Writer’s block

June 4th 2019

Several people have asked after my welfare as I have not updated this blog for some time. The answer is that I am okay. Thanks for your concern. There have been a few things going on, one of which I will be able to speak about – at some point in the future – that have been taking up inordinate amounts of my time.

I am also writing, but for some reason, every time I sit down to write a new blog my mind goes completely blank. A very difficult thing to explain. It is as if a million thoughts all gather and just mangle each other up. Things seem very clear when I am walking about, but the moment I try to get started – glomp.

I am not sure if this is what is called writer’s block. It cannot really be, because I am writing other things – such as another book. However, it is very frustrating. I did fear maybe that I have run out of things to say – but in truth each day sees a newspaper headline, or a medical research paper, that has me itching for the keyboard. How can there be so much nonsense written in the world?

So, instead I am writing this rambling nonsense, that is of very little interest to anyone I suspect, but it may get me started again. Re-set my brain into super-blog mode – if there is such a thing.

Because I still believe there is a need for voices to question the misleading rubbish   being churned out by people who claim to be scientists. Especially medical scientists, such as my great friends in Oxford who can write the most outrageous gibberish and get it published.

I have always liked to believe that science is a self-correcting system. Researchers can head of in the wrong direction for many years, decades even, but in the end the scientific truth will always catch up with them, tap them on the shoulder and make it very clear they are just being silly.

The days when there were special devices for blowing smoke up the rectum have faded from memory:

When an “apparently dead from drowning” person was pulled from the Thames [river running through London], it was thought that two things needed to happen to successfully resuscitate them: warming of the body and stimulation. Tobacco was becoming popular in Europe thanks to its exportation from the Americas, and a well known stimulant thanks to the alkaloid nicotine. The nearly dead drowning victim can’t smoke themselves, and certainly can’t swallow anything. And since hypodermic needles weren’t to be fully-invented for another hundred years, the only logical way to administer tobacco was rectally. Plus, the warm smoke would warm the individual from the inside. Win-Win. Thus, the tobacco smoke enema was born, and devices placed all along the Thames river.’ 1

From here came the mocking expression ‘Blowing smoke up your arse.’ Yes, doctors have always been keen on such activities. The first Chinese Emperor was advised by his doctors to inhale vaporised mercury – which was a magical substance so incredibly healthy that everyone should be ingesting it.

Inevitably he went mad through mercury poisoning, and started running around the forests naked before being overthrown and murdered. Still he did leave a nice tomb with terracotta soldiers and even, so it is said, an underground lake of mercury – to keep him healthy in the afterlife.

My how we laugh now at such silly ideas. But medicine has continuously felt the need to do something, anything, for the patient – even if they have not the faintest idea what will happen. Good, or bad. Bernard Shaw wrote about this over a hundred years ago in Doctors Dilemmas.

‘When your child is ill or your wife dying,” when you are confronted by “the spectacle of a fellow creature in pain or peril, what you want is comfort, reassurance, something to clutch at, were it but a straw. This the doctor brings you. You have a wildly urgent feeling that something must be done; and the doctor does something. Sometimes what he does kills the patient.”

Leeches, other forms of bloodletting, trepanning, full frontal lobotomies, removal of the toxic colon, the radical mastectomy, strict bed rest following a heart attack – all these things and many more. The ‘sometimes’ that kill the patient.

These things have all gone – mostly. Evidence, science, got rid of them. Stupidity cannot run forever. At least this was once true. Today, I am not so sure. The need to do something, anything, still runs deep in the psyche of all doctors. The concept of ‘sorry, I can’t really do anything about that’ has never been front of mind.

My personal motto is ‘Don’t just do something, stand there.’ I call it masterful inactivity; others may call it laziness.

Anyway, to return to the main issue here, which is that medical science may now be incapable of self-correction. Erroneous ideas will be compounded, built on, and can never be overturned. Because of a thing called non-reproducibility.

In most areas of science, there is nothing to stop a researcher going back over old research and trying to replicate it. The correct term is reproducibility. In every branch of science there is currently an acknowledged crisis with reproducibility.

‘Reproducibility is a hot topic in science at the moment, but is there a crisis? Nature asked 1,576 scientists this question as part of an online survey. Most agree that there is a crisis and over 70% said they’d tried and failed to reproduce another group’s experiments.’ 2

This is not good, but in medical research this issue is magnified many times. Because there is another in-built problem. You cannot reproduce research that has been positive. Take clinical trials into statins. You start with middle aged men, split them into two groups, give one a statin and one a placebo. At the end of your five-year trial, you claim that statins had a benefit – stopped heart attacks and strokes and suchlike.

Once this claim has been made, in this group, it becomes unethical/impossible to replicate this study, in this group – ever again. The ethics committee would tell you that statins have been proven to have a benefit, you cannot withhold a drug with a ‘proven’ benefit from patients. Therefore, you cannot have a placebo arm in your trial. Therefore, you cannot attempt to replicate the findings. Ever.

Thus, if a trial was flawed/biased/corrupt or simply done badly. That’s it. You are going to have to believe the results, and you can never, ever, have another go. Ergo, medicine cannot self-correct through non-reproducibility. Stupidity can now last for ever. In fact, it is built in.

We face a rather dismal eternity of blowing smoke up our arses.

1: https://naturespoisons.com/2014/07/29/the-exciting-history-of-blowing-smoke-up-ones-arse-tobacco-smoke-enema/

2: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00067-3

261 thoughts on “Writer’s block

  1. Jean Humphreys

    Thank goodness it is something as simple as not being able to get stuff on paper. When you are absent this long the feeling begins to turn toward paranoia – They were out to get him and maybe they have! The whole field that you cover spreads so wide and so intricate that it is not to be wondered at that you occasionally get lost for a place to start.Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Steven C. Root

    Dr. M:

    Here is a possible blog topic. I have big digging into FH, as my son just put up big LDL and total numbers that exceeded even my own big numbers.

    In this 2016 study in the JACC,

    Statins in Familial Hypercholesterolemia: Consequences for Coronary Artery Disease and All-Cause Mortality, JoostBesselingMDaG. KeesHovinghMD, PhDaRoelandHuijgenMD, PhDaJohn J.P.KasteleinMD, PhDaBarbara A.HuttenPhD, MScb,

    the numbers astound me:

    The authors obtained medical records of 2,447 patients, of whom 888 were excluded on the basis of age <18 years or previous CAD. Simvastatin40 mg and atorvastatin 40 mg accounted for 23.1% and 22.8% of all prescriptions, respectively. Statin users (n = 1,041) experienced 89 CAD events and 17 deaths during 11,674 person-years of follow-up versus statin never-users (n = 518), who had 22 CAD events and 9 deaths during 4,892 person-years (combined rates 8.8 vs. 5.3 per 1,000 person-years, respectively; p

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      Statin users: (89 CAD events + 17 deaths) / 11,674 person-years = 9.1 / 1,000 person-years
      Statin non-users: (22 CAD events + 9 deaths) / 4,892 person-years = 6.3 / 1,000 person-years

      Looks bad for statin users, doesn’t it? Indeed, they recognise the problem.

      “Observational studies of effects of drugs are beset with problems of indication bias that results in patients on treatment often having worse outcomes than those not on treatment simply because they are sicker.”

      Statistics to the rescue!

      “To minimize bias resulting from imbalance in covariate distributions, we applied inverse-probability-of-treatment weighting (IPTW) … logistic regression analysis … “

      Oops! Wrong result. To statistics again:

      “As a consequence, IPTW-weighted analyses tend to falsely reject the null hypothesis too often. … we used stabilized IPTW as proposed by Cole and Hernán … linear regression models … fit the data best based on the quasi-likelihood under the independence model … an adaption of Akaike’s Information Criterion … Missing values were imputed based on all parameters … “

      So finally we can conclude:

      “Medium- to high-intensity statin therapy lowered the risk of CAD and all-cause mortality by approximately 44% in patients with heterozygous FH.”

