psychological Stress and Mitochondria: A Systematic Review
    “First, chronic stress paradigms cause significant effects on mitochondrial energy production capacity and mitochondrial morphology. Second, acute and chronic stress may have different and possibly opposite effects on mitochondrial functions. Third, specific elements of mitochondrial function may be differentially affected by stress, such as mtDNA-encoded complex IV (COX). Fourth, behavioral, genetic, and dietary factors may influence mitochondrial vulnerability to stress. Collectively, available evidence supports the hypothesis that psychological stress causes MAL(mitochondrial allostatic load) and calls for the need for more research investigating this question particularly in humans.”

    “The corollary is that mitochondrial antioxidant capacity should buffer against the effects of chronic stress.”

    1. Jess

      Interesting article but it was carried out on rats, although all living things are affected by stress, even plants. Under normal conditions mitochondrial antioxidant capacity should cope well with buffering against stress, but that assumes that the antioxidants are freely available and no deficiencies exist. Magnesium deficiency for instance can cause an accumulation of oxidative products which can damage cells.
      Its interesting that they have chosen ‘psychological stress’. Unless someone else can put me right, I fail to see (from the bodies point of view) the difference between psychological, physical or any other kind of stress. Surely the body only has one pathway for dealing with stress wherever it comes from, but I am sure it was probably only designed to deal with short term stress, not long term.

      1. andy

        Hi Jess, stress can make the mitochondria abnormal according to the rat study. They are a key component of cell health in all species.

      2. andy

        Hi Jess, rat studies eliminate the placibo effect. Psychological stress was easier to administer to a rat, the reaction/damage happens at a cellular level.
        Best to keep stress in the hormetic zone.

    2. Jess

      I take your point about psychological stress being easier to administer, I thought of that after I posted!! However, at the point stress is perceived, damage to the mitochondria will not “just” happen, the body wants to survive at all costs and it can only do this if it has all the raw materials. If levels of free radicals rise too high and there are not enough antioxidants then cell damage will occur. Magnesium levels are important, the very mineral that is lost rapidly under stress.
      What would have been really interesting in the study on rats would have been a measure of their red cell magnesium levels.

    1. David Bailey

      I really object to studies like that, because proving that one factor in isolation is a risk factor is hard enough, and proving the hypothesis that a particular pairing of risk factors is particularly bad must be impossible!

      Think of the confounding factors – I mean places with lots of fast food outlets are typically rather rough, and crime ridden.

      A further problem is that several of the ingredients of fast food seem now to be harmless – saturated fat, salt, and meat. It there is something wrong with these meals, it must be sugar, or the PUFA’s that are only there because of the saturated fat scare. The other problem might be that the meals are too large – but we, for example, share a takeaway when we have one.

      1. barovsky

        Think of the confounding factors – I mean places with lots of fast food outlets are typically rather rough, and crime ridden.

        That’s not true at all! There maybe more but fast food is available pretty much everywhere, at least in the UK and I suspect in all ‘developed’ economies. Ironically, the less industrialised a place is, the food is generally better. When I lived in Zambia for example, back in the 80s, my local market had the best veg and all grown locally. Paying for it of course, the real kicker.

      2. shirley3349

        The cost of the actual food is not usually the problem for takeaway owners, it is the overheads and wages. To pay these they have to attract the customers, and large portions is one way of doing this. Value for money. I suspect if they reduced the size they would lose out, even if much of the food is normally left on the plate. Perhaps one should encourage the owners to provide doggy-bags on the table with the menus.

  38. Mike Smith

    The UK graph is going to spike with Brexit related stress. This has put the entire nation under a great deal of strain for a lengthy time and I wonder if this will show on graphs of the future

  39. Maureen Berry

    Or is it that fast food outlets are more profitable in certain areas due to socio-economic deprivation? It’s association, not causation!

    1. Gary Ogden

      Maureen Berry: That’s right. If anything screams association and nothing more it is this. Just the latest in a long list of published rubbish.

  40. Goutboy

    Statin substitute.
    It actually sells itself by suggesting statins have adverse effects. https://www.telegraph.co.uk.
    Can’t get full link. It’s in science section written by Sarah Knapton, not sure she has the most accurate headlines. She carries the egg article as above.

  41. Eric

    The map is very interesting.

    1. Somebody please tell Prof. Holick that sun and vitamin D do nothing against CVD!

    2. The coasts are pretty affluent and liberal -> low CVD except in the South but not in FL.

    3. The Deep South is in trouble, as was to be expected.

    4. What about Wisconsin? Stil looks pretty light despite Scott Walker cracking down on public sector and unions in that time frame. Would be interesting to see the change from previous period.

    5. What is so bad about Nevada and Western Arizona?

      1. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: I’m finding the speculation about Arizona and Nevada amusing. Arizona (like Florida) does have a relatively larger population of retirees than other states, mainly because of the equable climate, and we know the #1 risk factor for CVD death is age. As far as gambling, it is everywhere now. I find the question of why for these two states both inscrutable and immaterial. But, have fun with it anyway.

      2. Jerome Savage

        Yes possibly so. But does Las Vegas not hav a almost mythical attraction for getting away from it all, the bright lights, the get quick rich ethic etc for so many ? After all what else has Nevada got? Architecture, thousands of years of civilisation, skiing? Not really ! They come from all over the world as well as the US. When that get rich quick plan comes unstuck …… the myth shatters !
        No ?

      3. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: Agreed. There is no doubt something to your conjecture. Something like 90% of Nevada is federal land, managed largely for grazing by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM, who is widely hated) so the vast majority of the population lives in the major cities. It would be useful to know the percentage of MI deaths of out-of-staters vs. residents. It might be possible to dig up that information, but I’m having too much fun to have the time. On the other hand the anger the BLM creates in the ranchers may play a role, too.

    1. andy

      Hi Eric, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. This is the problem in Nevada where medical treatment can shift the cause of death. Iatrogenic disease should be a category on a death certificate.

  42. Elena

    Thank you for your analysis.
    I was born in USSR, and emigrated to Western Europe only in 1997, so I lived/survived through the disturbances in the society and economics of that era. Of course the stress/strain on all society and particularly on the men was huge. But… always some “but”…
    I don’t think that you remember the infamous alcohol prohibition campaign that started 1985 during Gorbachev time. I was 19 at the time and remember it very well. Legal alcohol was available only in the very small amounts and most of the alcohol was “home made” at best, a lot of people have been drinking industrial alcohol and what was sold on the black market was of dubious quality.
    I am not saying that this was the reason for increasing numbers of CVD/CHD, but this campaign for sure played its role.

      1. Elena

        I don’t really know. When one looks at the graph above, the rise starts at 1985 which corresponds with the prohibition campaign (which in itself was a huge socioeconomic stressor). Then the development becomes less drastic, and another rise starts around 1989/1990. During this time Lithuania declared independence that was rejected by Moscow and the economic blockade was bestowed upon the rebellious Soviet republic (even more stress/strain).
        I am not rejecting your analysis, I am very much for it. What I wrote was just a thought that poped about my past.

      2. andy

        Elena, interesting situation circa 1991 in Lithuania. A quick search revealed the following:
        – deaths from traffic accidents increased for men
        – suicides increased for men
        – mental disorders increased for men
        – CVD deaths increased for men
        Hardly no impact on women! Their alcohol consumption was very little compared to men. Stress/strain would have affected women more than men. What happened?



        Alcohol can affect mitochondria, increasing endothelial cell apoptosis/necrosis. Immune system also takes a hit.

        A rat stress study with and without alcohol might shed some light on this problem. Separate study for men and women.

  43. Jerome Savage

    Of interest is the pale pink stretcj that has a broad association with the Appalachian mountains. What’s that all about ?

    1. Sasha

      They might be dying from opiates before they get a chance to die from CVD. Those regions are high in opiate use.

    2. Gary Ogden

      Jerome Savage: Yes, most of northern Virginia, which is fairly wealthy thanks to our tax dollars, much of western North Carolina, and the northeast corner of Georgia. I don’t know much about North Carolina, other than the fine university they have, and the fact that eastern North Carolina is covered in shit, from all the hog farms, so the west must be pristine. It looks like Fulton County (Atlanta) is quite pale, which makes me happy, since this is one of my favorite places to visit. Friendliest people I’ve ever met. But northeastern Georgia is a complete mystery to me. And I’m beginning to sound a bit like Bill in Oz, with his northeast South Australia.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Bill in Oz: I just find it amusing to require three cardinal points to describe a place. Have yet to see all four, but how about the, “southeastern region of western North Carolina.” Lots of possibilities here.

      2. Jerome Savage

        Sasha /Gary
        Or is there an idyllic existence in the hills where community is well knitted, get plenty of exercise and life is good ie low stress ?

      3. andy

        A strange observation, the places with higher cvd rates are the ones with the least number of doctors. My hypothesis is that cvd deaths would fall but deaths due to cancer, dementia and medical intervention would increase if there were more cardiologists. The bad cholesterol is doing it.

  44. Gary Ogden

    I have discovered something very interesting. For seven or eight years I’ve taken a daily cup of bone broth. A couple of months ago I began taking a collagen supplement (similar amino acid profile). Still a boy at heart, and I do lots of things with my hands and have adventures, so I get lots of owies. Since I’ve been taking the supplement, thus doubling my intake, they heal much faster. I’m thinking this must improve vascular repair, as well. Anyone have any thoughts? The cost is about $ 0.63 per day.

    1. Jess

      Wonderful stuff, a great way to get a load of goodies, gelatin, collagen, calcium, magnesium et al plus trace minerals, all easily assimilated. It heals a leaky gut too. As the vascular system is essentially made from various type of muscle and connective tissue I don’t see why it wouldn’t improve the vascular system, but have no evidence to offer.
      Its quite ironic really, as the best stuff in, say a chicken carcass or beef bones, are routinely thrown away today. When I was a child these were always boiled or put in a pressure cooker to make stock for soups, broth etc. I guess we have all lost touch with what food is all about in these days of ready-prepared meals and fast food. The only people to gain from the modern diet is the food manufacturers.

      1. Göran Sjöberg


        Yes the beef bones you get for free from any butcher. I have got one local who is raising his own grass fed stock which is the prime stock. I have got a slow cooker where I just now have a mixture of bones from beef, sheep and deer to produce the stock.

      2. BobM

        Nowhere near me offers bones for free. If you want bones, you have to buy them. So-called “bone broth” (really stock) is the rage here in New England, USA. We make our own chicken stock using an instant pot (pressure cooker). Beef bones are harder, though, so we usually buy beef stock if we need it.

    2. Bill in Oz

      Chondroitin sulfate Gary ? I’ve been taking it since early 2017 when I discovered the research by English born doctor at Lo Loma. Lost the link to that now ! Bugger !

      1. Gary Ogden

        Bill in Oz: Yes, chrondoitin sulfate is good stuff. Trying to keep within a budget, and didn’t notice any obvious change, but I should take it up again.

      2. Jeffrey Dun

        Do you mean Dr Lester Morrison ? Director and Research Professor, Institute for Arteriosclerosis Research, Loma Linda University. He produced evidence that CVD could be prevented and reversed with Chondroiton Sulphate.

      3. Jerome Savage

        Quick eili check, looks safe ;
        “In 2003 the Task Force of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) committee ranked the level of toxicity of chondroitin sulfate 6 in a 0-100 scale.”

  45. Anna M


    Butcher shops are rare now in the US, and recently all the grocery stores around here have stopped selling bones even for dogs.

    1. Gary Ogden

      Bad cholesterol is truly a miracle substance. I’ve heard more times than I can count that high LDL is associated with longevity because it reduces the incidence of infection. Now I know how. It not only gloms onto bacterial exotoxins, but to the bacteria themselves, so macrophages can more easily come along and gobble them up. I suggest in the future we call HDL “good cholesterol,” and LDL “even better cholesterol,” even though neither one is actually cholesterol.

  46. Bill in Oz








      1. Don

        Hi Dr. Kendrick, have you heard of the Feldman Protocol to change cholesterol readings? If not, I think you would find it interesting.

      2. Don

        Haha, in reading through his blog, I saw a picture of you two having a meal together. I should have known if it had something to do with cholesterol you’d know about it! Next time I come across something I’ll just enter your name in the site’s search engine. I’m not worried about my numbers anymore, but life insurance companies are…

      3. Bill in Oz

        Malcolm, Firefox is still stuffed whenever I try to use it here. I just updated to get the patch for whatever hack was created. And it still is stuffed. I get this message from the Firefox brouser:

        “Did Not Connect: Potential Security Issue

        Firefox detected a potential security threat and did not continue to http://www.facebook.com because this website requires a secure connection.

        What can you do about it?

        http://www.facebook.com has a security policy called HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), which means that Firefox can only connect to it securely. You can’t add an exception to visit this site.

        The issue is most likely with the website, and there is nothing you can do to resolve it.

        If you are on a corporate network or using anti-virus software, you can reach out to the support teams for assistance. You can also notify the website’s administrator about the problem.”

        When I use Chrome there is no such problem though Chrome has it’s ‘problems’.

        So Firefox is for me utterly useless.

    1. Martin Back

      I think this was for a competition at a hacker’s conference to win prize money. I doubt that the hack is known to the bad guys. I use Firefox and I’m not changing.

      Firefox, Edge, Safari, And Tesla Hacked At Pwn2Own 2019
      Regarding the exploits and bugs showcased at the event, all the details will be provided to the onsite companies to help them release their patches. After 90 days, the details of the bugs will be made public.

  47. Kent

    A subtle typo on the chart titled “Death from CHD per 100/000 per year (men under 65)” in UK. On the x-axis the last date reads “2104-15”. I think it should be “2014-15”.

    I can imagine many potentially false explanations for the chart about the frequency of heart disease death rates in the counties of the US. First: affluent cities see smaller rates because people there never work, as they spend four hours in the gym doing healthy cardio workouts, another four hours in counseling/therapy/yoga stretching, and ten hours preparing their food, as they follow a organic (i.e. dirty) raw vegan diet. Second tentative explanation: the smaller death rates are due people moving to another place before their demise, perhaps because they want to go back to where they were raised, perhaps because they want to go to a carnivore/bbq state where they can actually enjoy a last meal. Third potentially false explanation: people in poor counties get so upset about all the Global Warming propaganda that they just croak earlier as they don’t have no sense of humour.

    For one full year, all MD’s should be replaced by Clowns, Clowns by Politicians, Politicians by dogs and dogs by beer. Doctors should be employed in feeding the dogs and taking care of their waste. They won’t notice the difference. That may be the best public health campaign ever.

      1. barovsky

        Malcolm, no wonder they nixed the paper, it’s about vaccines and aluminium! The author established a link between the aluminium in vaccines and the sheep disease and the fact that aluminium (adjutants?) are used in vaccines for children as well! This is scary stuff, especially that now people who refuse to have their children vaccinated face criminal prosecution!

        We’re living in a nightmare land dictated and controlled by big business, who obviously now totally control governments as well as Elsevier (the publisher, not, of the paper).

      2. Gary Ogden

        barovsky: “adjuvant” Used in vaccines to increase the antibody response to the injected antigen (a weakened form of the bacterium or virus, or in toxin-mediated diseases, such as tetanus, a toxoid, or altered form of the toxin), which, to a vaccinologist, shows immunity, though disease outbreaks in highly-vaccinated populations (up to 100%) shows this not to be true, as all vaccine-induced immunity wanes in time. Well accepted among infectious-disease specialists is that lifetime immunity results from natural infection. The world is truly becoming a scary place, a fascist pharmatopia, thanks to ignorant, greedy, quisling political leaders. Nearly every day in the U.S.A. new forms of censorship of real science and real stories of vaccine-injured children are being forced on all media. Only government propaganda allowed. Too late, though. By now, the majority of Americans know someone who is vaccine injured.

    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Very revealing about vaccines. According to Karl Popper, you just need one convincing experimental fact to overthrow a dogma even though such a convincing fact amounts to heresy.

      And it doesn’t take much of a skeptical mind to realize that the pharmaceutical industry does not have any “moral” but the “business moral”, i.e. they doesn’t want to be caught by evidences that they are killing people for profit. (One third of all death are though being attributed to pharmaceutical “stuff”.)

      I got the same convincing feeling about the “rotten” vaccine industry when I a while ago read the book “Dissolving Illusions” by Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bystrianyk. Nothing much of advocated vaccine benefits were left but the profits.

      1. Göran Sjöberg

        It seems that not much of the Hippocratic medical oath, “First of all do not harm!”, is all but gone and only cynism remains.

      2. barovsky

        Göran: Is it vaccines per se or the crap they put in them that’s the problem? I think I was about 11 or 12, here in the UK when there was a polio epidemic (late 50s) and we all got vaccinated at school, thank goodness. Otherwise, Nature would have decided who lives and who dies by virtue of the fact that some of us would have a natural immunity to the disease, and they would be the survivors and all their descendents would acquire the same immunity.

        Not much fun for those of us on crutches or dead though, thus we intervene with things like vaccines. So is it that ALL vaccines are bad or just some, or is it just some vaccines or the way they are manufactured?

      3. Gary Ogden

        barovsky: Excellent questions. “Dissolving Illusions”, by Suzanne Humphries, MD, and Roman Bystrianyk will answer many of them. As I see it, the main problems are fourfold: 1. No currently-licensed vaccine has ever been put through a placebo-controlled trial. They are trialled against another vaccine, the adjuvant only, or without any control group, and adverse events are only recorded short term, or called something else (in the Gardasil trials, they called them “new medical conditions”). 2. Post marketing surveillance (although the Germans seem to get this right) is almost non-existant in the U.S. (mandated by a statute which has never been enforced). 3. They are completely liability free in the U.S., so manufacturers have no incentive to deliver a safe or effective product. Vioxx would still be killing were drugs liability-free. 4. No study has ever been done looking at the health outcomes of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, and none looking at multiple vaccines give at the same time (which is routine in infancy), or the health effects of the entire schedule (now 72 from birth to age 18).
        One final note: It is a mistake to think that paralytic poliomyelitis is caused by a virus. The evidence for this contention is weak indeed. There is stronger evidence for a necessary co-factor, the two historically most likely being arsenical pesticides, used prior to WWII, and DDT, used since. What is true in CVD policy and treatment is similar to what is true in infectious-disease policy and treatment. That pesky thing called evidence. The RCT. And both are immensely profitable.

      4. Jerome Savage

        Funny thing is, Trump did make a fuss about vaccine ill effects at start of his presidency. Heard nothing lately. (maybe he was got at).

      5. Gary Ogden

        barovsky: But no worse than the previous nine. JFK was our last good president. In any case, it matters little who is President. The deep state is in charge, for the benefit of the globalist banksters, the CIA their enforcement arm. We need a few million yellow vests!

      6. Göran Sjöberg


        If you read Suzanne Humphries’ book I am convinced you will turn into as a profound sceptic as I had turned when I closed the book. It is indeed “great” reading.

        She knows what she is talking about!

      7. Göran Sjöberg


        Trump started to raise the vaccine issue but at a time when he had the whole of MSM on his back. I guess he dropped the issue since it was too much of a heresy to pursue it.

      8. BobM

        barovsky, unfortunately, it’s unclear. It’s also unclear, for instance, whether the vaccine you took for polio actually helped you or not. See, eg:

        Are the authors of this book correct? It’s impossible to say.

        Statins are bad because there’s data we can’t read, and most (almost all) studies are done by the industry. But at least they can use actual placebos. In the vaccine arena, it’s even worse, as there typically are no actual placebos. Instead, the placebo has aluminum adjuvant in it or is another vaccine. And, there are no true studies of the unvaccinated versus the vaccinated. When I was younger, I got all my vaccinations. Kids today (in the US) get many more vaccines than I did. Some insane number of vaccines. Is that bad or good? It’s really hard to tell because of the lack of data.

      9. Martin Back

        If vaccinations didn’t work, hard-headed, cost-conscious farmers wouldn’t vaccinate their flocks and herds. But they do.

        Note that medications can be tested on animals in a way that they can’t be on humans because of ethical considerations. Veterinary medicine tends to be more effective than the human equivalent as a result.

      10. Jerome Savage

        Where I lived everyone got measles at some stage, nobody died. In bed for a few days with spots was as bad as it got. I am informed (on this site) that some have bad reactions but then some have bad reactions to wasp stings – but we don’t vaccinate the population to counteract freak reactions to wasp stings. Maybe that’s next !

      11. barovsky

        Another interesting essay, this time on the CDC (Centers for Disease Control):

        America’s “Medical Deep State”. The Role of the CDC

        For over two decades, American families have faced an unscrupulous foe that threatens the public health and welfare. It is a rogue, unmanageable institution within our federal government, now seemingly beholden solely to private interests. Citizens have been horribly mistaken in believing that the nation’s leading health agency, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), honors its mandate to protect the public from “dangerous health threats,” both domestic and foreign. We are expected to assume the CDC relies upon the most advanced and cutting-edge medical science and data to make its policy decisions. However, the agency’s history of corruption and fraud contradict its own pledge, as outlined on its website. Instead of protecting the “health security of our nation,” the CDC uses bromides and meaningless pageantry to hide its true nature.


      12. Jerome Savage

        Please don’t view this as political (on my account) but this CNN article indicates a heavy US media bias in favour of vaccines while demonising anti vax campaigners, reserving particular venom for Trump cohorts. This suggests the world’s bad guy is at odds with the pharmaceutical world.

      13. chris c

        “but then some have bad reactions to wasp stings – but we don’t vaccinate the population to counteract freak reactions to wasp stings.”

        Don’t give them ideas!

        I was lucky, I never had any reactions to the few vaccines that were used when I was young. However my mother had a serious reaction to the smallpox vaccine – her arm would swell up like a rugby ball. Curiously exactly the same thing happened with cleg bites. I wonder what the similarity was.

    2. Gary Ogden

      Randall: Thank you for that link. I was aware of the first sheep study, but didn’t recall that it was the Al adjuvants which were implicated. The removal of Al from cat vaccines is a telling acknowledgement of its toxicity. Profit is maiming and killing science, Medicine, children, and sheep.

    3. Martin Back

      That was an interesting article, but it has to be set in context. Farm animals get lots of vaccinations. This is from a Quora question:

      “Speaking from experience, dairy cattle are vaccinated many times for many things. The most common are Bovine Rhinotracheitis, Leptospirosis, Salmonella, Camphylobacter, Ecoli, and clostridia. A calf is usually vaccinated every three to six months until maturity, whereupon vaccines are usually administered biannually depending on protocols and prevalence.”https://www.quora.com/Do-farm-animals-get-routine-vaccinations-like-house-pets-and-if-so-what-are-the-vaccinations

      Okay, the answer concerns cattle not sheep. But I presume that sheep are similarly vaccinated. The point is, the symptoms of ASIA have not been seen in the past. So what is it about this particular set of vaccines? It can’t be the aluminium adjuvant alone, because then these symptoms would be cropping up every time a flock or herd was vaccinated. It must be the adjuvant plus some other factor.

      As is so often the case, more research is needed. Which is not to condone the retracting of the paper. That is very wrong, and in fact will discourage the necessary research because scientists might not tackle a problem if they think publication of their work will be suppressed, on the grounds that it is a waste of their talents and a drag on their careers.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: That is just the problem. Research into vaccines is not allowed unless it is designed from the outset to support an industry position; in the case of DeStefano (2004, Pediatrics), the data was mangled over a period of more than a year to remove statistical significance from the findings (this was a study called for in the Wakefield, et al. Lancet paper, 1998; the study, carried out by CDC, strongly supported the hypothesis, which, of course alarmed the CDC’s employer, Merck). I suspect veterinary vaccines are produced to a higher standard; this was the finding of the Italian scientists; the only veterinary vaccine they tested (out of 19) was the only one free of contamination. I suspect this is the case because livestock have economic value, while human beings are just statistics.

      2. Sasha

        I just listened to Del Bigtree’s interview of Andrew Wakefield on YouTube. It’s very good.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Del Bigtree has done a world of good for all of us truth seekers. He is the producer of Vaxxed, which tells the story of scientific fraud at CDC (to which I referred in my comment-DeStefano, 2004, Pediatrics).

      4. Sasha

        Yes, I liked him. Seems like a very honest guy. I like Andrew Wakefield too but I don’t understand why he didn’t fight for his license and reputation the way his co-author (professor Smith? ) did. The one who got reinstated. Wakefield says that was because Smith was funded and he didn’t have the funds. He could not find anyone pro-bono?

      5. Dr. John H

        While vaccines are clearly a nightmare, are there any situations where they might have some value, such as:

        Factory farmed animals
        Other livestock
        Travel vaccines
        Over crowded refugee camps

      6. JanB

        Regarding pet vaccinations- when I was a child distemper, a really horrible disease of dogs, was commonplace. Every family, mine included, either lost their dog/s to it or knew someone who had. Vaccination worked wonderfully.

      7. Martin Back

        Vaccines have to undergo the same Phase 1, 2, and 3 trials as any other medication.

        Regarding Wakefield et al, I was surprised to discover that Wakefield himself is not an anti-vaxxer. He is only anti- the triple MMR vaccine, which he says should be replaced by three single vaccines (and he just happens to have patented a single measles vaccine).

        But Wakefield seems to be rather a skeevy character. He was no disinterested researcher — he was paid nearly half a million pounds to find fault with vaccines by a lawyer hoping to bring a class action lawsuit against drug companies. Plus a lot of his work is of a dubious nature, as discovered by investigative journalist Brian Deer.

      8. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I think I may draw a line under vaccine discussions at this point. This one is turning into an ad-hominem attack on Andrew Wakefield which can add nothing to any discussion. If we are to disregard research because the researchers involved has been paid money, then this means we are required to discount virtually all large scale clinical trials on all medications. Perhaps the suggestion is that is that no researcher should ever receive any money from a third party. Or, via their institution from a third party.

      9. Sasha

        People may be interested in listening to Del Bigtree’s interview of Andrew Wakefield. In it all these points are addressed. They show a written statement from the lawyer who says he never paid any money to Wakefield when Wakefield was undertaking his research. They also address the issue of alternative vaccine.

      10. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: By the way, it was Professor John Walker-Smith, before retirement one of the world’s leading pediatric gastroenterologists and the senior author of the Lancet paper (13 authors in total), who was fully exonerated by the British High Court, his license restored (he was by then retired).

      11. barovsky

        A pause for thought?
        Sweden Bans Mandatory Vaccinations Over ‘Serious Heath Concerns’ » The Event Chronicle

        Sweden has banned mandatory vaccinations, citing “serious health concerns” and the fact they violate a citizen’s constitutional rights to choose their Sweden Bans Mandatory Vaccinations Over ‘Serious Heath Concerns’ » The Event Chronicle
        The Swedish Riksdag (parliament) rejected seven motions on May 10 that would have enshrined forced vaccinations into law, stating “It would violate our [Swedish Constitution] if we introduced compulsory vaccinations, or mandatory vaccinations.”

      12. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: Thank you. To see a man continually and unrelentingly drug through the mud and kicked while he is down based upon an attack by a journalist, and nothing more, should strike us all with horror.

      13. JDPatten

        I celebrate the line under vaccination “discussion”. The subject, along with a number of others (You know who you are!), is so rife with contention that it’s too great a distraction from… well… from heart disease.
        This is a wonderful blog – for that purpose.
        I’m certain it was not intended as a free-for-all general social medium. There’s plenty of room for arguing other personal theories – elsewhere.

      14. BobM

        Also, animals like cattle and sheep aren’t humans. The animals could be totally fine with, say, aluminum adjuvants, but the humans (particularly young children) may not.

        It’s the same with mice or rat studies and trying to convert them to humans.

  48. Bill in Oz

    A PS to my comment above : I just deleted Firefox completely. And then downloaded the latest version. I still get the same dopey warning from Firefox..Utterly bloody useless ..So I have deleted it completely.I refuse to use crap on my computer. if this is the future for Mozilla & Firefox, it is as dead the dodo !

    1. chris c

      I used Firefox as my main browser up until one upgrade years ago stopped me using some forums. Switched to Opera which mostly works well, except it will forbid access to some sites. When I go to the same sites with Firefox it tells me the problem is an expired certificate but I can get access by telling first Firefox and then Kaspersky (security) to let me in. Alternately you can access them via the Wayback Machine if they are archived. Wouldn’t have thought that would apply to Facebook though.

  49. Martin Back

    If I access Facebook pages with Firefox, I get no warning messages. But I don’t have a Facebook account so I didn’t attempt to sign in, if that was your problem. I can sign in to Disqus and WordPress where I have accounts.

  50. Jerome Savage

    Quick wiki check, looks safe ;
    “In 2003 the Task Force of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) committee ranked the level of toxicity of chondroitin sulfate 6 in a 0-100 scale.”

  51. Sasha

    For those interested in nutrition, there’s a good debate on Joe Rogan podcast between Stephan Guyenet and Gary Taubes.

    1. goransjoberg2015

      …….. Sasha,

      Thank you for that reference to that podcast – very interesting!

      For some years now, I have been wondering about this vicious controversy between Guyenet, who is defending the official medical position on nutrition and obesity (“calorie in calorie out”), and Gary Taubes being the renowned “skeptical” science journalist.

      Here I am actually siding with Taube’s holistic approach on this issue thoroughly presented in his great book “Good Calories & Bad Calories”. The main point is that the medical authorities with their theory have to explain why we are on average only gaining about 3 grams per day by overeating though over a period of many decades to finally arrive at the state of obesity. To me and Taubes obesity could hardly be voluntarily on this level, e.g. decided by our brains (which is the official medical position).

      Presently reading a book by the medical genius Xavier Bichat written 200 years ago I get even more convinced about the importance of the holistic approach to our health and away from typical simplistic “take your statin pill” solutions favoured by Big Pharma.


      1. Sasha

        Goran, you’re welcome, I hope you enjoyed that podcast!

        I would like to address some of the points you raise. When I first came across the low-carb diet, I was puzzled by some of the statements being made in the low carb community (calories don’t matter, only carbs do; exercise isn’t important; fruit is “nature’s candy”) and so on. I respect Gary Taubes for agreeing to debate Guyenet on the air. They’ve been at it before and I’m sure Taubes knows that Guyenet isn’t easy to debate. At one point during the podcast Taubes even says that they had a falling out 8 years earlier during Ancestral Health conference debate where Taubes acted “inappropriately”. To admit your mistake and to do it live on air takes guts. However, that doesn’t make Taubes right on many of the things he says.

        I disagree with your description that Guyenet is simply a defender of “calories in, calories out’ orthodoxy while Taubes takes a more “holistic” view of nutrition. In my opinion, Taubes’ view isn’t holistic but simplistic because it blames one thing – insulin. In that, he’s much closer to that failed cholesterol hypothesis you mention, than Guyenet will ever be. Guyenet is careful to say that he’s not there to exonerate sugar, processed carbs, or empty calories. But that’s not the same as saying that one can just cut out carbs and eat however much fat or protein they want and not gain weight. Where will those excess calories go? “Calories in, calories out” isn’t an orthodoxy in the same way “cholesterol heart disease” orthodoxy is. This is a false comparison. Calories in, calories out exists because it follows the laws of thermodynamics.