      My conclusion: They’ve got a few of those smoke-blowing machines over in the Netherlands.

      Reply
      1. Arr

        Isn’t it wonderful that they can torture the data until they tell us what we know to be true?

    2. BobM

      Have you been tested to see if you or your son actually have FH? Are you lean and fit and doing low carb? (If so, you might be a lean mass hyper-responder, LMHR, see cholesterolcode.com.) FH is a strange one, in that if you live to be a certain age, you typically live longer than people without FH.

      Reply
    3. David Bailey

      I suppose I can believe those results – because I realise that over the three years I took Simvastatin (also 40 mg) before I got the real problems I seemed to be ‘ageing’ rather too fast. I then ‘de-aged’ after I gave statins up.
      Whatever biochemical problems contributed to this ‘ageing’ (no doubt lower Q10 was one of them) I suppose there is a small chance that one of them actually causes a fatal problem. It would be interesting to know what they died of.

      Reply
  3. Deborah

    Thank you for your blog, sorry to hear you have a touch of writers block, hope you’re not trying out statins!!! Ha ha!

    Reply
  4. Joel Ganor

    This is a very discouraging conclusion. I was hoping that when the “old school” experts will step down from the stage, things will start to move the right direction.

    Reply
  5. lorrainecleaver7

    How nice to see you back at the keyboard Doctor Kendrick! How similar we are, my motto being ‘Never apologise, never explain.’

    Have recently noticed the Scottish Clinical Biochemists Network produced new guidance for Thyroid Testing https://www.clinicalbiochemistry.scot.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-03-22-SCBN-Guidance-on-Thyroid-Testing-v.1.pdf . This important document cites only 3 references, two of which are 28 years old and the final reference the now archived UK guideline for Thyroid Function Testing 2006, itself a poorly evidenced document. On emailing the people behind such a glorious piece of work, I was informed that “…the understanding of the pituitary thyroid axis, thyroid physiology and therefore the appropriate hormones to measure in specific clinical circumstances is long established and hasn’t changed, therefore quoting older references was deemed appropriate in this area.” Neatly avoiding the decades of new evidence questioning the old, ‘settled’ evidence she alludes to. What is wrong with people? I thought scientists and medics were hungry for answers and the truth?

    Anyway, it neatly illustrates your point, beautifully!

    Reply
  6. corrie

    Thank you for your thoughtful and frightening post ! 😉
    Had missed reading your works and appreciate your time, effort & expertise.
    corrie

    Reply
  7. Sandy Gotttein

    Thank you, as always, Malcolm. You are such a breath of fresh air. And I only wish to receive it via three orifices.

    All the best,

    Sandy

    Reply
  8. Charles Gale

    I’m glad you are still with us! Compared to previous years, this year has been a bit different blog-wise.

    I was starting to think various legal issues mentioned had made an impact.

    Somewhere, in the comments recently, I’m sure someone mentioned this blog had a momentum/life of its own once you had made your post.

    I, for one, get serious withdrawal symptoms when comments don’t appear. If nothing else, if suffering from writer’s block, keep the comments posted please!

    Reply
  9. John Burton

    “We face a rather dismal eternity of blowing smoke up our arses.”

    And yet, and yet… The cracks in the acceptance of, for instance, the satfat-cholesterol-heart disease nonsense seem to be growing.

    The Public Health Collaboration, Low Carb Down Under, and USA, all popular, Nina Teicholz’s work on shifting US dietary guidlines, and official talk of cholesterol not being a ‘nutrient of concern’. It all adds up.

    Taking a leaf out of Hegel’s book, there may a dialectical transformation of quantity and quality – or simply put, a tipping point – coming. Problem is, it’s hard to see in advance exactly when these things will occur. We may wake up one morning pleasantly surprised.

    On the surface it may all seem the same and but I truly believe the mole is burrowing and will one day surface to crap on the lawns of the monsters of Oxford.

    As another (Gallifeyan) Doctor’s oath goes, Malcolm:
    Never give up. Never give in.

    Reply
  10. Marino Kekana

    Hello Malcolm.

    In paragraph two you describe something that has been ailing me for a long time, years. True, it is difficult to explain: amnesia, TGA, dyschronometria, apathy, mental block and more. Tests conducted did not reveal any physical anomaly. For some reason it was so severe that my memory span was about 20 minutes. If I needed to recall something (i.e. doctor’s appointment) beyond that span, I had to recall it in 20 minutes intervals. Surprising was that there were things not affected, I would easily learn and recall them, maths and science related.

    Long story short, I am slowly regaining the ability to use the broad memory now (without taking any medication). I pray and hope that what you experience is something minor like writer’s block. Peace be with you.

    Reply
    1. Frederica Huxley

      Thinking hypothetically, could a ‘proven’ piece of research be reproduced – retested – if patients who refused to take the medicine were to be tested against adherents, as there would not be a question of denial of the ‘proven’ medicine? Just a thought; I can’t imagine it would ever be sanctioned, lest it show up the smoke up the arse.

      Reply
      1. Janet Love

        Frederica m’dear, such unlady-like language…. – but on, SO appropriate !
        Yes, that’s such a simple and ethically untouchable solution that we can rest assured, it will never be permitted.
        Yes, we all know why…

      2. Aileen

        I’m wondering how you would go about it. You couldn’t do RCTs because some of the adherents would inevitably be randomised to the non-station condition so that would be unethical! Carry out an entire trial on statin decliners? But then they would all have to be noble and brave enough to accept the chance they might be assigned to the statin group.

      3. Martin Back

        The refuseniks would be people who had done their research and rejected statins. They would probably also have adopted a healthy lifestyle regarding diet, exercise, reducing stress, positive attitude, etc etc. Whereas the statin-takers would be the types who take every medication their doctor tells them to, and believe everything they see on TV which they spend hours sitting and watching.

        It would be like comparing apples and rotten apples.

  11. AhNotepad

    Glad to hear you are well, otherwise you would have to take a course on vitamin supplements. Given you have writers block, that was an amusing blog. In fact smoke enemas are not so far from memory. It’s not long since I made the bellows for such a device for use in a film, of a chappie who lived in London, with a certain Dr. Watson. I didn’t test its effectiveness.

    Today’s problem with science in medicine is that it has been replaced largely with coporate greed. The science bit is how to get them sick and keep them that way for ever. Am I being uncharitable? The problem with the current “science” is that there is no evidence in most cases, just causal inference, which is the use (misuse?) of meta-studies which seem to be sutdies of other meta-studies, all liberally sprinkled with relative risk figures. Correct me if I have got it wrong.

    Reply
  12. Deanna Johnson

    Please keep writing. What you have to say is important for many of us to hear. I just had a visit with a new doctor. After blood tests, she suggested I should take statin drugs. I do not have high cholesterol (and the blood tests ordered didn’t even check for that) but I guess she recommended it because I’m fat. I’ve been reading your newsletter. I declined. Thank you for your investigations, and your willingness to share what you have learned. I’m sure it makes a difference for many lives – I know it has for mine.

    Reply
  13. Tom Welsh

    May I recommend “Not Even Trying: The Corruption of Real Science” (2012) by Bruce Charlton?

    “The argument of this book is that real science is dead.

    “The main reason is that researchers are no longer even trying to seek and speak the truth. This is because scientists no longer believe in the truth – no longer believe that there is an eternal unchanging reality beyond our human wishes and organisation which they have a duty to discover and disseminate to the best of their naturally limited abilities. Hence the vast structures of personnel and resources that constitute modern science are not real science but instead merely a professional research bureaucracy.