        At one point during the podcast, if you remember, Taubes is trying to say that one can remain obese while consuming 1800 Calories a day just because there was an observational study of some native population where that’s what women self-reported. That just doesn’t follow any rules of physics or common sense.

        And later Rogan puts Taubes on the spot and asks him directly – “Do you believe exercise has a role to play in obesity?”. And Taubes dances around it a bit and then says – “No, exercise doesn’t matter”. Or something to that effect. And that is just crazy, as anyone who has ever played professional sports or has been on a varsity team will tell you.

        In my opinion, Guyenet is much closer to a holistic view of nutrition because he says it straight out in his book – “stop arguing about whether it’s fat or carbs. It’s both.” We are evolutionary primed to crave fats, sugars, and proteins. Our environment has changed enormously during the last 200 years and even more so since the time of hunter gatherers. Things are much more complicated and our brains play a huge role in the foods we crave and metabolic illnesses that result. That’s why “The Hungry Brain” is such an interesting read, in my opinion.

      2. Sasha

        Goran, one more thing I forgot. You object to obesity being “voluntary” or “decided by our brain”. Taubes also objects to that and calls Guyenet’s position “brain-centric”.

        However, something can be “decided by our brain” and still be involuntary. Much of what we do happens subconsciously, we don’t have a voluntary access to it because our conscious brain isn’t aware of it. Hence, the whole recent work of Kahnemann and Tversky on cognitive biases or centuries of ancient Hindu wisdom on the workings of the mind…

        Cognitive biases have evolutionary underpinnings just like obesity in the modern food environment. They may also explain lots of positions people take despite contrary evidence, Taubes being the latest example, I think

      3. BobM

        Hi Sasha, exercise has a very limited effect on weight. I exercised a ton, up to riding multiple centuries (100 miles) multiple times per year, many 60+ mile rides per year, while gaining near 100 pounds. As soon as I stopped eating carbs (while REDUCING the amount of exercise I did), I lost 30 pounds. I then lost another 20 pounds while doing intermittent fasting. I’ve not limited what I’ve eaten at all — I eat until I’m full. (I’ve lost more than 50 pounds of fat, but I’m lifting weights and gaining muscle,so the absolute scale weight is not relevant to me any more. I’m using DEXA scans instead.)

        I believe Guyenet is wrong and Taubes is correct.

      4. Sasha

        Hi Bob, I don’t know the particulars of your case but that doesn’t invalidate what Guyenet is saying. No one is saying that LCHF isn’t effective for losing weight but you’re restricting a major source of calories, one we’re evolutionary designed to crave, along with fats and proteins. Most people can eat until they are full but still find room for a sugary dessert, for example. That doesn’t happen in LCHF. Thus, you’re interrupting a major drive by your brain. It’s discussed in Guyenet’s book, by the way.

        What Taubes is saying, it seems to me, and what’s being echoed in LCHF circles, is that carb calories are somehow unique to other calories. Cut carb calories and you can consume other calories as much as you want. But so far, no one has been able to explain how, without creating a net calorie deficit, one can still lose weight. What happens to extra calories you consume? Do they just vanish violating the laws of physics?

      5. Martin Back

        Instead of looking at “calories in, calories out”, look at “carbon in, carbon out” (which is much the same thing, but easier to understand).

        Every atom of carbon you eat has to go somewhere. You either poop it straight out again, or you burn it for energy and breathe it out as CO2, or it is used to build tissue.

        The body replaces itself every seven to fifteen years. I believe some bits of the old cells are recycled, but obviously the rest has to come from food, or the body eating itself. If there is a temporary surplus of carbon, it gets stored as glucagon or fat.

        I don’t see how replacing carbs with fat can change this. Perhaps fats take more energy to digest, in which case you burn more carbon than usual, or maybe they travel down the gut faster and you poop them out before they are fully digested, or the body renews itself faster, but otherwise the same equation must apply.

  52. biddy99

    Had my bloods taken last Friday. Gets a text today saying to contact the surgery straight away to make an appointment to discuss my results. Was a bit worried so rang straight away. Cholesterol is borderline at 5.7. Couldn’t give me a breakdown. I said that wasn’t bad and was told because I am on blood pressure tablets it has to be nearer 5. Said I wouldn’t take a statin but I have to have the phone call with the gp. What a waste of time. Go not happy with me anyway because I stopped one of mt bp meds. Doc originally gave me one bp med. when it didn’t work decided to keep upping it until I was at the maximum. Still didn’t work and gave me another bop med which worked. So decided to stop the first one and been averaging 127/78. I wished I had never gone to see the gap in the first place. Otherwise healthy 59 year old

    1. chris c

      What annoys the hell out of me is that when I am actually ill (rare but does happen) I have to wait three weeks or more to see a doctor. Probably because they are tied up doing crap like this with mostly healthy people.

    2. kentrob

      I was first recommended a statin aged about 54, 7 years ago, because of ‘highish’ cholesterol, 6-ish. Knew nothing about it so did loads of research, read lots of books (including the good Dr Kendrick’s) and decided that I was low risk and should ignore it. Cholesterol levels increased over the years to 8+. Still resisted statins. 18 months ago started getting chest discomfort while running, ended up with an elective angiogram and three stents in two arteries which were ‘90% blocked’.

      Now on Atorvastatin, beta-blocker, and anti-platelets. I feel physically great again and don’t seem to have experienced any of the infamous side-effects from the statin that some people report. I have one other artery still ‘moderately blocked’. My cholesterol is now 4, which worries me that it is too low.

      I had a healthy lifestyle, physically active (cycle between 50 to 100 miles a week), Mediterranean diet, no family history of heart disease. I have read all the articles in this series and I am no closer to understanding why I have heart disease. It could be stress, which I have had quite a lot of in the last twenty years.

      But my question is: should I have followed my GP’s suggestion and taken a statin six years ago?

      1. Mr Chris

        Very good question. Always the problem if you ignore mainstream advice,are they perhaps right?

      2. abdlomax

        Ignorance is not to be recommended. Instead of “ignoring mainstream advice,” I recommend seeking to understand it. This is what I see Dr. Kendrick doing, and he is sharing what he finds.

      3. abdlomax

        “I was first recommended a statin aged about 54, 7 years ago, because of ‘highish’ cholesterol, 6-ish. Knew nothing about it so did loads of research, read lots of books (including the good Dr Kendrick’s) and decided that I was low risk and should ignore it.

        There was nothing in “decided I was low risk” that suggested “I should ignore it.”

        The risk of atherosclerosis is significant for almost everyone, unless we do much more than read a few books and decide to ignore medical advice, without setting up stronger alternatives. So thanks for posting this experience. It may help others, and you may still find a strong path to follow.

        About fifteen years ago, I was told by my GP that he would not be able to find a cardiologist who would not recommend a statin. So what did we do? I did see a cardiologist, for a stress test. I was fine. I also got a cardiac CAT scan, to check for calcium. The score was 26, with 25 of that being in one location, and 1 in another. (I am going to need to see those results again, because this doesn’t really make sense to me, I believed that I was at the 26th percentile for men my age.) But we concluded, indeed, I was low risk, in spite of high total cholesterol, but we continued to monitor blood lipids, fractionated (better than total or LDL), especially HDL, and also C-reactive protein, also a better risk factor. All indicating not to worry.

        In hindsight, what would have been more powerful? Setting up an exercise program, and not letting my low-carb diet get sloppy, because it did — I did — and I regained all the weight I had lost and more.

        Fast forward, two years ago I was diagnosed (nuclear stress test) with a cardiac blockage. An angiogram was recommended, I declined because the statistics are not good. But I will be seeking another calcium score. I’ve not had a heart attack, and if I get angina, it’s mild. I carry nitroglycerin but have not used it. And I got strict, and very recently, because weight loss stalled, I went toward zero carbs for a bit. Lots of fat! Yay, fat! And it is working.

        “Cholesterol levels increased over the years to 8+. Still resisted statins. 18 months ago started getting chest discomfort while running, ended up with an elective angiogram and three stents in two arteries which were ‘90% blocked’.

        The good news: your chance of dying did not increase because you had the angiogram and stents put in. The meh news: if that was “elective,” they did not decrease. They don’t tell you this! Stents can save lives if your heart is in immediate crisis. They are not so useful if you are not. Is 90% blockage an immediate crisis? Maybe. Rule number one: get a good cardiologist, one who is aware of the issues and all sides. And research the hell out of your own situation. Don’t just be a piece of meat on a table.

        Collateral circulation can be built. You had angina, I will assume, when running. Perhaps you had it for some time but didn’t realize. I sense that I had been experiencing fatigue from what might have been relatively easy tasks and had blown it off as laziness. Really, at the same time, I was carrying around more weight, etc.

        “Now on Atorvastatin, beta-blocker, and anti-platelets. I feel physically great again and don’t seem to have experienced any of the infamous side-effects from the statin that some people report. I have one other artery still ‘moderately blocked’. My cholesterol is now 4, which worries me that it is too low.”

        Glad you feel great. It’s important! Acknowledge it, amplify it! The side effect to worry about would be muscle pain that leads you to exercise less. Sorry, “Don’t worry, period!” Just be aware of your body and how it feels and how that affects your choices. And look at what you can do that makes sustained health more likely, that creates joy every day.

        “I had a healthy lifestyle, physically active (cycle between 50 to 100 miles a week), Mediterranean diet, no family history of heart disease. I have read all the articles in this series and I am no closer to understanding why I have heart disease. It could be stress, which I have had quite a lot of in the last twenty years.”

        Bingo! The last sentence contradicts the first part of the paragraph. Running, great! But runners drop dead from unexpected heart attacks, it’s not terribly uncommon. Mediterranean diet, better than others, but not the best, probably. What is a “healthy lifestyle”? We have lots of common assumptions, but a definition could be “a way of living” that creates a life worth living, joyful, inspiring.

        I’ve been seeing some conversations that distinguish between “stress” and “strain.” Strain is a condition we experience, stress is our response. We do have some power over conditions, but “Shit happens.”

        Two people facing identical conditions, same “difficulties,” one is stressed, the other is happy.

        We create our responses to conditions. We often think that our responses are “natural,” or “normal,” but “normal” can be a formula for failure. How about declaring “extraordinary”?

        I get a clue from the question asked:

        But my question is: should I have followed my GP’s suggestion and taken a statin six years ago?

        Stress is a response, mediated by the amygdala, which responds to language, among other things. One of the habits that creates stress is worry about things that cannot benefit us. So, consider this question. It is rooted in a concept of “right” and “wrong,” expressed with “should.” Of course, we “should” do the right thing, and if we don’t, we are . . . what? Bad, stupid?

        And we ask useless questions, since you cannot change what you chose years ago. But we worry about it. Maybe I will be wrong again. So, first, were you wrong?

        If you had taken the statins, and with no other actions — and even more likely you’d have taken no other actions, because, after all, you’d have had it covered with the statins — and even if the drug studies are reasonably accurate, still, two chances out of three, the statins would not have prevented that progression. The question of “should” has no answer because it is meaningless. But the question “did my not taking statins cause or fail to prevent my progression?” And the answer to that is simple: probably not! Maybe, but more likely, not.

        Bottom line, though, we are all gonna to die, if one thing don’t get us, another will. The real question is what I can do today, to make the day worth living.

        Now, what I think: Cholesterol is probably not the primary cause of atherosclerosis. Statins may help with whatever is causing atherosclerosis, but are not the most effective way of preventing progression. Exercise is better, but being careful with exercise is important. All the things we can to do live well with minimal stress are important.

        Some people try to minimize strain, i.e., “stressful conditions.” But that increases stress, i.e, it can involved worry about being stressed, trying to change external conditions instead of moderating our own response to them!

        We can train ourselves (and there is available training) in how to be happy, self-expressed, and free from worry — while still maximizing effectiveness and power, and all this will create states of mind that make us more likely to make truly healthy choices, rather than going for simple comfort (i.e., being content with “not a big risk” as you were) or falling into blind trust in experts, or all that.

        When we do that, experts become advisors — who can make mistakes — not gods. We become free, and with that, fully responsible for outcomes — and that freedom does require that we sometimes make mistakes. We can even be grateful for mistakes, because making mistakes is the fastest way to learn.

        Trust reality, trust yourself, don’t worry, and keep your eyes open!

        Good luck and thanks for sharing your experience.

      4. kentrob

        @abdlomax Thanks for your long reply. The one thing you say that stood out was “find a good cardiologist.” I am in the UK and I just went to see my GP then was referred to a consultant, then for the calcium score scan, then for the angiogram. I was never given my calcium score but was told it was high. Our cardiac centre has an outstanding reputation nationally but I am not given a choice about who I should see.

        I get the distinction between stress and strain; I don’t mind the former but have had several unavoidable bouts of the latter. As a lifelong cyclist, my CAD could just as likely be the result of breathing in vehicle emissions as anything else.

        The point I was making in my original message is that I decided to ignore my GP’s advice as a result of reading the cholesterol sceptics. I am sure that statins are over-prescribed and that we still don’t know exactly what causes heart disease, which is why we are on episode 63 of this blog series 🙂 I guess.

        However, given that I am taking them now, having been finally diagnosed and treated for CAD, my question would be: how can any non-medical-professional know what to do given the conflicting information around? Perhaps I should have been taking statins for the last six years, on the grounds that since they are assumed to be having a benefit now, they would have had a benefit then.

        In summary: when is it right to be sceptical?

      5. Gary Ogden

        kentrob: All excellent questions. A few thoughts: Findings which are true on a population level do not apply to individuals; you are unique, and your response to any given medical treatment unique as well. Dr. Kendrick has argued, and this is supported by overwhelming evidence, that the very small benefits of taking statins (only in men below 60, and in women not at all) almost certainly have nothing to do with reducing lipoprotein levels in the blood (not a good thing), and the likely benefit comes from increased nitric oxide production. There may very well be other effects we don’t know about which counteract the deleterious effects of lipoprotein reduction. You may very well be one of those who benefits; we all hope so. Skepticism is the first rule of life for me, but I also think there is a time, especially with a serious medical condition when we must trust that they know what they are doing, and they do, most of the time.

      6. Stephen Rhodes

        Agreed, you can trust them most of the time on serious conditions… but
        Blood pressure or cholesterol levels within the normal distribution for the population you belong to do not constitute a serious medical condition. 🙂

      7. barovsky

        Findings which are true on a population level do not apply to individuals

        I had an identical convo with my GP about statins and she agreed with me. Statistics are ALL about numbers, not people. When I asked her whether my second heart attack last October was because I wasn’t taking statins or was it because I’ve been sucking in diesel particulates for 16 years? We’re drowning in a sea of data, not information.

      8. abdlomax

        @abdlomax Thanks for your long reply. The one thing you say that stood out was “find a good cardiologist.” I am in the UK and I just went to see my GP then was referred to a consultant, then for the calcium score scan, then for the angiogram. I was never given my calcium score but was told it was high. Our cardiac centre has an outstanding reputation nationally but I am not given a choice about who I should see.

        What stands out for me is a passive attitude. You “were never given,” you “were not given.” So in the actual situations, you were not exercising power. If you were, and did not get what you wanted, you would have stated it differently, “I requested it and they refused.” I don’t know the system in the U.S., but if I go to a clinic for medical care, here, an appointment is made with a physician or specialist. I am not offered a list of choices, not usually. But I can actually make choices, and I must know that and ask for it. If I ask for what I want, I might get it. I have the right here to see my medical records. So I can look at the report myself. When I am “told” a result was high, at that time I can normally ask questions for specifics, and I do. Or I can ask later. I can call them up, I can send a letter. How much choice you have in the UK, I don’t know, because I am in the U.S., but I am on Medicare and supplemented with state aid because I am low income, and I still have many choices.

        I learned to take full responsibility for my own medical care. That is, I am responsible for the choices I make. If I follow my doctor’s recommendation, I am still responsible for choosing to trust him and it. And if I don’t follow it, I am still responsible for that. If I follow skeptical advice or random nonsense or deep wisdom from the internet, I am responsible for those choices.

        I am responsible in my choice to research or not research the issues myself. If I try to read the papers, I am responsible in my choice to spend time with them, looking up unfamiliar words, googling subjects, etc., or going to a medical library, or not.

        I am responsible for the questions I ask my providers, and the questions I do not ask. I am responsible for the decision to trust them or not. How can I decide whom to trust? What I know is to become informed, ask questions, and observe how they respond. And if I think they are wrong, I can ask how they know what they are saying. I can observe how they handle that, which can influence whether I choose to trust them or not. If I make choices that lead to harm, I might die. I am responsible for that. (Legal responsibility is another issue, I am talking about an attitude that creates power).

        If I don’t want responsibility, I will, to avoid blame, pretend I do not have choices, that I am not making choices, “They don’t let me,” and all those other standard nonsense arguments we learned as children, to avoid blame.

        You ask at the end when is it “right” to be skeptical. The question reveals the underlying ontology that keeps you powerless, so congratulations for asking it, so I will address it at the end.

        I get the distinction between stress and strain; I don’t mind the former but have had several unavoidable bouts of the latter. As a lifelong cyclist, my CAD could just as likely be the result of breathing in vehicle emissions as anything else.It could be, but that idea probably gives you no power. The function of ideas is not to be “the truth,” but to create useful predictions, and, even better, inspiration. To avoid stress, I suggest noticing ideas that increase stress and reduce inspiration, and take action to create more useful ideas.

        I’m not sure you have fully understood the distinction between stress and strain. Strain is a force applied to an object, strain is a condition that arises in the object. We experience conditions that cause strain, but stress is a response over which we have choice.
        Given conditions, strain can be unavoidable, but saying that makes you powerless. Often, we can change conditions, but if we claim that the conditions are unavoidable, we will probably not manage that. Some strain we may not want to avoid. I exercise, putting strain on my muscles. I want that, to a degree. But stress is always avoidable, as a continued state. What may be unavoidable is transient stress from learned behavior, those reactions will arise faster than we can handle them. But we can recognise them and handle them, there are techniques and it is possible to do this with velocity. Until we take responsibility for our stress, we will imagine that it cannot be handled. It is probably maintained stress that is harmful.

        The point I was making in my original message is that I decided to ignore my GP’s advice as a result of reading the cholesterol sceptics.

        And what I pointed out was that there were two separate events here: reading sceptics, and then you are effectively assigning that as the cause of the second event, your ignoring your GP’s advice. You iinterpreted the sceptic’s comments as advice and you chose that advice over that of your GP. Why? For efficiency, I will guess.
        You were more comfortable with it. It meant to you that you need do nothing to protect your heart. So that’s the path you chose.Tjhis really has nothing to do with whether or not your doctor was right, and there is no way to know that if you had made a different decision — only on the issue of statins — that you would have had a different outcome.
        But you want an answer to your question. Even though it is unknowable. And it is unknowable for everyone, not just for you. Even if we fully accept the pro-statin experimental evidence as creating the effects claimed, nobody can tell you anything more than probabilities, and the larger probability is that your choice did not cause the heart condition, i.e, that statins would not have prevented it. So if someone does give you “the answer,” it is a fantasy.

        Fantasy can be useful if it inspires you. And only you can determine if it does. Nevertheless, I will assert that there is something better than fantasy.


        But how do we know what is real? About the questions you are asking, we don’t. Nevertheless it is not only possible, it is incredibly empowering to trust Reality without knowing what it is. Declaring that we trust reality is an ancient and powerful technique for reducing stress and increasing wisdom and intuition.

        I am sure that statins are over-prescribed and that we still don’t know exactly what causes heart disease, which is why we are on episode 63 of this blog series 🙂 I guess.

        Yes. We don’t know the cause, not definitively. But instead of focusing on what we don’t know, which is useless, how about focusing on what we know or can know. How about becoming familiar with the evidence on statins — in both directions? I recommend postponing conclusions, because your desire for comfort will push you toward premature conclusions, and you don’t actually need to know the answers, to come to conclusions, to give your own intuition what it needs to run powerfully. If we are running on fear, we will understand little, this is just how the brain works and does not work. Fear, and the less obvious “concern” suppress intuitive understanding. People try to imagine that intuition means they know the truth about something by some magical process, and then they worry whether that thought they had that maybe the plane will crash means they should cancel the flight. That is not intution, that’s fear. Intuition will lead us to amazing actions that we simply did, without worry.
        But intuition is not magic, it operates using the vast associative power of the cerebral cortex, most of which is outside consciousness. Noticing stress and immediately handling it turns larger chunks of your life over to that power. What was unclear to you will become clear, that’s part of the effect.

        However, given that I am taking them now, having been finally diagnosed and treated for CAD, my question would be: how can any non-medical-professional know what to do given the conflicting information around?

        How does anyone know what to do given conflicting information or ideas that exist? This is about every choice in life! My answer is that I don’t “know,” but I make choices anyway, and I trust that if I have something to learn, I will. I.e., in a way, no choice is “wrong,” especially if I learn from it. But here, you are trying to learn. Since you did not like the outcome of your first choice — even though you do not actually know that the outcome was caused by the choice — you think that maybe you should now make the opposite choice, but you are actually still in the original situation and for you the issue, as presented, is only “should I trust the GP or the internet bloviators?

        There is a more fundamental question: Should I trust myself to make decisions that fulfill the purpose of my life? You have an example here where you have cause not to trust yourself, because Bad Outcome. Yet you don’t actually know that.

        What I was pointing to was that focusing entirely on Statins/No Statins, led you to ignore all the other factors, including the Big S, stress. What about diet? And now we are getting information about sunlight. Some amazing stuff, possibly as powerful or more than statins.

        Get curious! What happens if you research all this for yourself? I am recommending that, actually, but not as an alternative to trusting whom you trust. If someone recommends something, verify it! Are they fairly presenting what is in the studies. Then look for critiques. Are they clear, again? But in the end, you are not an expert and you will not understand everything. What I’m pointing out is that if you expose yourself to all this information, you will develop and feed your intuition, and there are signs to look for with intuition: reduction of stress, happiness, joy, freedom, and power.

        Perhaps I should have been taking statins for the last six years, on the grounds that since they are assumed to be having a benefit now, they would have had a benefit then.
        You are trying to reason with weak assumptions, all based on ignorance. What someone assumes is not evidence for anything! Statins obviously do not directly address “the cause” of heart disease, or else they would be far more effective. Treatments that address causes may be close to 100% effective, a number to treat to obtain benefit approaching one. Statins have an NTT of, what? A hundred? Because the risk of heart diseases is smaller than we might think, the figure of a 33 percent reduction in risk sounds great, but that reduces risk from 3% to 2%. What you need to know is the statistics for someone in your condition, as close to your exact condition as possible.
        I found that doctors rarely were thinking about my specific condition and risks. They often, by default, make recommendations based on standards of practice, for a general population only moderated sorted for specific condition. And there are so many variations on condition — some of which can be controlled — that it’s really impossible to know the effect that a treatment will actually have.
        You are actually in the same situation as before, nothing has really changed. But the balance may have changed somewhat. Your attempt to project back to your original choice to decide whether it was right or wrong will give you no useful information, but you think it will, because if you were wrong, you imagine, it means that you cannot trust your own choices, so, to survive, you must trust your GP.
        How I handle this is that I don’t particularly want to survive if I can’t make my own choices. I will choose to trust my GP or not. *I choose*, and nothing changes if I might have made some “mistake” in the past. I still choose, so I want to give myself as much background data. I do not have to memorize it, and I have learned extremely complex subjects, that I “could not understand,” — at first — simply by looking at magazines on the topic and letting myself read the words. “Understanding” is over-rated if it does not arise naturally. Effort backfires in creating understanding unless it simply means the effort of looking at stuff.

        In summary: when is it right to be sceptical?
        Under the question is an idea that a state, “being skeptical” is right or wrong. Presumably if something is true, we will think we were wrong to be skeptical. Or if something is wrong, we were right to be skeptical. Skepticism is misunderstood, often. We are skeptical if we have not been convinced of something. Something can easily be true, but we have not seen the evidence, and so we are properly skeptical. And the reverse.

        What I suspect is that by “sceptical” you mean “you trusted the on-line sceptics.” But that is not skeptical, that is trust!

        You are not skeptical either way in this story, because you are looking outside yourself for truth, the mainstream truth, say, or the skeptical truth, and both of those are meaningless in the end, because there is only One Truth.

        We just don’t know it, though we like to pretend, because we think that if we understand stuff, we will be safe. It’s an illusion. Again, the ancient teaching is that safety is only in trusting reality — which includes what we don’t know, but also our experience and intuition.

        Safety is not in “making the right decisions,” because we never know, really, how anything will turn out, and, bottom line, we are all going to die some day, not far away.; Will that mean that we made the wrong choice by getting up that day? There are some great stories about that!

        I am researching statins and writing about them because I learn through the process. I am far, far, from coming to conclusions, but I make continual choices without believing that my choices are “right.” I do not need that belief, and it would confine me. If I believe that my choices are based on truth, my thinking will become more and more rigid and unable to adapt to shifting circumstances. But I trust my choices, trusting reality even more, which will show me what it chooses to show me.

      9. Anna M

        I don’t know why people are so reluctant to accept that stress is an adequate cause. So far as I know, statins do not dissolve plaque.

      10. kentrob

        @abdlomax “I am researching statins and writing about them because I learn through the process. I am far, far, from coming to conclusions”

        Meanwhile, life is brief. Buy a bike and get out more, enjoy it while you can. There are a million self-appointed experts doing research and writing on the Internet. As Dickens said about Parliamentary reports, “It’s a pool into which nobody dived and came up sane.”

        But thanks for your time and “advice”.

      11. abdlomax

        You are welcome. I hope you found it useful. You did ask. As to your advice, great advice, even though I did not ask for it. Thanks anyway! However, I am also a writer, a journalist. It’s what I do, and people support it. I need to balance my life, for my own health, and that is a project in which I am engaged for the rest of my life.

  53. Paul Goode

    The latest Mercola newsletter has been censored! An article talking about ‘fake news’ has been ‘disabled’. It seems that if you express an opinion that does not agree with the ‘establishment’ view it is automatically deemed fake news. What happened to the concept of ‘free speech’?

      1. goransjoberg2015

        When measles outbreaks develops among fully vaccinated people this could be recognized as a “Popperian” refutation but: “No, no! They just needed another shot to get the protection!”

        To me all the vaccination business stinks today and I wonder about the “good parts” which on the paper should be there.

      2. goransjoberg2015

        abdlomax, Today I find the daily newsletters from Mercola in my email trash box where I though can pick them up.

        The latest one is indeed scary reading and renders me a very uneasy feeling that “Big Brother” (the gigantic global corporate money, Pharma/Agriculture) “sees all” and can censor what he wants.

  54. Charles Gale

    Stress…arterial damage…cvd…latest from Dr Matthias Rath

    I’ve just found these 2 articles on Dr Rath’s website:

    (1) regular vitamin C consumption and
    (2) a 2019 interview with Dr Rath

    Firstly, here’s a link to the article on the importance of regular vitamin C consumption:


    In mice, constant vitamin C consumption = lower levels of damage to arterial walls and lower levels of lp(a) deposits

    Secondly, here’s a link to the interview:


    It has a running time of 38 mins and 41 seconds and is subtitled in English. It covers plenty of ground (e.g. cancer and chemo, big pharma) but here are a few of my (CVD) takeaways:

    26 mins: on supplements “a more elegant and faster way of taking vitamins…or in the form of vegetables and fruits”

    27 mins to 30 mins: the interviewer queries Dr Rath on vitamin C to cure or prevent. Is it too easy?

    Dr Rath replies that organic food is best. Not all vit C is equal…what form is used by the cells? There is an effective combination of ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate and ascorbyl palmitate. Sadly, a diet rich in fruit and veg is an exception nowadays…limited by 5 a day propaganda and also advice not to take supplements.

    1. goransjoberg2015


      I have a strong belief in supplements of different kinds as a precaution rather than as a CVD remedy. Sipping on my 15 g/day drink of pure ascorbic acid in water (Linus Pauling style?) is one way that seems to “protect” me form further ailments as severe colds although this is impossible to prove although I have not had any for some years now.

  55. Eric

    Unrelated: mutation leads to less of an enzyme that breaks down blot clots. Carriers of one gene tend to live 10 years longer and have longer teleomeres.

    Wouldn’t one expect them to have more CVD, too?

    And carriers of two genes bleed to death early. Why would that be? I would expect them to die of strokes because their clots are not held down.


  56. Soul

    It is an interesting idea about how stress can effect ones health. I’ve known a couple people that died of heart attacks while young. Thinking about it, only one was under obvious stress. No one knew it at the time but he hadn’t been able to find work for awhile, had not been paying his taxes and hiding that from his wife and kids. He apparently would go to the library to give the opinion to others that he was working a job. He also had diabetes and was in relatively poor health from it. Nice funny guy, and very tragic at his passing so young. He was in his early 50s. Without a doubt he must have been under great stress due to his financial circumstances.

    1. Charlie

      Excessive stress, HPA axis disruption, depression all have very negative effect on CVD and health in general. Medications to treat them work poorly and are riddle with side effects. Something that seem to help and is widely used by weight lifters to “increase pump” which I guess is good is agmatine sulfate. It works in pain, anxiety, depression and drug addiction. It increase effectiveness of conventional treatments.

      Agmatine: clinical applications after 100 years in translation

      • Sixteen leading groups review evidence for the therapeutic effects of agmatine.
      •Agmatine modulatory action at multiple molecular targets is highlighted.
      •Challenges and opportunities for the use of agmatine in a spectrum of complex diseases are discussed.
      •We focus on the use of agmatine in diabetes mellitus, neurotrauma, opioid action, mood disorders, cognition and cancer.
      •Agmatine is poised for expanded drug development efforts and advanced clinical trials.

      Agmatine (decarboxylated arginine) has been known as a natural product for over 100 years, but its biosynthesis in humans was left unexplored owing to long-standing controversy. Only recently has the demonstration of agmatine biosynthesis in mammals revived research, indicating its exceptional modulatory action at multiple molecular targets, including neurotransmitter systems, nitric oxide (NO) synthesis and polyamine metabolism, thus providing bases for broad therapeutic applications. This timely review, a concerted effort by 16 independent research groups, draws attention to the substantial preclinical and initial clinical evidence, and highlights challenges and opportunities, for the use of agmatine in treating a spectrum of complex diseases with unmet therapeutic needs, including diabetes mellitus, neurotrauma and neurodegenerative diseases, opioid addiction, mood disorders, cognitive disorders and cancer.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Charlie: Fascinating. What about biosynthesis in humans? How does arginine become decarboxylated, which I presume means the removal of a carboxyl group from the molecule?

      2. andy

        Hi Charlie: The body makes agmatine from arginine. If you get your arginine from soybeans, peanuts and wheat there could be a problem with inflammation (stress/strain).