    “Among the consequences is that research literature must be assumed to be worthless or misleading and should nearly always be ignored. In practice, this means that nearly all science needs to be demolished (or allowed to collapse) and real science carefully rebuilt outside the professional research structure, from the ground up, by real scientists who regard truth-seeking as an imperative and truthfulness as an iron law”.

    Reply
    1. Joe Cirafesi

      I’m hopeful that the emerging citizen scientists such as Dave Feldman, Ivor Cummings as well as journalists like Nina Tiecholz will help to both expose the fallacies and dogma and provide a more fact based account on some of these issues.

      Reply
    2. Janet Love

      Rupert Sheldrake speaks of “dogmas” in more than one of his YouTube videos.
      Such as the elegant solution to the embarrassment that of one of the Great Constants, the speed of light, has proved to vary.
      So they mobilized the goal-posts.
      “The meter is the length of the path traveled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second.” – 1983 DEFINITION.
      So if it alters speed, it likewise changes the measuring unit. – Sheer brilliance…

      (imagine what these scientists could do with statin trial results ! )

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Right – I like Rupert Sheldrake too! He began as an orthodox scientist and has moved into fields – with experiments to back him up – that are only taken really seriously by those on the extreme fringes of science. IMHO those people are probably closest to the truth.

      2. binra

        i heard him speaking of big G (gravity) fluctuating and so has been untethered from measurements by some mathematically determined constant.

    3. JillM

      In Australia, a medical specialist doctor was reported to the registration authority because he was encouraging his patients to quit sugar and junk food. He was told he is not qualified to give diet advice.

      Reply
      1. Paul Littlefield

        They have since removed the injunction not to speak and have issued an official apology. Someone appears to have had an attack of common sense, unlikely as that sounds.

    4. binra

      Its too dangerous (to self illusion) and so is defended against, not least by the narrative of ‘seek but do no find’. Or indeed of ‘War on symptoms’.

      Reply
  14. norahpower

    Welcome back!
    I was very sorry today to receive a notification of the the death of Sheila Turner who founded the TPAUK. I believe she was one of your followers, commenting under the name Sheila. May she rest in peace.

    Reply
    1. AlanE

      I didn’t know Sheila (other than on here) or have any connection with TPAUK, but following Norah’s post I strongly recommend everyone to go to the TPAUK website and read the obituary and all the loving and grateful comments from people she has helped, in the face of the standard medical advice they had received. Reading them was, in her words, ‘like the sun coming out’.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        AlanE. I have taken your advice and found great info on Sheila’s blog. (It coincides with my delight at uncovering my great A & P book I used as a Nurse in the past.) So, TPAUK and my Tortora and Anagnostakos , (5th ed. 1987.Harper Row) have confirmed to me that my knowledge can’t be as rusty as I was beginning to think, as I seem to be in such conflict with present medical advice.
        Why have I been fobbed off by NHS practitioners regarding endocrine concerns, as though I was a numpty? I have posed questions relating to physiology I learned years ago, and been told I was ‘out of date, and things have changed since back in your day’. I think not, and TPAUK shows me that it is practitioners and the NHS that is not keeping up to date. Some of the old stuff remains absolutely as pertinent today, but with new understanding. The difference is that Big Pharma seems to have taken over old treatments by discouraging the old, unreliabe ( or so they said) treatments, in favour for the consistent ( as they promoted) synthetic chemicals. The old treatments have been improved to be reliable, so why do we not have access to them? (Eg DTE)
        I have stated previously that practitioners have tunnel vision, in as much as treating type 2 with standard treatments, rather than looking at the greater picture of the endocrine system. I am speaking from recent experience, where a diabetic researcher seemed at a loss to explain to me the action of insulin(!)
        My GP almost apologised at the need to prescribe insulin for insulin resistant hyperglycaemia…’nuff said.

  15. Frieda Paton.

    Thank you for the food for thought. Was also missing the blogs. Glad all is well – besides writer’s block. Touch of burn-out perhaps?

    Reply
  16. nipperdoodles

    There are potentially millions who have and will benefit from your well-researched, pointed barbs at medical tribalism. Please don’t stop feeling passionate about truth. Our world needs the Malcolm Kendricks of this world

    Reply
  17. Morgana

    Wow, I learned something today! I didn’t realize that scientists weren’t “allowed to” replicate a study if something showed a positive benefit, due to it being “unethical”. This explains a lot. Thanks for that! See, you’re still doing good even when you have “writer’s block”.

    Reply
  18. goransjoberg2015

    Excellent!

    (As always!)

    Today I saw a friend of mine who has just returned home from a hospital emergency and now recovering from a minor stroke. Asking about his medication he was on “blood thinning” (makes sense in his case) but also medication against his cholesterol.

    When will this “medieval” stupidity end one may ask.

    A good point made in this post is that people tend to cling to the straw offered by their GP without questions in believing that the GP knows what he is telling them.

    Reply
  19. Ellen

    Hello Dr. Kendrick, I always look forward to reading your posts (and books!). I was wondering if you could look at Grant Genereux’s work. He is an engineer and geologist from Alberta, Canada. He developed a theory called’ subclinical vitamin A toxicity’. He has written 3 free online books that are jaw dropping. He managed to cure himself of chronic fatigue, head to toe eczema, fatal kidney disease, as well as many other conditions that he had attributed to aging. I was so skeptical when I first read what the culprit could be but I read his books and he truly presents a small mountain of evidence for his theory. Many people, including me, are ‘eating low A’ to reduce their retinol stores and are seeing results that had previously eluded them no matter what they tried before. Seems ‘eating a rainbow’ every day, liver meals, cod liver oil etc. may not be so healthy after all. His most recent post is about cholesterol and statins. Here is the link: https://ggenereux.blog/
    Thank you for all you do.

    Reply
    1. Janet Love

      Thank you Ellen, well worth a read. Seems like the list of ‘sweet-spot’ micronutrients is a growth area, much like ‘sodium’ benefit being a U shaped curve of 2 to 5 grams per day.

      Reply
  20. Stuart Marston

    Glad to know you are OK Malcom. I reckon a big factor in all this, not present so much a few decades ago, is corporate money. Science is science but reporting ‘results’ etc. goes to the highest bidder or those with the biggest wallet!

    Reply
  21. Adam D

    So glad that you are back to it, a very amusing rambling post, just what the doctor ordered to brighten my day 🙂
    please keep them coming, ergo it would be interesting if you wrote about some of your other philosophical meanderings………

    Reply
  22. Dr. John H

    Fantastic interview just came out with Dr. K and Dr. Mercola. Watched it today – it’s excellent!

    Reply
    1. Dr. John H

      Malcolm,
      In the Mercola interview, you didn’t get a chance to finish what you were saying about oxidized cholesterol. I would love it if you want to elaborate on it here!

      Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Afifah, good to see your post, certainly not forgotten since the Radio 4 Saturday lunchtime program several years ago. The books you suggested at the time were a turning point, very useful, though it took a while for me to get enough information to change to lower carb input. This of course led on to other topics………………….

      Reply
  23. Gary Ogden

    How true it is! The real elephant in the room here is the vast mountains of money to be made by those producing any officially-sanctioned treatment, whether it does any good or not, as long as it doesn’t kill too many more than placebo (Repatha). Then there is the placebo effect itself, certainly a very real thing. But we can’t go on much longer sucking so much out of our economy while actually making people sicker (which is happening in the U.S.) before the system collapses. As for writer’s block-it, too will pass! I’ve had it; it’s a tough bear to wrestle, but eventually it will cry “uncle,” and scamper away. By the way, on a recant hike we encountered a mama bear and her two tiny (cat-size) cubs feeding on the trail. She wasn’t a bit grumpy. All three shinned up nearly to the top of a small, dead pine, looking for grubs. As fat as they are, bears are expert tree-climbers, more expert than Professor Rory Collins is in Medicine.

    Reply
  24. HB

    I have a request…

    It is not easy to read your old blog posts. There is no list of the dates they came out or what their titles are. Could you put up a listing of hyperlinks, with titles and dates, which allows people to find all of your blog posts, right from the start. Most blogs have a history – yours is restricted to the last 15 blog posts you’ve written.

    Reply
      1. Martin Back

        @ Dr Kendrick
        I know html so I could bring climberig’s index up to date, if you wish. But I have no website to store it. Maybe you could keep it on your website with a prema-link in the right-hand column of the blog under “Pages”.

      2. HB

        @Martin Back

        Thanks for the yearly archive link and the list from climberig, which are both helpful and I will have a leisurely read over the next few weeks. 🙂

        I’m sure I’ve already read the thincs stuff, but I will check it out, just in case.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: Thanks for that. That is how I found all Dr. Kendrick’s blog posts, to find any I had missed. Easy to do.

    1. corrie

      Yes! Thank you for mentioning this… I too have wished for better access to archived posts. Perhaps working on this “little” side project will assist w/the writer’s block! LOL

      Reply
  25. Jennifer

    Thankyou, Dr K.
    I was pleased to receive your latest blog this evening, and hope you feel better for posting again.
    Your views demonstrate the way some of us are feeling regarding the state of affairs of science these days. We are bombarded by so called ‘research findings’, which few of us can usefully distinguish truth from fiction.
    Our news bulletins consist of so many statistics, which we have little hope of knowing right from wrong. BBC radio 4’s Today’ is a prime example of regurgitating press hand outs, day in, day out.
    That is why I like this blog…..I get to read personal views about things that interest me, without the interminable interpretations by so called ‘experts’. Just give me the facts, and I will decide for myself what they mean.

    Reply
  26. Steve

    No more smoke needed. If you have not already, look up Dr. Jason Fung utube series, “The Aetiology of Obesity” . It is pretty long, but on Parts 5 and Six he touches on heart effects of Sugar and Insulin. Pretty Eye opening. He cures Ty II Diabetes!
    Long Acting Degludec Insulin resulted 350% Higher MI events
    High Glycemic load Carbs always results in increased CAD
    Diabetes higher MI/CAD
    Insulin 90% increase in some cancers
    Lower Cholesterol for above 60 years, increases mortality 429%
    Reverse all of it with Fasting and pay attention to diet, no refined products of any type, etc.

    Been a while for me too.
    Warm Regards

    Reply
    1. goransjoberg2015

      Steve, I also believe in “reversing T2D” and Jason Fung fasting method – it makes scientific sense to me and it has worked with my wife.

      But what a threat to Big Pharma if this practice takes on “publicly” with 500 000 000 diabetics around the world today. It is really an incredibly large number.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        Hi Goran, yes, the Semmelweiss effect is standard practice and always in effect. Unfortunately for the medical community, the word is getting out in Dr. Fung’s books and people are healing themselves without their doctor due to the simplicity. (also being dropped by their doctors for non-compliance)
        On Amazon, there are thousands of reviews, doctors healing themselves, diabetes, cancer, CAD, arthritis, Weight, etc. All healed magically in weeks to months. Controlling the Insulin is KEY and you can do it with intermittent or long term fasts. I don’t want to make it sound so simple, but it is a total hormone control/balance with something as simple as a water fast.
        I have been body building for the last 2 years and adding fasting to my process. I should increase my growth hormone by 10-15x! I expect to see improvements in lots of areas.
        Everyone needs his Obesity Code and Fasting Book and to implement Fasting to clean out your body and provide optimum fitness for life. It is just a matter of time before this spreads to mainstream and everyone knows what to do because it is so simple there is nothing to stop it.
        Once you get to the point where you can do short term fasting per month or per quarter depending on the length, it will reduce medical expenditures by the trillions!

  27. Old fogey

    Thank you very much for these penetrating comments on the current situation of medical research. The points you make are cogent, serious, and frightening.

    Thank you also for the conversation with Dr. Mercola.

    Reply
  28. JDPatten

    Hm. Leeches.
    In recent years leeches have been used when severed fingers, hands, or other body bits have been reattached. They provide anticoagulation, anesthesia, and a temporary relief of blood and fluid retention and swelling until new veins and lymph vessels can take over.
    Or,
    is this just bogus too?

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      No, it’s not bogus, based on what I have read. It’s been overused in the past but so has nearly everything else that’s ever worked.

      Reply
  29. Annette Marslen

    Thanks for taking time to blog! It is always good to hear your sensible take on medical treatments. It is also good to be reminded of some of the crazy things proposed in history.

    Look forward to anything you write and publish!

    Reply
  30. Soul

    Ah, It’s true. It’s has been noticed about your indecision on what to write about it. It’s been going on for awhile. Of late, over the last year or so , you have largely been repeating, writing about items covered in the past. Naturally with my birth defect of joking around,, it can be dangerous to joke about in todays world! to myself I’ve been wondering if you have all the signs of early Alzheimer’s showing up.

    If so do not fear!, good news Pfizer reports today they have a preventive cure for Alzheimers with their drug Enbrel, Well maybe, maybe not. Naturally I’m suspicious about the claim by Pfizer. They, Pfizer and the news reporters, I’d guess are more likely blowing smoke up readers rears. At least, here, early on I suspect the claim is more likely to be similar to claims made about statin drugs. In the past statins were often advertised as preventing Alzheimer’s. I had a family member that believed this memory/ statin claim for awhile, wanting to take a statin.

    Sadly the opposite often happen with statins. People developed memory problems as a side effect of the cholesterol lowering drug. The memory problem got to the point that the FDA issued a warning about the memory problems that can develop when taking a cholesterol lowering medication. Now, the statin Alzheimer’s cure is rarely heard from anymore. The fad has faded away.

    Come to think of it, one of Pfizer’s top researchers, named Joe, developed Alzheimer’s. Joe used to live next door to my parents. I saw him often out walking his dog. A couple years ago Joe’s memory problems became such an issue that his wife and son moved him to an assisted living home. I don’t know if he is still with us but it wouldn’t surprise me if Joe has departed this earth. I’d like to think if Pfizer was hiding research that Enbrel was preventing Azheimer’s disease, Joe would have known this. Of course this is all speculation.

    Reply
    1. Angelica Nelson

      I’m genetically maladjusted to taking any antidepressants. When I was first pressured into some disastrous attempts to take them, the claim was being made that they “prevent the atrophy of the hippocampus” and today I no longer hear that claim. I mean how do you tell without decades of research that that’s true? I’ve never actually seen anything but theoretical comments to support that assertion, but they were told in terms like “it would be foolish to take the risk of atrophy.” This would’ve been around the naughts (early 2000s). If they’d tested me for Celiac, we might’ve just got to the point quicker.

      Reply
  31. HenryL

    Another good read! This actually struck me as a small bombshell rather than a writer’s unblocking exercise. Haven’t looked into the Nature report as yet, and that seems rather startling as a general picture across sciences, though it is easy to imagine that in a world where Points Means Prizes and reputations may depend more on papers published, headlines grabbed, or whatever, that the effort of ‘just’ trying to reproduce others’ results may take a back seat. However, in the specific medical context you describe of the blocking effect of the ethics committee, that seems a serious catch22. I guess it was probably an ingredient, and implicit, in other things you have written but it never quite jumped out so horrifyingly for some reason. I can imagine how this could well apply in the current statins scenario, but how general/widespread is this one way ratchet effect a problem across medical science?