  57. Martin Back

    If plaque formation is a clotting event, and plaques get worse because they are not cleared up quickly enough, as Dr Kendrick says, then this 2006 Dutch paper provides a link between a high-carb diet and plaque formation. Only six patients, though.

    From the Abstract: The differential effects of hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia suggest that patients with hyperglycemia due to insulin resistance are especially susceptible to thrombotic events by a concurrent insulin-driven impairment of fibrinolysis and a glucose-driven activation of coagulation.

  58. AhNotepad

    There’s a lot of posts I haven’t been notified about.

    Martin Back, rather than believe stories about Andrew Wakefield (a fine man in my opinion) perhaps you should investigate the credibality of the source of the stories, and the owner of the publication, and the relationship of the owner’s son and his position as a non-executive director of a certain UK pharma manufacturer, who just happened to produce a certain vaccine.

    1. Martin Back

      Having read Wakefield’s retracted Lancet paper, it’s hard to know what the fuss is about.

      Twelve children were referred to him and his colleagues. They had been diagnosed autistic and the parents believed that the MMR vaccine was responsible for the autism. As well as developmental disorders, they also had diarrhoea and abdominal pain, which is probably why Wakefield got involved, because he was a lecturer in gastroenterology as well as having researched the measles virus and vaccines.

      They felt there was a definite link between intestinal problems and autism, although unclear as to the mechanism: “the uniformity of the intestinal pathological changes and the fact that previous studies have found intestinal dysfunction in children with autistic-spectrum disorders, suggests that the connection is real and reflects a unique disease process.”

      They discuss what others have reported regarding the link between viruses, vaccines, and autism: “Disintegrative psychosis is recognised as a sequel to measles encephalitis, although in most cases no cause is ever identified.[14] Viral encephalitis can give rise to autistic disorders, particularly when it occurs early in life.[15] Rubella virus is associated with autism and the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (rather than monovalent measles vaccine) has also been implicated. Fudenberg[16] noted that for 15 of 20 autistic children, the first symptoms developed within a week of vaccination. Gupta[17] commented on the striking association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and the onset of behavioural symptoms in all the children that he had investigated for regressive autism. Measles virus[18, 19] and measles vaccination[20] have both been implicated as risk factors for Crohn’s disease and persistent measles vaccine-strain virus infection has been found in children with autoimmune hepatitis.[21]”

      However, their conclusion is negative, and as usual, more research is needed: “We did not prove an association between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described. Virological studies are underway that may help to resolve this issue.”

      But issue a caveat: “If there is a causal link between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and this syndrome, a rising incidence might be anticipated after the introduction of this vaccine in the UK in 1988. Published evidence is inadequate to show whether there is a change in incidence[22] or a link with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.[23]”

      Their final paragraph: “We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine”

      To which I must comment, if all you see are children with bowel troubles and autism after getting the MMR vaccine, it is hard to conclude otherwise. But in no way is it a test of the hypothesis that the MMR vaccine causes autism in the general population of children.

      1. StephenR

        I don’t want to rehearse all the arguments regarding the causes of autism.
        I am just finishing reading Handley J.B. ‘How To End the Autism Epidemic’, I suggest you have a look, even if you just do the free read on Amazon.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: Thank you for that. The Lancet paper was a case series. As Dr. Kendrick points out, case series are on the weaker end of the spectrum of evidence. What they can do is generate hypotheses, as this one did. Subsequent to the Lancet paper, the CDC designed and conducted a study to test this hypothesis, of a causal link between MMR and autism. They found that timing (age of vaccination) was crucial to this link; among African-American boys given MMR prior to 36 months, the odds ratio for an autism diagnosis was 2.56 compared to those who received it after 36 months. They panicked, spent more than a year mangling the protocol and the data, then gathered in a conference room with a big garbage can, and threw away all the original records. Except for one of the five authors, Dr. William S. Thompson, who realized what they were doing was illegal and unethical. He retained all the original records, and eventually hired the top whistleblower attorney in the U.S. All of this is a matter of public record. Congress has oversight of all Federal agencies, but so far (since 2014) has been too cowardly to investigate the matter, such is the overwhelming power of the pharmaceutical industry over our government.

      3. Martin Back

        I’ve read Wakefield’s paper, and the free bits of Suzanne Humphries’ and JB Handley’s books, and if I had kids I would get them vaccinated, but I’d be a little anxious about it.

        I popped over to the CDC’s website to see what they had to say about autism, and was pleased to see they do address the vaccine question https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/research.html

        Vaccine Safety
        Many studies have looked at whether there is a relationship between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To date, the studies continue to show that vaccines are not associated with ASD.
        However, CDC knows that some parents and others still have concerns.

        …and they give some references which of course prove that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

        But they haven’t given up looking for the causes of autism.

        SEED [Study to Explore Early Development] is a multi-year study funded by CDC. It is currently the largest study in the United States to help identify factors that may put children at risk for ASD and other developmental disabilities. Understanding the risk factors that make a person more likely to develop an ASD will help us learn more about the causes.

        However, it seems there are places they won’t be looking. If you look at the details of SEED studies on https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/seed-research.html you will see investigations of mothers’ drinking and smoking, gestational diabetes, links with asthma, allergens and autoimmune disorders, etc etc, but nowhere do they appear to be looking at any possible link between vaccinations and autism, or substances like glyphosate or household chemicals and autism. Hmmmm… are they afraid of finding something?

        Finally I had a look at what vaccinations are made of.


        Interestingly, the much-maligned MMR vaccine contains no aluminium.
        “chick embryo cell culture,WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts, vitamins, amino acids, fetal bovine serum, sucrose, glutamate, recombinant human albumin, neomycin, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, sodium phosphate, sodium chloride.”

        But some of the the DTP vaccines do contain aluminium.
        “Fenton medium containing a bovine extract, modified Latham medium derived from bovine casein, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, modified Stainer-Scholte liquid medium, VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells, calf serum and lactalbumin hydrolysate, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, aluminum salts, sodium chloride, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, yeast protein.”

    2. KidPsych

      In fairness, maybe then don’t ignore Wakefield’s ties to attorneys intent on winning great sums from drug companies. For you, he’s a fine man; for me, he’s a narcissistic, opportunistic fraud who was wiling to harm children for his own benefit.

      And please stop posting about him. If there’s a link to heart disease, great. If not, please start you own blog.

      1. abdlomax

        Pattern: User appears, no other posts, attacking another user holding Forbidden Opinion.

        I have my concerns about Wakefield, but prefer to consider evidence instead of comments dripping with conclusory hatred. See <a href="http://coldfusioncommunity.net/astroturf-or-idiocy/"my coverage of Sharryl Attkisson's TED talk on astroturfing, and how, though supporting vaccination of children, she was viciously attacked for daring to mention what anti-vaxxers think.

        It is up to Dr Kendrick to allow or not allow comments on vaccination and Wakefield. Personally, I don’t think this is the place for it, but . . . this then was an excuse to attack Wakefield, so, itself off topic, the comment is hypocritical. As for my response, cholesterol and statin skepticism is being given the same treatment, sometimes by the same people. We need science, not pseudoskeptical snark.

      2. Stephen Rhodes

        I rather think that is up to Dr Kendrick, not you, to decide. The whole vaccine industry is protected from financial loss since 1986 and cannot be sued as a result of the decision of SCOTUS in 2011, the same SCOTUS who decided that “vaccines are unavoidably unsafe”.
        Why do vaccines need such protection if they are safe and effective – as claimed.

      3. Gary Ogden

        KidPsych: You anonymously libel a man of whom you clearly know very little? Bad form is much too weak a term for this. What fraud of which do you speak? The allegations of fraud came from nobody other than the editor of BMJ, certainly not the General Medical Council, as incompetent as they were in this case. It is the pharmaceutical industry, aided and abetted by governments around the world, who have made vast sums of money from quackery. Read Dr. Kendrick’s three books if you doubt this. In the U.S., industry is immune from liability for any and all product defects or adverse effects of their vaccine products. No vast sums to be made by attorneys or anyone else here. Meanwhile, U.S. vaccine policy has created the sickest generation of children in modern history. The rapidly growing number of special needs children is breaking school district budgets nationwide (and in the U.K., too). This issue, although distantly so, is most certainly related to CVD, as the body is a whole organism, and not a collection of discrete parts. The divorce rate increases after an autism diagnosis; divorce raises the risk of a cardiovascular event.

      4. Jerome Savage

        Gary – I respect your input to these debates, very much forward thinking and rational. I am not familiar enough with the discussion to make my own contribution. But the argument on the pro vaccine side and against Wakefield is that the increased incidence of autism corresponds with improved diagnosis and extension of the autism spectrum.
        It will of course be difficult to contest that without good analysis based on good stats, a considerable challenge indeed.

      5. Stephen Rhodes

        It is actually very easy to refute it.
        If it is just better identification now, then where are all the adults with autism who weren’t diagnosed at the time?
        They simply don’t exist.
        And the numbers with autism are thought to be running at around 1 in 39 now compared to 1 in 10,000 in the early 1960s so it ought to be easy to find at least half of those who were missed an autism diagnosis as children.

      6. JanB

        So scary. I have two grandchildren from each of my children. A son in both arms of the family has been diagnosed as being on the spectrum and I know so many people now who say they have grandchildren on the spectrum.
        I do sometimes wonder, it being ‘a spectrum,’ whether everyone isn’t on it to a greater or lesser degree but that something is triggering a major worsening of the condition, something clearly environmental. Just a thought.

      7. Stephen Rhodes

        That seems to be the considered opinion of J.B.Handley in his examination in ‘How to End the Autism Epidemic’ a book he wrote to document a disease that damaged his son Jamison. The book is recent, November 2018, so very up to date with developments, including promising therapies that have helped some autistic children.

      8. Gary Ogden

        JanB: This is part of the obfuscation. Autism most certainly does not belong in the DSM. Calling it a spectrum sheds no light upon anything. There certainly are degrees of impairment, but calling it a spectrum of disorders sounds suspiciously to me like a way to expand the customer base for pharma. The psychiatric profession is good at inventing diseases; ADHD is a good example. Vast numbers of American children are put on powerful, dangerous drugs for a heretofore unrecognized disorder, which once would have simply been called childhood. Autism is a result of a physical injury during brain development. It often is accompanied by gut disfunction, since the gut and brain are intimately connected. It is not a mental disorder. I may be wrong, but as far as I understand the diseases in the DSM are descriptions of behaviors with names attached, diagnosed without the use of biochemical assays.

      9. Sasha

        Yes, psychiatry is notorious for this. Good books that look into this issue are: “Anatomy of an Epidemic”, “Side Effects”, “Mad in America”, “The Emperor’s New Drugs”, and Peter Gotzsche’s “Deadly Psychiatry and Organized Denial”.

      10. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Yes, and lobotomy, electro-shock, drugs, and of course, the couch. Something truly frightening is going on in New York City, with the mayor, that brilliant scientist, Bill DiBlasio, force-vaccinating six-month-old Jewish infants with MMR, while the MMRII package insert clearly states that safety and efficacy have not been evaluated in infants from 6 to 12 months, and that they may not respond to the components of the vaccine. They have gone too far this time. They’ve lost all pretense of being anything other than pharma reps. They’ve forgotten we live under a constitution. They’ve forgotten we tried, convicted, and hung doctors for medical experimentation without the consent of the patient after WWII. The Democrats. Meanwhile, the Republicans sit on their butts because they are wholly owned as well.

      11. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: The American public will not put up with it, not for long. Some states have bills pending which would weaken mandates. Hawaii has a bill which would broaden exemptions, and Texas a bill which would forbid the administration of vaccines which have not been properly safety-tested, which is all of them (human vaccines; I suspect veterinary vaccines actually are, since livestock have economic value, and humans merely statistics). De Blasio’s original order contained the wrong zip codes. You can’t make this stuff up!

      12. Gary Ogden

        Stephen Rhodes: Right you are, but the CDC will never entertain the idea that the cause of the autism epidemic is iatrogenic because they function as the marketing arm for the industry. They purchase U.S. $5 billion in vaccines each and every year. HHS owns patents for Gardasil and other vaccines, so every time one is used the Treasury becomes a bit fatter. Heart-warmig tale, no? I must add that the autism epidemic is clearly environmentally caused, but I certainly don’t think that vaccines are the only culprits. Agricultural and industrial chemical exposures, especially in utero, no doubt play a role as well, and nutrient deficiencies, probably, as well, and disturbances to the gut micro-biome. And the synergistic effects of all of these things. The CDC will never do anything to address this. Their role is to protect policy, not public health, and they make wide use of tobacco science to do so. Virtually all the science they use to exonerate vaccines is tobacco science.

      13. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: This is indeed a great challenge. Autism is simply a term for a constellations of behaviors symptomatic of neurological injury early in life during rapid brain development. It is a great misfortune that it came from psychiatry, the least scientific of the medical disciplines. It essentially did not exist before a group of children, born in the 1930’s, were described by Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger during the 1940’s. Had it existed prior to this in any but rare cases, it would surely have been described in the medical literature. Some doctors like to write and research; some are very good at it, and the amount of medical literature published prior to this is quite vast, though not so easy to access the really old stuff. The rate is now 1 in 34 in the U.S. 3%. The cause is clearly environmental. Our “public health” officials most certainly know that something is terribly wrong, but, such is the power of industry that they are in a state of paralysis to address it. This is the term Dr. William S. Thompson of the CDC used to describe what is going on there-paralysis. Only 29% of Americans between 18 and 24 are fit to serve in the military. I’m no fan of military adventures, but this is shocking. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is a truth-teller. Read what he has to say. It is telling that all the prominent public promoters of vaccines as “safe and effective” refuse to debate him.

      14. Sasha

        Gary, I agree. Whichever side of the debate you’re on, no matter CVD, vaccines, or anything else, state your case without ad-hominems. That’s a sure sign of a weak argument…

      15. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: And a weak character. As Joe Friday used to say, “Just the facts, Ma’am.” What is sad is not the extraordinary lengths the powerful will do to protect their privileges, which is to be expected, but the fact that too many people unquestioningly believe what the media says. Especially sad among the educated. They are now trying to destroy the reputation of Professor Christopher Exley, the world’s foremost authority on the biological effects of aluminum, simply because he found exceptionally high levels of Al in autism brains, and had the audacity to publish the findings. He received death threats. The GoFundMe account supporting his work has recently been cancelled, the donations returned (although the account in support of his work at Keele University remains active). Attack, dry up the funding, repeat. So many alarming things are happening now, with all the censorship (of factual information), with quarantining the healthy in New York, with draconian vaccine mandate bills introduced in many states. The industry is truly in a panic, as more people are better informed of the actual risks of statins, of vaccines, of opioids, and on and on. Fight back we must.

      16. Gary Ogden

        Ahnotepad: The proper term for that sort of disgraceful behavior begins with cow and ends with dice. Such behavior is apparently commonplace on the internet among the type of people you wouldn’t allow your sister to go out with. I consider participation in blogs to be akin to conversation or correspondence. In conversation, such an attack would never occur, because it couldn’t be done anonymously. Decorum in all things except sports and politics (is that redundant?), I say.

      17. Martin Back

        ” In the U.S., industry is immune from liability for any and all product defects or adverse effects of their vaccine products.”

        There is no need to invoke a conspiracy in this case. If the government makes vaccinations compulsory, the government is responsible for any harm done to the patient by the vaccination. If the harm is due to a defect in the vaccine, it is for the government to sue the vaccine manufacturer, it is not the patient’s responsibility to sue.

      18. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: In the U.S. the government is the partner of the vaccine manufacturers. Never would they sue them, nor do they do any independent testing for safety or purity, although they are required by the 1986 act to do so, and report to Congress every two years, they have done nothing for 33 years. Self-regulation is the rule today among many industries. Boeing self-certified the airworthiness of the 737 Max, and the FAA accepted it. Thus a certified anti-stall system put two planes into a stall uncorrectable by the pilots. In order to understand the horrid system we have (the full weight of the taxpayer-funded Department of Justice against the injured or their parents), read Wayne Rohde’s “The Vaccine Court.” Vaccine policy in the U.S. is a “cesspool of corruption” in the words of RFK, Jr., and he is correct.

      19. barovsky

        I might add that NICE, here in the UK doesn’t do any testing of drugs either. Like its US counterpart it relies data supplied by the manufacturers. Brilliant! I think I’l hire a fox to guard the hen house.

      20. AhNotepad

        Gary, my understanding is the 737 Max problem is the software was given a signal by.a faulty sensor that the aircraft was in a stall, or about to stall, and the controls were actioned to reduce the angle of attack by lowering the nose. The sensor continued to give a stall warning, so the controls continued to lower the nose, resulting in a powered dive into the ground.

      21. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: Any system on a commercial aircraft which cannot be over-ridden by the pilots, or one which the pilots have not been properly trained to over-ride, should never be approved. I have full faith and trust in pilots; technology, not so much. Regulators, not at all.

      22. SteveR

        I heard an engineer, on Radio 4 I think, saying in effect that a single sensor system is a disaster waiting to happen. You should always have two and possibly three sensors if they are critical to safety so that software can decide which sensor is giving correct information.

      23. AhNotepad

        SteveR, airliners have three flight control computers to guard against this. The problems arise when two of them agree, and disagree with the third. The third is outvoted and ignored. The problem was the third was right, and the first two were wrong, and this has happened. Rather like a discussion between three people, when two wrong people gang up against the one who is correct. Hmmm, this could mean the aircraft designers have incorporated artificial intelligence, or perhaps artificial stupidity.

      24. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: As I recall the space shuttle had four computers, and a fifth one to sort out disagreements between them.

      25. AhNotepad

        Martin, that seems to me like acquiescing to tyranny. Since the politicians (government) are unlikely to bite the hand that feeds them.

      26. Martin Back

        For some people with autism, the gut plays an important role.

        Autism symptoms reduced nearly 50% two years after fecal transplant

        Roughly 30-50% of all people with autism have chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems, primarily constipation and/or diarrhea that can last for many years…

        Only one dose of FMT [Fecal Microbiota Transplantation] is usually enough to cure C. Difficile infections, but his patients with autism were far harder to treat. He discovered that three months of daily FMT was required to treat his autism patients, but eventually resulted in significant improvements in both GI and autism symptoms…

        The MTT approach involves 10 weeks of treatment, including pre-treatment with vancomycin, a bowel cleanse, a stomach acid suppressant, and fecal microbiota transfer daily for seven to eight weeks… The present study now shows the benefits are extended beyond eight weeks to at least two years post-treatment.

      27. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: Thanks. The Royal Free team were right all along, but the witch hunt stifled research for a decade or more.

    3. Jerome Savage

      Watching with interest the debate (which doesnt really belong here) the following extract from https://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/01/12/andrew-wakefield-in-it-for-the-money-all
      Is interesting.
      “no connection to the hated pharma is too tenuous or filtered through too many degrees of separation to permanently taint your reputation.”
      Since February 1996, (,) Wakefield had been engaged by a lawyer named Richard Barr, who hoped to bring a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers. Barr was a high street solicitor, and an expert in home conveyancing, but also acted for an anti-vaccine group, JABS. And, through this connection, the man nowadays popularly dubbed the “MMR doctor” had found a supply of research patients for Walker-Smith.(co author with Wakefield)
      “The following are signs to look for,” Barr wrote in a newsletter to his vaccine claim clients, mostly media enlisted parents of children with brain disorders, giving a list of common Crohn’s disease symptoms. “If your child has suffered from all or any of these symptoms could you please contact us, and it may be appropriate to put you in touch with Dr Wakefield.”

      1. AhNotepad

        Jerome, a quote from the link you posted.
        ”Even having his license to practice medicine stripped, his papers retracted, and his position as scientific director of Thoughtful House taken away didn’t keep him from finding a way to keep promoting the scientifically discredited idea that the MMR vaccine causes autism and enterocolitis.”

        Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the CDC attempt to destroy the data they found that did indicate a link between MMR vaccine and autism in Afro-American boys? brought to light by whistleblower William Thompson?

  59. Sylvia Brooke

    A.H. Notepad,
    I too am totally in the dark as to what is happening on this blog. Could someone, anyone, tell me what has happened here. Out of the blue some time ago, I was asked to sign in by WordPress – I have never had to do that before! and since that time I have received no more notifications. When I first came across this blog after being prescribed statins and needed to find out more about them, I never needed a password. Is something untoward haappening here?

    1. David Bailey

      I seriously doubt that this is anything to worry about. WordPress has glitched for me once or twice. In addition things like clearing your cookies, or even changing your machine will provoke the need to sign in again. Conceivably the process of updating Windows 10 might do something too. The answer is to keep all your passwords somewhere in a personally coded form. Something like:
      Wordpress password=my first pet’s name + last four digits of my friend’s telephone number.
      The only person who can decode something like that is you even if your PC were stolen!

      1. Sylvia Brooke

        David, Thanks for your reply. You mention ‘getting a new machine’. I wonder if it could be as simple as that. I bought a new laptop a few weeks ago around the time that Google started closing down various sites. I am unsure of the date when things started to go wrong but as stated above I have had nothing since until, suddenly, a couple of days ago I started to get an email each time a comment was posted, which is now driving me crazy. After five years of enjoying this blog and all the information that it offers, it is such a shame. Actually David, you were one of the first people to give me advice and encouragement when I was considering ditching the statins after they caused me so much trouble. Thanks for that.
        P.S. I actually allowed the shop where I bought my new laptop to discard my old one, I only hope they did it responsibly!!

      2. JDPatten

        Oooh, Dr Malcolm!
        Are you causing trouble or are you in trouble?
        Perhaps forestalling trouble as you go for the truth??

      3. abdlomax

        Hopefully the lawyers are out skiing with you. I’m not talking to lawyers, but filed in propria persona, just to get some things moving. I’ll talk with lawyers later. This may or may not be related to your concerns, Dr Kendrick. Good luck with whatever and thanks for your attention to the issues you are covering.

      4. Jerome Savage

        Mmmm Dr K. And we are suffering as a result. Delayed production line of highly readable fresh thinking studies.

    2. abdlomax

      This has been reported by a number of users here. While this is a WordPress blog, it is not clear if it is the entry-level free blog, or is a more advanced blog. and a fully-independent WordPress blog (like mine) can still be configured in many ways.

      As administrator on my blog, I can see all activity, including failed log-ins, because I have a plug-in installed that allows me to do that. Without that kind of access, and without specialized knowledge, it is unlikely that Dr. Kendrick could help. I have in the past given some specific advice, based on general possible causes, it has not been particularly welcome.

      But I will again walk through what I know and can suspect.

      1. Sites are moving toward security. Most sites now require that an email address be validated when signing up for notifications. They will send a validating mail tot the address given and will not send notifications until there is a response to that. It is possible that this requirement was instituted, or it existed before and the signup process was forgotten.
      2. To know who you are, the site must have information! This information is often stored on your computer as a “cookie.” Cookies may expire, and if you use a different computer or even different browser software, the site will no longer know who you are, so you must sign in in some way. There should be instructions. Sometimes these are unclear or confusing.
      3. If you use an email address already signed up, it will want you to enter a password, probably. It should offer to reset the password, or something like that, sending you an email.
      4. If you were receiving notifications, it is possible that your efforts to sign in destroyed that, or that the instructions lapsed, which could be cause by many circumstances, such as a bounced email (which can happen transiently for various reasons.)
      5. I am testing this now. I will document the details.

      1. I’m logged in already, using Chrome. So I see, when I press Reply, a notification that I am commenting using my wordpress.com account. Before that, viewing the page, I also see a black bar cross the top of the screen, and on the right corner of that bar, a tiny photo in a circle, because I uploaded one, or my profile,and a bell icon, for notifications. this tells me I am logged in.
      2. On another computer, at the same time, I am not logged in, and using a different browser as well, Firefox. There is no black bar and no icon or bell.
      3. On that other computer, I try Leave a Reply. I am prompted to fill in my details, required details being my Email and Name, and I can also check the notification options. Using an established email, when I try to enter a reply, then, I am asked for a password. This is obviously necessary, or else anyone who knows my email address could post as me.
      4. There is a Remember Me checkbox (so I would not have to log in each time) and a small “Lost your password?” checkbox.
      5. If I press Lost, a reset procedure is then provided.
      6. I tried entering a different email address, not used before on wordpress.com. It accepted it (and my brief test post). It would then be up to the moderator to look at the name and email address. (this means that one could impersonate another forum member, as to the displayed name, but it is possible this would be flagged to the moderator. Or not.)

      So some common problems:
      1. I forgot the email address I used. Try different ones until it accepts it and your password, or it sends you a reset email. It will not send a reset email to an address that is not in the records.
      2. I don’t have access to that email any more. Create a new account with a working email. (I don’t know if you can use the same name. Probably.)
      3. The icon displayed with my name changed. Perhaps you created a new account for that name, using a different email address. The icon is automatically assigned if you don’t change it, so it would probably be a new one.

      If anyone wants personal guidance on this, make a comment anywhere on my blog, coldfusioncommunity.net, leaving a valid email address (and put “do not publish” at the top. I will then email you and can obtain the information that might be necessary to help. “It isn’t working” is almost no information, but there was a little included (such as that notifications were working before. Beyond that, exactly what happened was unclear.)

      I’m grateful to Dr Kendrick for his work, and am happy to help if I can. I have forty years’ experience with personal computers, and they are the most complex machines ever made, and they keep changing, so it is no wonder we sometimes get confused!

      1. Sylvia Brooke

        Abdlomax, Thank you for your reply. I think perhaps the best thing to do is to see if things sort themselves out with my account with WordPress without any intervention from me. Quite a few people appear to be having the same problem which is in some way reassuring.

  60. Sylvia Brooke

    I have received no notifications since 28th March. Anyone any idea why this is happening, and how I could rectify it?

    Any advice would be welcome. Thank you.

    1. Gary Ogden

      Sylvia Brooke: I received none from 29 March until today (7 April). No idea why. I’m just happy when they come. And for the gift Dr. Kendrick has given us in helping us to navigate the path toward knowledge in medical issues and science in general. Plus, he’s great fun to read. I try to have a bit of a dose before bed each night.

      1. JanB

        Gary, It was the same for me. I miss it terribly when all goes quiet but I always assume Dr. K is off somewhere being too busy to moderate. I have to remind myself very sternly that our good doctor really does have a life outside of this blog.
        I think WordPress has changed a little. Now I always have to enter my email address and name EVERY time I reply to a comment and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t always the case. I may have ‘misremembered though – the ‘senior moments come thick and fast.
        Longing for the next post.

      2. Gary Ogden

        JanB: Not a senior moment; it happened to me, too. Nothing more than a very minor annoyance. What is odd is that when I subscribe to the comments on each new post, the confirmation always comes to my inbox, yet, from the very beginning, all Dr. Kendrick’s posts, and all the comments come to the junk box. Not sure why this occurs, but my junk box is often as good as or better than my inbox, as far as the value of the content. Only rarely do I get actual junk, such as Viagra ads or dating sites.

      3. Frederica Huxley

        I also like to save up ‘my Malcolms’ for reading before bed! I also get twitchy when there aren’t any in my inbox.

      4. Sylvia Brooke

        Gary Ogden,
        Thank heavens it’s not only me with this problem. I thought at first it was just a quiet time on the blog, and Dr. Kendrick was perhaps sunning himself somewhere exotic or having another bash at skiing. (joking, of course. I honestly don’t know how on earth he manages to do everything that he does do at all.)
        Thanks for your reply, like you I too look forward to everyone’s input even though I sometimes struggle understanding it all! I too have a ‘senior moment’ from time to time.

    1. David Bailey


      That is a lovely video – easy to understand except that too many of the graphs were blurred.

      I particularly liked the funnel plot data that clearly showed that many studies had come out the ‘wrong’ way and never been published. Also the Intersalt study that achieved the result it did by the inclusion of four obscure tribes with super low salt levels, but a totally different life style.

      It is always good to be reminded as to why I chose to take the dietary choices I have made!

  61. KidPsych

    Lots of interesting thoughts above. A few comments –

    1) Yes, it is Dr. Kendrick’s blog and I have great respect for him and his work. He certainly controls content. I just feel that these hot-button issues detract from learning about heart disease.

    2) I see I’ve been accused of libel by someone who has engaged in the converse: making a positive pronouncement about Wakefield (“a fine man in my opinion”). That seems nonsensical, unless this person knows Wakefield personally.

    3) I work almost exclusively with children with Autism and feel protective of them. What I see in Wakefield is a charlatan and someone taking advantage of a vulnerable population. This is the opposite of what I see in Dr. Kendrick. Maybe I’m wrong about him, but this is what the evidence has shown me.

    I won’t write about any of this any more. I apologize for detracting from the blog.

  62. Gary Ogden

    The Sunday Times is at it again, with a scurrilous attack on Professor Christopher Exley, lead by Andrew Pollard, leader of the Oxford Vaccine Group, and chair of the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), which performs the same role as ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) does in the U.S. A case of the fox guarding the henhouse. Professor Exley is one of the good guys, doing good science. The pharmaceutical industry does not like its dark underbelly to be exposed for all to see.

  63. Gary Ogden

    My apologies to all for often bringing up topics which are or seem tangential to the quest to understand CVD, but it really is all the same battle against bad science and bad medicine. When those who behave honorably in science, a field for which I have great reverence, but who have insights or make discoveries which go against prevailing opinion are viciously attacked, or simply ignored, I think it behooves us to stand up for them. To do any less is to acquiesce in wrong, in medical treatment which harms rather than helps. Current medical treatment which harms rather than helps is costing us a small fortune and is creating real misery for some.

    1. Stephen Rhodes

      I see no need for apologies.
      In the case of Professor Exley, Aluminium in different forms and granule sizes when used as a vaccine adjuvant, precisely because it stimulates an inflammation intended to cause an immune response to the attached antigen particles, has been shown to be transported to the brain, and other soft tissue, by the body’s waste disposal operatives the macrophages. It is also now known that persistent inflammation of the brain tissues is a necessary precondition for the brain damage loosely termed autism. As far as I am aware nobody is claiming that aluminium causes all autism, just that it is a known neurotoxin that is used in vaccines because it causes inflammation and that it is transported to the brain in the form present in vaccines containing aluminium from the site of injection by macrophages. Aluminium has no function in animal biochemistry and until very recently animals have not encountered aluminium in a chemically active form, so we have no way of ‘dealing’ with it and it just gets shunted away internally and ‘stored’ with no guarantee that it will be buffered against its neurotoxicity. [Always with reminding people of the Camelford Incident/Disaster in this context.]
      But my point here is that there is no need to apologise because research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has revealed that older people with Autism have increased risks of developing several health complications including cardiovascular disease but with decreased risks of hypertension and metastatic cancer.
      The question then is, how autism linked to higher incidence of CVD.?

      1. Stephen Rhodes

        Interesting to speculate.

        Thomas Seyfried has written that cancers metastasise as a result of being assimilated by the macrophages that then carry the cancer into the lymphatic system before carrying it from the lymph nodes to other sites of inflammation that then attract the macrophages. So in his opinion cancers only metastasise by the agency of macrophages. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3597235/
        And, speculating here, since it is now recognised that chronic inflammation is a characteristic of autism, maybe there is a lack of macrophages in the autistic human, or maybe there is a defect in their macrophages, or maybe the demand for macrophages is far greater in the inflamed regions than in the cancers.