    Reply
  32. drsuepearson

    Thanks loved A Statin Nation and really enjoy reading the blog. Keep up the good work – there’s not enough sense spoken about drugs, trial results and over medication of the middle aged and beyond – you are a breath of fresh air.

    Reply
  33. jill.leslie@btinternet.com

    I love this! Illuminating, knowledgeable, utterly giggle-worthy and a true sense of the ridiculous! Thank you so much!

    Writer’s block? My best ideas come when I am doing something completely mindless … washing up, ironing, washing the floor … I have to tear off my Marigolds, rush to a piece of paper and pen and scribble the key words down … then … come to write … where are they? What does THAT mean? Ah yes … I remember!

    When at school, or later as a student, and struggling with an essay, my dear old Mum would advise, “Just write someone a letter … it’ll start you off.” It always did – and you have just done this for your readers, so tap away!

    Very best wishes and keep well …

    Jill

    Reply
  34. Karen

    Writer’s block? This is your best post yet! I loved it! Research studies and statistics have a very limited ability to clearly express the level of stupidity that is being thrust on us as truth. Your words and wit are priceless.

    I’ve often wondered when smart people stopped using their brains, but now I get it. This phenomenon isn’t new, it’s just different. Nowadays they tell themselves that since it’s shiny machines spitting out data the gibberish they’re told to believe is scientific and true, but their ancestors also thought that the asinine ideas handed to them were modern and scientific. Never mind that it’s always been based on nothing of substance, just a “scientific” fad (that makes a select few very rich to the detriment of lots of other people). If they spent ten minutes thinking about it they would realize just how dumb some of these ideas being handed to them are. Smart people have been doing stupid things for a very long time.

    I wish I could hit these doctors over the head with this blog… knock some sense into them.

    Reply
  35. Sylvia Brooke

    Welcome back Dr. Kendrick.
    Reading between the lines, It seems to me that you have been run ragged recently and are now paying a very hefty price for your everlasting integrity. Shame on every individual who has put you in this position. I hope they live to rue the day that they ever had the temerity to question you and your heartfelt opinions.

    In adddition to your everyday responsibilities you appear to have dedicated every spare moment to this blog for the good of everyone who cares to follow it. I can only say “Thank you” for all your hard work. I must admit that the discussions between those bloggers with scientific knowledge simply leave me guessing, but you have gone to great lengths to make your thoughts and opinions as clear as possible to individuals like me who have no medical knowledge whatsoever, and for that I thank you. I feel that my health has certainly improved after reading your blog for the last few years. I hope you enjoy the summer Dr. Kendrick, let’s hope it’s a good one with plenty of sunshine!

    Kind regards, Sylvia Brooke.

    Reply
    1. janetgrovesart

      A wonderful response,Sylvia, and one I heartily agree with. Dr. K’s blog has become a very important part of my life and it’s absence has had me bereft. I feared that it would just cease as did John Briffa’s, leaving me flailing. A big, big thank you to our good doctor.
      P.s. In another life I was JanB but since I opened a WordPress account to build a website I seem to have another identity.
      Cheers all
      JanB as was.

      Reply
      1. Sylvia Brooke

        Thanks for that Jan, I remember you well and wish you all the very best with your new website. it’s good to hear from you.
        Best wishes,
        Sylvia.

  36. binra

    A ‘block’ may be the result of conflicting needs or purpose. The human ‘block’ is where fear shuts down function- often by very devious routes -for the mind is the masking master of disguise. Addressing the block in curious enquiry, releases the attempt or failure to push through it. In this way ‘standing there’ in what is, opens new perspectives and paths that ‘do something!’ Cannot SEE.
    My sense is that problems change shape or form so as to give appearance of progressive change and the wreckage if a past seen differently is then used as the foil against which a current narrative can seem enlightened righteous and neccessary. Fear runs a mind divided against itself- no matter how well masked. Fear is the tyrannous ir persuasive drive behind corruption and evils thereof, and so it is our fear that needs be brought to question instead of giving it power to undermine right or true function or indeed living Purpose. Conflicted purpose makes a world nonsense, and a mind unable to recognise or accept SENSE in the fullest meaning of feelng and reciognising true resonance. Orwell called it doublethink.

    Reply
  37. dearieme

    I can suggest a solution to your last point. Play the race card! Point out that, say, a trial in California underrepresented Picts, and so a new statin trial will be required in NE Scotland.

    As every one knows, the race card can be played endlessly.

    Reply
  38. Bill in Oz

    Malcolm this blog is your creation. For your efforts in time and thinking I am grateful. Your posts have been a light in the darkness. So I too have missed your posts these past month or so.

    But I recognise that to keep writing such posts regularly, while also being a practising medical doctor and having a normal family life, is an exhausting mentally marathon effort.

    So do not be too hard on yourself.

    And now a suggestion : Have you considered accepting the writings of others, as guest presenters, to place on this blog ? I’m sure that there would be folks very willing to do this. And a few of them could perhaps write as clearly & simply as yourself. In fact that would have to be a pre-requisite.

    Cheers

    Stay well !
    Bill in Oz

    Reply
  39. Aileen

    Dr Kendrick, I’m glad you’re back. Like one or two others, I was becoming slightly paranoid about what had happened to you!

    Reply
  40. Marjorie Daw

    Here’s a timely piece in today’s New York Times on Caesarian sections. Many are unnecessary.

    “Using the newest, best evidence also means scrapping what is outdated and ineffective. Item One is the Friedman Curve, which has led to untold numbers of C-sections for arrest of labor.”

    “Dr. Friedman’s curve lives on, despite having been disproved–It appeared in medical books as recently as 2010.”

    Reply
  41. Aileen

    Gary Ogden’s mention of bears earlier made me think of Dr Stasha Gominak, who says quite a bit about hibernation. Her ideas about vitamins D/B and sleep are interesting (drgominak.com).

    In a you tube video called “How to Fix Your Sleep” she talks about the association between sleep apnoea and CVD (1:12). CoEnzyme A and statins get a mention at 13 minutes.

    Don’t know if the link for this will work, but here goes …

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Aileen: What is interesting about the North American Black Bear (which comes in black, brown, blond, and even ginger) is that she bears twin cubs every other year in winter, which must mean at the end of her hibernation period. Not certain about this, though. Now I’m curious!

      Reply
  42. Maureen Berry

    Welcome back Dr Kendrick

    I copied and pasted your blog posting on my Facebook page. One of my young friends (he is actually a pal of my kids) commented, wrongly believing the post to be mine. I had, of course attributed it to you,

    This was his comment

    “Try recording your thoughts when walking with a dictaphone or App for your phone so you can go back to them when blog writing.”

    So there you go, a bit of advice from a ‘youngster’.

    When, oh when, oh when will you ‘semi – retire’ and set up a private GP practice, I for one would be well prepared to travel to Macclesfield and pay good money to have a GP whose principle is, “Don’t just do something, stand there”.

    I get so tired of constant debates with my lovely, young, enthusiastic and I am sure very able GP. He gets very defensive and constantly tells me he practices ‘evidence based medicine’, but he just believes everything he is told. My husband recently had a ‘weird event’ – nobody actually knows what happened to him, it certainly didn’t ‘look’ heart related, more neurological I thought, but a day later he had slightly elevated troponins. So, end of discussion – heart attack. Despite all of his tests (including an angio) being completely normal, he was discharged (in Spain) on the ‘Cardiac Cocktail’.

    Within the week, having read around the subject, fortunately I had just bought ‘Too many pills’ by James Le Fanu, my husband decided to drop the medications. Thankfully, he seems to have fully recovered, except he fractured two lumbar vertebrae.