      2. Stephen Rhodes

        Apparently our bodies are cleverer than that, the macrophages salvage usable bits, ie the mitochondria for re-use and they can end up in other cells

      3. Gary Ogden

        Stephen Rhodes: Yes. The reason aluminum salts are used as adjuvants is this: To a vaccinologist, efficacy is measured by antibody response, Al, when injected, provokes a very strong antibody response. The reason Gardasil 9 is more dangerous than Gardasil is that Merck has doubled the Al content per dose. Why have they done this? If you give a nine-year-old a shot to protect them from a disease whose mean age of diagnosis is 54, the antibody levels must remain high for a very long time. With all vaccines, antibody levels decline with time; this is why measles has become a disease of the vaccinated (not all, but an alarmingly high percentage). This is called primary vaccine failure, and in every outbreak in recent years, in the U.S., some of the cases were fully vaccinated young adults in their twenties. It makes as much sense to believe that Gardasil 9 will result in four decades of high antibodies as it does to believe in the Easter bunny, or the cholesterol theory, for that matter. Both forms of Gardasil are the most dangerous vaccines ever licensed, in my opinion.

      4. andy

        Stephen/sasha: re autism, CVD and cancer question.
        Possible connection is reduced VEGF levels in autistic people. Angiogenesis could be good for blood vessels and bad for cancer.

  64. Gary Ogden

    A few months ago one of my favorite relatives suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, but survived and is doing well. Last night I read the pertinent parts (to stroke) of chapter 7 of “The Great Cholesterol Con.” What is interesting to me is the powerful association in Japan between dietary changes-a 60% increase in protein and a 400% increase in fat, with a 590% reduction in stroke. With a bonus of a 25% increase in the dreaded cholesterol level reducing the already-low CHD mortality by about 35%. Is an extremely low fat diet dangerous on a population level? I cannot recall any of the groups Dr. Price studied who ate only 5% dietary fat, but this may be faulty memory. I’m fairly well convinced that dietary choices, with a few exceptions, have little to do causally with CVD or disease in general, provided the diet as a whole contains optimal levels of protein and micronutrients. But our mitochondria are perfectly delighted to use fat as fuel, and this keeps us going from moment to moment for many years, so how could a low fat diet be pleasing to them?

    1. andy

      Hi Gary, a bit more about diets.


      “High adherence to a Mediterranean or to A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS) diet is associated with better cognitive skills in midlife, whereas adherence to the DASH diet, which is designed to lower blood pressure, is not.”
      DASH is low fat, low salt and more grains. Blood pressure is reduced at expense of brain function.

  65. Gary Ogden

    A bit of further reflection on the association of extremely low-fat diets and stroke: As I recall, when dietary fat is digested it is packaged as triglycerides in the gut into chylomicrons, who are released to roam about the circulation delivering it to the cells, which is how the mitochondria get their fuel to produce energy. In an extremely low-fat diet (5%, for example), how do the mitochondria get sufficient fuel? Gluco-neogenesis in the liver? Production of free fatty acids in the liver? Glucose from carbohydrate in the diet? In what way does any of this impact the integrity of the walls of the vasculature? It seems it must have an impact, because of the strong association among the Japanese with hemorrhagic stroke and fat intake (although the data isn’t separated by stroke type, this seems to me to be likely the case). Hemorrhagic, or Haemorrhagic is a strange word to spell. I had to look it up. But I’m wearing new glasses today (the joy!), so this was easy.

  66. Sylvia Brooke

    Abdlomax, Thank you for your reply. I think perhaps the best thing to do is to see if things sort themselves out with my account with WordPress without any intervention from me. Quite a few people appear to be having the same problem which is in some way reassuring.

  67. Gary Ogden

    I’m still trying to get my head around hemorrhagic stroke, and I read last night that (p. 96) that a very low cholesterol level “perhaps” may be causal. Makes me wonder what my relative’s is. Makes me chuckle a bit to write “cholesterol level,” since the title of Chapter 3 is “You cannot have a cholesterol level.” It sounds biologically plausible to me that insufficient cholesterol in the circulation could impact the integrity of cell structures such as the walls of the arteries.

    1. Chris Morriss

      Taking two grammes of Vit C spread out as 4 x 500mg over the day may well be advantageous for endothelial integrity as well.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Chris Morriss: Yes. I’ve been thinking about Dr. Rath’s insights about vascular damage and healing as explained by Dr. Kendrick. That L(p)a was conserved in the human population to take the place of vitamin C during periods when little dietary Vitamin C was available, because it plugs the cracks in the arteries. Not a particularly desirable substitute, but better than death by scurvy. I aim for 3g/day, taken in sips in liquid form throughout the day, as Göran Sjöberg does, though he takes a much higher dose.

      2. Janet Love

        “Only” two grams ?
        Based on a Guinea Pig’s NEED of 30mg/kg according to vets & feed manufacturers, Real Men should take a minimum of Three grams per day 😉
        Plus lysine or proline to complement the endothelial repair process.

  68. Gary Ogden

    In the current issue of Natural History magazine is a short piece concerning the presence of fibrinogen in Alzheimer brains, where it apparently doesn’t belong, and that this compromises neural connections.

    1. andy

      Hi Gary, maybe Alzheimers is peripheral neuropathy. Loss of neurones by dysfunctional mitochondria due to excess ROS caused by hyperglycaemia is one cause. Other possible causes: heavy metals, mtDNA changes, iatrogenic effects, omega-6 oils, CoQ10 reduction due to age, etc. i.e. anything that reduces ATP production or increases ROS.
      Observing what happens in the retina is a good surrogate for what is happening in the cranium. Fibrinogen is a red herring.

      1. andy

        Joe: then glaucoma could be considered type 4 diabetes
        Present treatment for glaucoma is to reduce IOP via drops or surgery. Only problem is that glaucoma happens with normal as well as high pressure. I have stopped my latanoprost drops (due to side effects) and concentrate on improving my mitochondria health.
        This is a similar situation with bad cholesterol causing CVD where a low value does not guarantee health.

  69. Gary Ogden

    It’s now a belly laugh. As those who’ve had the good sense to read it know, Chapter 3 of “The Great Cholesterol Con” is titled “You cannot have a cholesterol level,” yet, if I had a dollar for every time the phrase appears in the text, I’d be a wealthy man, and could retire from slaving for my supper. I’m in Chapter 7 now, and it is nothing short of astonishing that the Everest-size mountain of evidence hasn’t yet succeeded in killing off one of the most ridiculous theories ever promoted by Medicine. Such is the nature of human stupidity, cupidity, ignorance, cowardice, and fear, and the inability for many of us to admit when we are wrong. A bit of humility, humans. It will serve all of us well.

    1. Martin Back

      Put “cholesterol,smoking,heart attack” (without quotes) into Google’s ngram viewer, and it seems that interest in cholesterol peaked around 1990 in reference to heart disease. Not very scientific, I know, but perhaps the cholesterol theory has had its day.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: Thank you for all the diligent research you have been doing recently, and for sharing it with us.

    2. Jerome Savage

      I think we need to look at human nature and sense of security felt by the tribal member in pursuit of acceptance by the tribe/ religion. It’s down to social cohesion. The message is less than important than the need to fit in. Bit of anthropology anyone ? Cos the mainstream corporate makes no sense unless we look at our underlying need to conform .

      1. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: How true it is, our tribal nature. Thus the man behind the curtain exploiting identity politics. Put them into comfortable little boxes and encourage the gnashing of teeth against one another. The public schools do train us well to conformity; fortunately, that training doesn’t work all that well for some.

    3. Anna M

      And we all look back in history and are amazed at the stupidity, cupidity, ignorance, cowardice and fear that led to the various unbelievable situations and suppose that we moderns are immune to the stupidity and irrationality of our ancestors. One of my little hobbies is to imagine how people will be shaking their heads in wonder a couple of hundred years from now.

    4. JamesDownunder

      Stress/strain, nearly 12 months of it is what did my damage. When you face and understand why a roll of duct tape and hose lives on your car… things are serious. Then my (now “ex”) cardio pontificated this was an impossible contributor, declaring The Usual Suspects as guilty. He won a 5 way CABG from me…. but my current Cardio successfully targeted mental health and the rest just followed!
      Dr Bernard Lown in his book ‘The lost art of healing’ has much to say about healing and harming words doctors use.
      You should always FEEL better after seeing your Physician, not worse.
      Another reason to read this Forum 🙂

    5. JamesDownunder

      I’ve read that new medical knowledge takes around 17 years, filtering down to the front line / GP.
      But medically incorrect procedures… takes up to 30 or so years to be properly questioned and dropped.
      I think anal insertion of nicotine smoke (drowning revival) set the record for shortest interval, but still years…
      After 40 years, ORBITA and now ISCHEMIA destroyed the $urgeon’s Preferred Choice in treating stable angina. !
      – back to proven Optimal ‘Medicine’ (sic) Therapy ?

  70. Joyce

    Sadly Gary, I don’t think it’s the simple human traits, e.g. stupidity, ignorance, fear, cowardice etc. etc., which are the true failings, but that huge pot of gold, critical to the needs of those who perpetuate these wicked myths for their own greedy ends. It seems every man has his price, and it isn’t necessarily money. The rest of us mere mortals are sadly trained to obey our “masters”(those who know better, or so we’re told). Back to the drawing board on the subject of humanity, God’s plan was apparently deeply flawed! I’ll have a word with him when I get there!(No time soon I hope!) 😇

  71. Martin Back

    [Is stress the most important cause of cardiovascular disease?]

    Well, maybe not the most important, but certainly important.

    Stress related disorders and risk of cardiovascular disease: population based, sibling controlled cohort study

    Conclusion Stress related disorders are robustly associated with multiple types of cardiovascular disease, independently of familial background, history of somatic/psychiatric diseases, and psychiatric comorbidity.

      1. Anna M

        It definitely does. The immune system, and sleep and digestion are all part of the parasympathetic system. Chronic stress means it is chronically impaired. Stress also raises hormones like cortisol and upsets the HPA axis.

    1. Mr Chris

      interesting article.
      i have copied this little bit for other readers:
      “Not that medicine has been useless. After sanitation, antibiotics and vaccines have been the biggest boons to life expectancy, partly because they fight diseases that became common when people started farming.”

    2. Gary Ogden

      LA_Bob: Thanks. All good, except the attribution of the increase in longevity to vaccines, which is simply not true. The author has not yet seen the graphs in “Dissolving Illusions.” The vaccine era began much later than the plummeting mortality rate for those infectious diseases which were major killers in the slums of the 19th Century. Even antibiotics likely have not played as important a role in longevity as sanitation, clean water, reduced crowding, improved nutrition, and so forth.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Joe: Thanks. Much of this information is also in “Dissolving Illusions.” That vaccines have had any overall positive effect on human health is another one of those things, to use Dr. Kendrick’s phrase, “they just made up.”

  72. Jerome Savage

    Towards the end of that piece,
    “After sanitation, antibiotics and vaccines have been the biggest boons to life expectancy”
    Likely to stir the old vaccine debate !

    1. Gary Ogden

      Jerome Savage: Yes. The Huffington Post can be relied upon to support the mainstream narrative on most things. On this, I give the author a pass; much of what she says is true. She simply doesn’t know that vaccines came much too late in the game to have much, if any, influence on longevity. The data clearly show this. Most people don’t know much about the real history of infectious diseases; we’ve been fed a load of propaganda about it. What opened my eyes was “Dissolving Illusions.” I well remember the polio scare in the 50’s, and we all dutifully lined up for the (later-proved-too-dangerous-to-use) Salk injected vaccine, and later the Sabin oral dose (also later withdrawn from use). In truth, paralytic polio was always rare on a population basis, and the lab results from the Michigan polio epidemic of 1958 (p. 236) clearly demonstrate that polio virus could not be causal.

      1. Göran Sjöberg


        From somewhere (“Dissolving Illusions.” ?) I learnt that polioepidemics occur only (?) in places where DDT has been in abundant use

      2. Gary Ogden

        Göran Sjöberg: There is a powerful association, both in timing and location, of DDT use and polio epidemics. Dan Olmsted’s fine piece, “The Age of Polio. Explosion,” tells the story of the 1916 New York City polio epidemic, and clearly traces it to the use, for the year 1915, and only 1915, of arsenical herbicides in one Hawaiian sugar plantation. I suggest that anyone interested in the history of polio read this compelling story. You can find it on ageofautism.org. Scroll down below the recent comments and list of contributors, on the right hand side, and click Age of Polio. Explosion. Suzanne Humphries also tells the story of a small epidemic in the wilds of Australia, in which the children played in the tanks used for cattle dip (also an arsenical), along with the heroic tale of Sister Kenny, who helped so many victims, while Medicine was harming them.

      3. David Bailey


        I’d feel more confident about this argument if I knew what EXACTLY the alternative explanation of polio is if the virus is not responsible. My only direct interest in this, is that I had a relatively mild attack of paralytic polio. Sorry if you have given a more complete explanation before – a link would do, but

        I mean these were not scares like (say) the global warming scare, there was a very real problem that was solved.

      4. Gary Ogden

        David Bailey: Any of several viruses may be co-factors in paralysis. As are some vaccines (transverse myelitis). There have been in recent years worrisome clusters of so-far-unexplained paralysis in children in the U.S.. For the history of polio, I highly recommend Dan Olmsted’s Age of Polio, on ageofautism.org, and “Dissolving Illusions,” Chapter 12. The story of paralytic poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis) is much more complicated than a simple virus striking down children. In many of the outbreaks there is compelling evidence of an association, which may very well be causal, but the studies were never done, with arsenical herbicide/pesticides prior to WWII, and with DDT post-WWII. India still produces DDT. The WHO has declared India “polio-free,” yet there are hundreds of thousands of paralyzed children in India. Change the name, and like magic, the disease disappears.

      5. David Bailey

        Gary Ogden,

        I explored this a bit, starting with this long and rather rambling article:


        However, this contained a link to this article, that looks more persuasive, but will take some time to work through:


        I must admit, I am still somewhat wary that this could be a crank theory, because if you have to postulate that traces of toxic pesticide combine with a virus to cause the disease, then that sounds a rather contrived explanation.

        However, the second link to a more informative article, does describe the difficulty in getting polio virus to cause paralysis in animals – though of course it is a human-only virus. The connection with Duesberg’s ideas strengthens the case in as much as he seems to have been a well respected virologist who posed valid objections to the HIV-AIDS theory, and became ostracised as a result.

        Our family home had a field behind it – used to grow wheat.

  73. Jerome Savage

    Gary I think somehow initiative is being crowded out. While involved in purchasing many years ago, I discovered there was no friend like a sales representative, fully tuned by the corporate PR machine, to befriend & strike up a bond. The statin sellers, with their glorious profits will befriend, cajole & spin beginning with munificent conferences down to the slick presentations and handouts. Better not bite the hand that feeds and risk losing those links. We don’t want to be isolated with a crowd of do-gooders ?
    ( yes I was “accused” of being a do gooder due to involvement with a local environmental initiative – the 3 syllables were spat out ) Would be interesting to get Robert Sapalskys take on this !

  74. Sylvia Brooke

    In view of the problems which I have been experiencing with this blog I have been scrolling back through all comments and have just found some which were posted yesterday but are stuck in the middle of much earlier entries (on my machine anyway). One or two of them are from Dr Kendrick who appears to be somewhat subdued, not like him at all!