    Our GP was appalled, in fact, close to outraged, that my husband had done such an irresponsible thing! He insisted on a referral to our local Cardiology department, where he was confident that the Cardiac Cocktail would be strongly recommended. When we asked ‘How can there ever have been any proper, long term, clinical trial of this combination of drugs, all manufactured by different companies?’ He was totally insistent, “Of course there have been rigorous clinical trials, otherwise we wouldn’t be recommending it”. His naivety is astounding!

    Anyway, as it turned out, following even more tests, the nice Cardiologist in Sheffield said that he could see no indication for the continuation of these drugs, so that was the end of the matter! He was just as perplexed as we were as to what had actually happened. Our young doctor had the good grace to eat a little ‘humble pie’. If my husband hadn’t taken the decision to stop the medications, he would have been on these 7 medications, all with potential debilitating side effects, for life.

    (Don’t worry, Dr Kendrick, I’m not asking you for a diagnosis, or even a comment!)

    Just keep on doing what you’re doing! Thank goodness I discovered the ‘The Great Cholesterol Con’ many years ago, when my TC was high. Discovering that book, started me off on the journey of reading and research and I put it all down to you Dr Kendrick, it’s been very interesting! And as an aside, I’ve bought several copies of that, and ‘Doctoring Data’ for both friends and my GP practice!

    Reply
    1. Chris Morriss

      James le Fanu’s ‘Too Many Pills’ is an excellent book and a good complement to Dr Kendrick’s writings.

      His science book, ‘Why Us’ is also interesting and brings new perspectives on some important questions regarding life on earth.

      Reply
  43. Angelica Nelson

    So if I’m reading this right… if tobacco smoke enemas were invented today, we’d never be able to prove they have no value, because to test it would be unethical. We could however, try to prove that something else is better… cohort 1: tobacco smoke enemas … cohort 2: cayenne oil massage …. cohort 3: CPR.

    Oh wait, all cohorts would need to also have the tobacco enemas too… otherwise, not ethical.

    I’m not making fun of something serious, just showing how absurd it is.

    It has echoes of what my first neurologist said: first we try drug a, if it fails, we add b, if it fails we add c. When d works, we leave all four drugs for daily use. Because maybe it’s the combination and the important thing isn’t that I’m killing your liver, it’s that it works.

    He didn’t actually say the liver part, I added that later, In a similar fit of pique about absurdity.

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      First you’d have to test your tobacco smoke enema on non-human subjects. So you’d be inserting little pipes into hundreds of little mouse butts and blowing gently (not too hard, or you’d explode the mouse).

      Then you could pay volunteers to get half-drowned followed by anal fumification.

      In fact, as long as you are getting informed consent from volunteers I think it’s okay to experiment on them.

      The problem arises when you are doing blinded, randomized trials where the patients are not allowed to know if they are on medication or placebo. If not getting medication endangers the patient, then you can’t give them an inactive placebo, for ethical reasons.

      One way around the statin dilemma is to test only healthy people who don’t need medication, and divide them into placebo and medication groups. (The medication should previously have been through safety and dosage tests.) The you could run a blinded randomized trial. Though of course it is pointless testing healthy people.

      Reply
      1. Craig

        Malcolm, I’m happy to hear that (I hope!) you’re not being unduly harassed and I’m always pleased to read your writings.

        Martin, I don’t think you’d get ethics approval for half drowning the mice or blowing the smoke unless they were anaesthetised. And even if you did get approval and you got to the point of rescuscitation, you would have to euthanase the mice before applying the smoke because you can’t let them suffer. Unlike statin patients.

        Hmm, have there been any reputable mouse trials of statins? I bet they would damage such short-lived creatures quite quickly. And ethics approval should be easy since the drugs are so widely pushed for human use. What harm could they possibly do … …

      2. Martin Back

        I wonder if it is possible to train mice to indicate assent?

        “Press the red lever if you want all the cheese you can eat and let us blow smoke up your ass. Otherwise press the blue lever.”

  44. C Taylor

    Dr. Jason Fung Youtube

    On Tue, 4 Jun 2019 at 19:58, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “June 4th 2019 Several people have asked > after my welfare as I have not updated this blog for some time. The answer > is that I am okay. Thanks for your concern. There have been a few things > going on, one of which I will be able to speak about – at some p” >

    Reply
  45. Adrian Molenaar

    Malcom

    That is starting to sound a bit nutty, I know you are under pressure, are you sure that you are alright?

    Best Adrian

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    ________________________________

    Reply
  46. shirley3349

    If you fancy some light relief, and you have not done so already, try reading “Humphrey Clinker” by Tobias Smollett, the popular, 18th Century, Scottish novelist. He was a surgeon, but preferred his literary career. Once you get into the spirit of the thing, parts of this novel are still hilarious.

    Reply
  47. Joe

    To Dr. Kendrick:

    I have it on good authority that Lagavulin goes a long way towards curing writer’s block.

    Anyway, it’s great to hear that you’re okay.

    Sláinte!

    Reply
  48. Colin Cartwright

    No chance of you getting writer’s block, my friend, you talk too much.
    Get on with the new book, there are enough of us out there who are on your side big time.
    Best
    Colin

    Reply
  49. H Robert

    Good to read your passionate and ever lucid rambles. What has replaced science and the validation of facts is consensus or shared opinion, and (at least for the public) this is now moulded by the effective (often inappropriate) use of media. Where Charisma and Confidence rule. Get an interview with Dr Oz and you are on your way to a turning tide!

    Reply
  50. David Bailey

    Malcolm, I am so glad that you are back, and in one piece. I am sure your writer’s block will dissipate – maybe simply by chatting to all your friends here on this blog.

    If you have ever had a much loved cat that stayed out so long you feared for its life, but then came home hungry but otherwise well, you will know how we all feel now!

    I think you might run an article about the pros and cons of living without long term prescriptions of any sort.

    Reply
  51. PJ Rosch

    Malcolm – If you are still suffering from writer’s bloc,u might consider working on the chapters for the new THINCS book that is based on the presentations at KOO conference in Saudi Arabia. Can be from 500 to 3000 words and can use anything from one of your blogs or papers and refer to you books and website. Paul

    > WordPress.com

    Reply
  52. nipperdoodles

    You have done more than you will ever know in making us educate ourselves about our own bodies, medicine and our right to ask questions. Don’t ever stop! And thank you for standing up for sense and rationality.

    Reply
  53. goransjoberg2015

    I am attracted by most of those MD’s who question the orthodoxy of the conventional medicine and I guess that is why I am here commenting on this blog and probably also the reson that I am still alive after my “death sentence” 20 years ago.

    One of my favorite MD skeptics is dr. Suzanne Humphries, who is once hailed but today an outcast from the medical community.

    I am currently amazed by her latest book “Rising from the Dead” which is a personal account on her journey away from the traditional medicine (based on comprehensive personal clinical experience) into alternativ medicial procedures.

    Recommended reading indeed!

    Reply
  54. Steve

    Just fell upon another Dr Fung presentation he shows that there are insulin receptors in arterial plaques. There were a dozen references.

    Reply
  55. Charles Gale

    Mulling over David Bailey’s comment “I suppose it is too silly to suggest that you might have been put on statins…”.

    Often I wonder how many GPs practice what they preach and take statins, especially the middle aged ones. Before it becomes compulsory! I suppose there is no way to find out.