    I just want to say to Dr. Kendrick that whatever the problem is just now, we, your followers and friends, are right behind you whatever that problem may be. Take care Dr. Kendrick.

    Best wishes,
    Sylvia Brooke.`

    1. LA_Bob

      I believe Dr Kendrick said earlier he was doing some skiing, among other things. So, he’s relaxing, having some fun, reducing strain. Seems like a good idea. Some of his dedicated readers might do well to follow his lead.

      1. barovsky

        Re Comments:
        I too run a site (or 3) and know exactly how much time it can absorb, especially a busy site like this. I’m not sure how he juggles his time, so yes, all this fretting about comments taking a day or two to appear. Take a chill pill.

        I assume the Doc reads (or at least scans) each msg for content, that takes a lot of time, trust me.

      2. Gary Ogden

        barovsky: Just what Dr. Kendrick has taught us. I think they are both right. Being right never made anyone a pile of money, but how intellectually and professionally satisfying it must be.

      3. Gary Ogden

        LA_Bob: Excellent advice. The weather here has turned warm and beautiful; I’ve been spending 3-4 hours every day repairing my jungle of a garden, and I feel twenty years younger. Bit of a nasty winter, and I’m wondering if all the indoor air I breathed for months is what made me feel a bit off. Yes. Have fun. Live.

  75. Göran Sjöberg

    While I fully agree that stress is the major culprit regarding CVD I am also a strong advocate of what you put in your mouth also strongly contributes to your vulnerability.

    E.g., avoiding trans fats and polyunsaturated fats from seeds is in my opinion a good way to reduce the stress on your arteries. Anyway it was my own fortuitous decision 20 years ago, after my serious MI, to skip all margarine and “the partially saturated vegetable fats” in all food (it is stated on the labels so be aware!).

    What is left are the fats from the animal kingdom and preferentially the fat from fresh fish in cold waters and from free grazing livestock.

    1. andy

      Hi Goran:
      I share your concern about what factor is more important. The stress/strain /CVD question is a starting point only. Since there is no strain without stress it might be worthwhile to focus on stressors. The broadest category is environment which can be broken down as follows:
      Neighbourhood- population density, green space, pollution, climate etc.
      Social- common values, herd instinct
      Economic- important if living in dire straights

      On an individual scale the cellular microenvironment is also an important stressor:
      Microbiome- gut/brain axis
      Nutrition- adequate for cellular needs
      Insulin resistance- root cause of many diseases
      Satisfaction with life- brain/body axis
      Age- changing needs
      Iatrogenic stresses- treating symptoms with drugs

  76. Charles Gale

    To supplement or not to supplement with vitamin K2 to help reduce the dreaded coronary artery calcium (CAC) score?

    The question has been raised before on this website (and by myself in the odd comment) and maybe there is no answer to the use of vitamin K2 to help remove/lower arterial calcium. Arterial calcium is part of the body’s arterial band aid – concreting over and stabilising vulnerable soft plaques.

    Some favour a 2 prong approach:

    (1) vitamin C (plus a few other things such as lysine and proline) to repair, maintain and strengthen arterial walls then
    (2) for example, vitamin K2 to help remove/reduce the plaque.

    I’ve just discovered this March 2018 article by Dr Chris Kresser on this topic and here’s the link:


    There is plenty of understandable info on plaque causes and development, the CAC process and score, statins and CAC, calcium and plaque stabilisation and treatment for high CAC.

  77. Göran Sjöberg

    There are few sites I visit on the internet and among that of Dr. Mercola and my favorite Dr. Malcolm Kendrick. To my delight I now find an interview with Kendrick on Mercolas site.


    And to be honest it is about the best interview I have encountered relating to the corruption of present day medicine. It is one hour but may be the best hour you can spend on this issue. I fully agree with what is said here. Truth has a strong power indeed over corruption.

    1. Gary Ogden

      Göran Sjöberg: Thanks you very much for that link. I hadn’t read that Dr. Mercola post because I knew the egg study was bunk, little realizing there was an interview with our favorite Scotsman. Great fun.

      1. AhNotepad

        Gary, I’d quite happily allow them to go out with my sister, they’d wish they’d never been born. 😾

  78. Jerome Savage

    Today’s Daily express
    “new cases of cardiovascular disease were reported in just under 14 per cent of the patients among those who responded well to statins – and the group who hadn’t responded well to the drug was 22 per cent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease”
    Suggestion is that “responding well” means cholestoral is lowered with consequent lower CVD levels. This study involving 160,000 subjects by Uni of Nottingham is making headlines with a Dr Jane (forget her 2nd name) from Rory Collins’ stable, supporting the narrative on BBCR4 this evening. Her casual reference to many randomised trials supporting the pro statin hypothesis was not queried by Evan Davies.
    I presume this research can be contested. I find these reports extremely annoying but unfortunately don’t see myself as qualified to contest them (without taking months off to study, analyse and subject each part of their argument to objective critique in a non shrill manner)

    1. Martin Back

      So they were all on statins but some got more CVD than others — those who did not “respond well” to the statins.

      In other words, if the statins don’t work, it is your own fault for not responding well ;o)

      1. Jerome Savage

        I support Zoe’s argument. (See below) However she supports it with relative changes rather than absolute.

    2. Aileen

      Jerome, quickly reading the quote made me wonder: “22% more likely” – than what? If it was 22% more likely than the 14% of the “best” responders who went on to develop cvd, then presumably the increase was 22% of 14%, so about 17%? So not exactly an enormous difference. (Don’t know if I’m looking at that properly – numbers aren’t my forte so I might be completely wrong!)

      The Express’s headline was something like “Half of Statin Users Risk Lives”!

      1. Jerome Savage

        Comic book journalism Aileen.
        Facts & figures can b damn lies in the wrong hands. But the article makes the assumption that lifestyle, fitness etc is largely irrelevant in their conclusions.

    3. Jerome Savage

      Zoe Harcombe has rattled the stats thus,
      The non compliant are drinking alcohol 43% more than compliant,
      are smoking 25% more and show greater tendency towards diabetes. (I don’t know where she sees the latter) A reference to lack of information on obesity & exercise suggests a poor analysis all round ( tho a ref to BMI suggests lower for non compliant)
      Conclusion ;
      “:study should have been reported as, Smokers and alcohol misusers have more CVD events – oh and they tend to be less compliant with health advice generally.”

      1. mr chris

        what caught my attention in table 1 was the BMI, all in the 29 range. These people are seriously fat.
        also the systolic blood pressure, up there in the 14’s

      2. Jerome Savage

        Mr Chris
        Agreed – verging on obese, both practically identical Mbi.
        BP not significantly different.

  79. Lynda Thomas

    I have recently had a small melanoma removed from my shoulder.i am scheduled to have a further excision of the site and a biopsy of a sentinel lymph node.is there any research to show

    out how effective this treatment is.i am not asking for any advice about wether to have it or not.i am just interested in how effective it is.thank you graham Thomas.

    Sent from my iPad


  80. andy

    Re: stress/strain and Lithuanian men
    More CVD due to alcohol consumption leading to lower testosterone levels and mitochondrial dysfunction.

    Our data highlight that low testosterone levels in diabetic men are related to impaired metabolic profile and mitochondrial function and enhanced inflammation and leukocyte-endothelium cell interaction, which leaves said patients at risk of cardiovascular events.

    1. James Downinder

      Physical activities such as weights / Body building will naturally sustain or increase endogenous testosterone, – – and living in a high stressed etc society would discourage from such frivolous recreation.
      Another way “misery” breeds metabolic and cardiac mayhem… apart from the hormonal imbalances from chronic worrying and Sympathetic Dominance !

  81. Charles Gale

    Statins – cholesterol – vit C

    I’m preaching to the choir here (but there are always newcomers to Dr Kendrick’s website), but I’ve just read this article on Dr Rath’s website:


    A few takeaways:

    – Statins not that effective in lowering cholesterol
    – cholesterol theory of CVD dead (not down my surgery!)
    – statin side effects
    – cholesterol not our enemy: (1) essential for life (2) if blood vessel walls are intact, no evidence that cholesterol damages them (3) in animal studies, cholesterol has to be artificially increased to levels never observed in humans to cause damage
    – vit c/collagen: in the absence of sufficient collagen, substances such as cholesterol and lipoproteins try and repair the damage
    – statin drug promoters are flat earthers.

    1. Jerome Savage

      This also appears to be a worthwhile study -2018.
      “Areas covered: The authors of three large reviews recently published by statin advocates have attempted to validate the current dogma. This article delineates the serious errors in these three reviews as well as other obvious falsifications of the cholesterol hypothesis”
      Mmmm. Serious stuff indeed !

  82. AhNotepad

    Jerome, I think much of the arguments about the adverse effects of vaccines is because “autism” became the single word that is used. It is possibly a poor choice, since “autism” appears to be linked to glyphosate according to Stephanie Seneff, and may or may not be linked to vaccines. The main problem with vaccines is that they hyperstimulate the immune system, (which is exactly what the adjuvant is intended to do), and appear to give rise to auto-immune conditions.

    This paper describes other effects https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0300985818809142

    1. Jerome Savage

      AHN N Suzanne Humphreys refers to higher concentrations of aluminium (a vaccine component) in the brain tissue of autistic children compared witj non autistic.

  83. Randall

    Matthias W. Rath Linus C. Pauling Short summary – Like plasminogen, Lp(a) has been shown to bind to lysine-sepharose, immobilized fibrin and fibrinogen, and the plasminogen receptor on endothelial cells. which inhibit the binding of Lp(a) to blood vessel walls, animals which have lost the ability to produce ascorbate, such as higher primates and guinea pigs, uniformly produce Lp(a) Most animals which possess the ability to synthesize ascorbate generally do not produce Lp(a) The aortas of the guinea pigs receiving a sufficient amount of ascorbate were essentially plaque free (33 male animals) In contrast, the ascorbate-deficient animals exhibited fatty streak-like lesions Human arterial wall – Results of this treatment are given in Table 4 and show that, compared to the control solution, a considerable amount of Lp(a) was released from the interior arterial wall https://patents.google.com/patent/US5278189A/en

    1. Sylvia Brooke

      Loads us are having problems with not receiving posts, but everyone seems to be making light of it! Goodness knows why.
      In view of the problems which I have experienced with lack of comments, scrambled dates etc.. etc. I scrolled back to the beginning of this blog and after a lot of searching came across two posts from Dr. Kendrick dated 12th April, the 1st at 7.15am and the 2nd at 3.38pm, but sandwiched between posts of varying dates. It seems that Dr Kendrick IS experiencing problems of other kinds right now, none of them relating to skiing LA Bob, so kindly ‘back off’ with your sarcastic comments. I, for one can well do without them. J D Patten can also vouch for these posts as he replied to one of them.
      Note to Dr. Kendrick. Should you for any reason decide that this post is inappropriate in any way whatsoever I can only apologise, and will fully understand if you decide not to include it in this blog. Sincerely, Sylvia Brooke.

      1. Ruth Baills

        Sorry for causing offence I wasn’t receiving anything at all. It seems some folk knew there was an issue and others didn’t. I do enjoying reading everyoes posted including Dr Malcolm McKendrick thank you.

      2. Sylvia Brooke

        I am a little uncertain as to whether your apology was intended for me, or not. If it was then you didn’t cause me any offence at all, I was simply trying to be helpful in pointing out that quite a lot of us were not receiving any comments on Dr Kendrick’s blog and were feeling as mystified as you were. I am still having teething problems myself, putting a lot of the blame on my new laptop! Trial and error seem to be the only way through this present difficulty. Good luck with sorting it out at your end. Kindest regards. Sylvia.

    2. AhNotepad

      Yes. Plenty of trouble. None for weeks then literally hundreds of them appeared in my junk folder. Shifted them into the inbox, read them all, then put them in the trash. Since then they are appearing in the inbox.

  84. Gary Ogden

    I’ve been thinking about psycho-social stress in terms of on-the-job autonomy. In my first career I had a very high degree of autonomy, and a good social support network; in my second career I had a high degree of autonomy and a very good social support network, although many day-to-day stressors. As I think about it, these factors must have been protective against CVD. In any case, I have no symptoms, and very good exercise tolerance. I also think it was a wise move recently to ditch the strenuous exercise for more moderate and more frequent exercise. Just working in the garden every day, with a moderately strenuous hike once a week makes me feel better than before.

    1. Göran Sjöberg

      And I am (as usual) working with my chain saw on som large trunks to get my fire wood to now dry up during the summer for the upcoming winter.

      Good exercise for an “old man” – soon 73.

      1. JanB

        Goran- when I was 73 I thought I was ancient but now that I’m approaching 77 I realise that I was relatively young. Ha! As the birthday card I once saw said, “Cheer up, 10 years from now you’ll never believe you were that young.” 😀

  85. Gary Ogden

    I must say that one of the most astonishing facts I’ve learned in my seven decades, surely one of the top three, is that the human heart begins circulating blood twenty days after conception. And, from this point, it works its butt off for many decades. We must be nice to it every chance we get. This fact is almost enough to make me get religion (but not quite).

  86. MAC

    I don’t see any references to Subbotin’s theory of CVD mentioned on this site? This theory completely challenges the traditional lipid hypothesis (atherosclerosis originating from the lumen), and purports that increasing thickness of the DIT induces hypoxia, neovascularization of the vasa vasorum, and entrapment of LDL.

    Neovascularization of coronary tunica intima (DIT) is the cause of coronary atherosclerosis.
    Lipoproteins invade coronary intima via neovascularization from adventitial vasa vasorum, but not from the arterial lumen: a hypothesis


  87. Wilcox Nelly

    I used Madida herbal supplements to get rid off my diverticulitis disease I have being suffering from for sometime now, I used different kind-of drugs but indeed do suppress the pains but could stop it till I used Madida herbal medicine. I am perfectly okay now. You can read more about them at their website http://www.madidaherbalclinic.weebly.com. Their herbal medicine work perfectly fine and quick.

    1. barovsky

      I’ve just found out that I have the same, miserable affliction (I thought it was IBS). Does this stuff actually work as the doc at the hospital told me there was no cure for diverticulitis.


    2. Jerome Savage

      My GP has warned me about the dangers of herbal medicine – referring in particular to liver damage. Has big Pharma got to her ?

      1. Janet

        Quite possibly, but in fairness any medicine carries a risk of adverse reaction, depending on dose, individual physiology and whatever substance is in question.
        Patent medicines can be equally problematical, – coming out of a factory does not guarantee safety.
        Deriding a substance as a “herbal” is supposed to frighten you into compliance.

      2. andy

        Jerome Savage,
        Found “herbal medicine for cyclists” but was looking for “cycling herbal medicines”. I have started cycling foods and supplements to keep liver and metabolic pathways guessing or resetting. Similar hypothesis to eating foods seasonally but on a shorter time span, something like fasting.

      3. James Downunder

        Yes, ‘cycling’ various foods & nutrients would keep your body guessing…
        For the same reason I’ve always taken prescribed meds at slightly different times and where applicable, amounts. Same with supplements.
        Brainy bodybuilders know to vary weights, reps and exercise sessions to prevent muscle acclimatisation and consequent slower growth.
        Same philosophy.

      4. AhNotepad

        Did your GP also warn you about liver damage from alcohol, sugar, tylenol/paracetamol/acetamenaphine? And perhaps the shutting down of processes by taking statins?

    3. barovsky

      Re Madida,
      Well I wrote them, several times and after 3 weeks, finally got a generic reply but when I asked, how much? I got a reply almost immediately! $720.00! Hmmmm…. plus no information on the treatment, nada. So I think I’ll give Madida a rain check.


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