    My GP falls into that category. Next time I see him I’ll ask but I suspect this may be bad form to ask. If the answer is no, I’d like to hear why not.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Charles Gale: Your comment reminds me of a conversation I had on a hiking trail with two Israeli biologists last summer. He said that in Israel, physicians have the lowest uptake of the flu shot of anyone. They know better. Physicians must follow the guidelines with their patients, but not for themselves. It would be interesting to know what medical treatments physicians in general avoid.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        In my experience, they generally avoid quite a lot of them. And the smarter they are, the more they avoid.

    2. David Bailey

      I think you should ask him – but of course you need to bear in mind that at least half the people who take them, seem to get away without problems – so you may not ‘win’ the discussion. Even I took them for 3 years before they bit!

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad.

        My wife had a blood test th other day and was told “Your cholesterol is high” at about 8. something. Fortunately she’s got me, so no statins. A much better treatment is “A Statin Nation”. 😁

      2. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: Good thing she has you, and high cholesterol, too. In older women the lowest mortality is TC in the 6.6-8.3 range, rising a bit above that, and rising very steeply below 5.0 (Kauffman, from Forette et al., 1989). The sweet spot for women seems to be about 7.1.

      3. JDPatten

        Gary & Ah,
        I asked my GP what he would do with the results of my prospective cholesterol blood test a while back. He said he would prescribe a statin if it was high. I said that that wasn’t going to happen, so might as well forego the blood test. He acquiesced . Haven’t agreed to a cholesterol blood test in several years. The one time it did slip by among other things tested for, I was referred to a cardiologist by the automated system. That happened to be the cardiologist I had fired the previous year. Put a stop to that! All is mellow now.

        If you truly take on the research results (Ravnskov et al) that higher cholesterol is beneficial for longevity in “seniors”, then no worry. If the conventional scare of high cholesterol still niggles at you – causing worry and stress – that mind set is no good.

      4. Gary Ogden

        JDPatten: Wise counsel. My GP some years ago agreed to forego the lipid panel; in fact she suggested various testing from time to time, and gave me the choice. A real doctor. The last one I had was the basic metabolic panel, I think it is called, and all was good. Chapter 17 of A Statin Nation affirmed my aversion to testing and screening, although I get letters all the time inviting to have them done, at a local Lutheran church, of all places! The sect I grew up in. Didn’t know they were in cahoots with the medical industry. One more thing I’ve noticed about cutrulline malate. I take a dose first thing in the morning, one mid-day, and one just before bed. Since I started the one before bed, I sleep like a rock, and don’t usually have to get up to pee. Also feel calmer all the time. Who knew the importance of NO in overall health!! Well, Dr. Kendrick and others knew, but now we peons do, too.

  56. andy

    Malcolm, the manipulations used by vegans and orthodocs might be a distracting cause. The subconscious mind is always at work to find solutions.

    I have recently discovered the power of leafy greens, especially the ones with high oxalate content. After consuming a soup made from spinach and sorrel my left knee became inflamed and was painful to walk. Almost recovered now after a month of agony. From now on I will let my chickens eat the greens. Is there a connection between oxalates and CVD?

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      andy: Thank you for that information. WAPF has pointed to the dark side of oxalates in their publications, and Dr. Mercola has posted about it. I’ve never noticed any problem with greens personally, but it makes me a bit wary. We are, after all, not gorillas.

      Reply
      1. mmec7

        Greens – I love em, but…to eat is to be in dire straits ! Can just about manage spinach, just a little and only from time-to-time. NSAIDs ruined my gut – as indeed has ruined and is common in ruining the gut wall of the spondy person (ankylosing spondylitis refers). The same problem with starches. Starches = inflammation – any flare up of the spine is somewhat painful, not to be invited ! Plus : red meat (particularly beef), processed meats, GMO foods; all = an inflammatory flare. Dealing with the spondy problem – not much fun.

      2. Gary Ogden

        mmec7: Dr. Mercola has a very interesting post today about oxalates. Worth a read.

      3. andy

        Gary, glad that you found the topic of oxalates interesting. Apparently oxalate crystals can also be found in synovial fluid (as in joint pain). Perhaps elderly people like me (79+) have accumulated too many oxalates. First step is to reduce consumption of high oxalate foods such as spinach, beets, almonds, swiss chard, chocolate, etc..

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345328/
        “Results of our study suggest that the mechanisms and the clinical significance of carotid atherosclerotic calcification may be different. Nodular calcification, correlated to presence of CKD, probably are high-risk lesions. On the contrary, the majority of plaques with non-nodular calcification are low-risk lesions.”

        https://www.renalfellow.org/2018/01/02/acute-oxalate-nephropathy/
        “Oxalate nephropathy has also been seen in association with large quantities of iced tea consumption and most recently with “green smoothy cleanse”.”

      4. Gary Ogden

        andy: Thanks. Yesterday Dr. Mercola posted an interview with a young lady who suffered terribly from pain as a teenager. Took her some years to figure out the cause was oxalates. In her clinic they use genetic testing and urinary organic acid testing (OAT) to help people overcome the debilitating symptoms of oxalate intolerance. Her medical diagnosis was fibromyalgia, and was offered opioids for the pain! Cured herself outside conventional Medicine.

      5. mmec7

        Gary – Quote : “mmec7: Dr. Mercola has a very interesting post today about oxalates. Worth a read.”
        Thank you Gary. Yes. Interesting, though knew of the oxalates a few years ago. A good friend pointed out ‘why’ I was so sensitive to lettuce, the oxalates. The rest of the greens follow the same sensitivity pathway. Annoying, as I love greens : kale, chard, B.sprouts – especially B.sprouts tops, runner beans, haricot beans, sugar snaps, cabbage – pretty much all the greens, but can eat a very little spinach. Now add in the tomatoes, aubegines, green and red sweet peppers, garlic and onions. Oh, and a whole lot more. Then one comes to the starchy vegetables and the grains – no pasta and very little bread. Dislike sweet biscuits. ! Then many of the fruits – which I also love ! Cut out red meat, especially beef and just about all the industrial foods and processed foods. No polyunsaturated fats and no fried food – the very occasional egg – as don’t much care for eggs. (Use coconut oil; ghee; butter; nut oils). Ho-Hum. So now don’t have such a broad base diet ! Not too imeasurabely dull. One copes ! Just tedious. And I hate to eat out as lord knows what they are serving up. A ‘picky eater’ ? No. But sure do *hate an upset gut, and hate a spondy flare. So, I follow Prof Ebringer and the microbiome findings : Ebringer pre dated the microbiome findings, which is the reason one will find his ‘London Diet’ is OK with red meat and processed foods. He is long retired now, and does not enter the lists. Much of his flag is carried by the KickAS group – of which I have have been a member for many a year : followed from 2002 and an active posting member from 2004 – my particular patch being spondy research and news forum under MollyC1i (which describes my eyes ). Back to the relevant. Their dietary forum and dietary success stories are particularly relevant. Take care.

      6. andy

        Gary: I am new to oxalates, what is WAPF?
        Here is a reference re. oxalate kidney damage-
        https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acsomega.7b00510
        Effect of Crystal Shape and Aggregation of Calcium Oxalate Monohydrate on Cellular Toxicity in Renal Epithelial Cells

        If the oxalate crystals originate in the blood stream then any cell in the body can be exposed to damage i.e. endothelium, kidneys, eyes, skin, thyroid, joints etc. by way of cell membrane injury. A bit of damage can be tolerated. Damage, inflammation and repair everywhere.
        How do vegans cope with oxalates?

    2. Craig

      Andy,

      not only high oxalates but also high tannins, high salicylate and high vitamin A equivalents. Probably other nasties too numerous to mention. Is it on the SAD food pyramid? It should be inside the pyramid.

      Name your poison.

      Reply
  57. Gary Ogden

    Aileen: The curiosity was driving me nuts, so I looked it up. Reproduction in Ursus americanus is a bit bizarre. They fornicate in summer, the peak period being July, but the fertilized ovum is not implanted until much later, November or December, when they’ve already denned up. Birth is in January or February, so, while the gestation period is about 210 days, the period of active gestation is 70. Amazing that she gestates, births, and nurses for the first few weeks all from stored body fat! No wonder she’s a bit grumpy when she first leaves the den-she’s ravenously hungry, and she’s got two toddlers to push around in the stroller all day! By the way, the sleep lecture contained some interesting information, but she was difficult to follow, which was annoying.

    Reply
    1. Aileen

      Gary, that’s really interesting!

      Sorry – in retrospect I do agree about the lecture being not easy to follow. I posted that particular video because it makes an explicit connection between sleep and heart disease, but it might not have been the best one! There are links to other videos on her website (drgominak.com).

      Dr Gominak also outlines her vitamin D/B/sleep hypothesis in a series of articles which are also on her website (you need to find the “for clinicians” bit on the menu and then scroll down to the end, past all the courses and things). I think they show the development of her thinking more clearly.

      It hadn’t really occurred to me until you mentioned the bears that she is suggesting quite literally that those of our palaeolithic northern ancestors who didn’t migrate south during the winter would have hibernated. Now I keep thinking about the Moomins!

      Reply
  58. Dr. AnthonyP

    Malcolm,
    Thanks for info on “tobacco smoke enemas” and the reference to Shaw’s Doctors Dilemma!. I have downloaded the play (for free!) to iBooks and will be reading it with great interest.

    Reply
  59. Don

    I’ve found the best antidote to writer’s block is just to start writing anything, even nonsense. You will find some good bits to expand on and then you can edit it later. The problem comes when we want the words in our head to come out perfectly on paper but new thoughts pop up and we actually edit in our minds as we write. You can’t really write and edit at the same time.

    Reply
  60. Joe

    Dr. Kendrick:

    I think I know something that might cure your writer’s block

    How about a blog on vaccinations? Pros versus cons, for example. Mandates? Informed consent? I’ll wager that you get a lot of feedback here, but that would be like stealing your money..

    Maybe you could discuss why the UK doesn’t bother to vaccinate for chickenpox, while the US is close to jailing Americans if they don’t get the vaccination. (among others).

    America, land of the free, home of the brave, except when it comes to vaccinations!..

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Joe, such a blog would attract somewhat il informed comment. It is possible to find and disseminate factual information which is then rebuffed by those with vested interests, or those who are merely brainwashed by the MSM. I have written to the BBC and the health minister about the misleading information that is published. Guess what the response was.

      It is best that Dr. Kendrick does not deliberately move into this area of discussion. We might as well start discussing climate “science”, you know, global warming, https://duckduckgo.com/?q=kangaroo+snow+australia&t=h_&pn=1&ia=web 🤭

      Reply
      1. Joe

        AhNotepad:

        Such a discussion, IMO, could go a long way towards informing such people. They are only getting one side of the story,m and as we saw with heart disease, T2 diabetes, and so many other topics, that can be very dangerous.

        Yes, I can guess what the response from the BBC, etc. was. I can hear the crickets from here. The good doctor might be a little gun-shy at the moment, but ducking this topic isn’t going to help the vaccine-injured children, the number of which is growing exponentially.

        And heck, I may even get my own mind changed, provided we stick to science.,.

        In anticipation of such a discussion, I offer this book to read for everyone who wants to participate.,and even to those who don’t, but still want to learn what the fuss is all about. Dr. Kendrick doesn’t have to personally participate. He could limit his participation to keeping the discussion civil and mutually respectful.

        Anyway, I hope the three down-votes my comment received will participate. I just ask that their participation be limited to the SCIENCE..

        And this would be a good place to find some of that science:

        Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        My fear of entering the vaccine debate is that is will then be too simple for critics to dismiss me as a complete crank. One battle at a time. I am, however, more than happy for people to discuss vaccines rationally, using facts. The problem is that is has become an area driven almost entirely by emotion. ‘You are killing thousand of children.’ And suchlike. Any criticism of vaccines, however slight, triggers almost uncontrollable rage in some people. Which makes things a little tricky. A general rule that I use is that the angrier someone gets, the more likely it is that they are wrong. ‘I am going to shout very loudly, get very angry and attack you – until you ARE SILENCED!’ ‘I am not going to debate anything with you because YOU ARE WRONG!’ And probably completely stupid as well. Frankly, I should get enough of that with cholesterol and statins, but I can’t resist a good rhubarb.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Wise move, Dr. Kendrick. I think you handle the issue just right. The reason for the rage is similar to that about statins-it is a threat to the revenue stream. Vaccines, once a bit of a backwater for industry, now account for 20% of their revenue.

      4. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Thank you very much for that link. He knows the state of Medicine is dismal in many ways.

      5. AhNotepad

        Joe, there are other places for vaccines’ discussions, this blog works, don’t break it by bringing too many voices here. We have occasional inputs, but if you want a vaccine blog, by all means feel free to start one. WordPress is a good platform.

      6. David Bailey

        Malcolm,

        I agree with you that it would probably be best not to extend your blogs into other areas unless they are related to CVD/statins/T2 diabetes. I think you get the focus about right already – you do make the odd comparison with Global Warming, and you let others extend that a bit further, but that is enough.

        As I see it, your opponents aren’t interested in fair argument – they just want to win in any way – because they know just how unpleasant it would be for them in the whole unvarnished truth ever came out. Don’t help them in any way!

      7. Joe

        Dr. Kendrick:

        Thanks you for your response. I fully understand your hesitance to get involved in another controversial subject.And I promise to put emotion aside and stick to facts and science, hoping that everyone else interested in this topic will do the same.

        So how about that chickenpox vaccine? In the US it’s a required vaccination to enter school. As everyone should know, it’s a very mild childhood disease when acquired as a child. But as an adult? Not so much. Furthermore, since the vaccination for chickenpox started, cases of chickenpox have dropped. Unfortunately, cases of shingles have dramatically increased, even with the introduction of the shingles vaccine. Most people, I think, would rather have chickenpox than shingles. And the reason for the increase in shingles is because of a lack of exposure to other people with chickenpox (because of the chickenpox vaccine) , which “boosts” immunity to shingles..

        Your country doesn’t routinely vaccinate for chickenpox, and therefore your rate of shingles is far below the rate in the U.S.

        With all that said, one of the best reasons to not vaccinate for chickenpox is to allow children to get this very benign disease, is to “challenge” the child’s immune system, which makes it more robust and able to fight other diseases in childhood.. According to various studies, it also significantly protects against cardiovascular disease in adulthood..Moreover, each subsequent childhood exposure to mumps, measles, and rubella, further increases such protection from cardiovascular disease by ~14% for each additional exposure.

        So it seems to me that we have made a horrible mistake by vaccinating our children against such a benign childhood disease.. We’ve managed to reduce the incidence of a benign childhood disease, by increasing the rate or a very painful, sometimes debilitating disease in adults, while also significantly increasing their chances of experiencing cardiovascular disease, while also providing BigPharma with two additional revenue streams.

        All of the studies that support my claims here can be found in Miller;s book.

        Presumably, I’ve stuck to the facts and science, so maybe those here who don’t agree with my comments could use facts and science to refute me..

        FYI: Dr. Kendrick: Your use of the word “rhubarb” really got my attention, since it’s a baseball term (in the way that you used it) that supposedly originated in the 1930s when a Brooklyn Dodgers fan shot and killed a New York Giants fan. .So I hope that you don’t enjoy rhubarbs quite that much., 🙂

      8. Joe

        AhNotepad:

        I don;’t see this discussion bringing new people here.,I see it being mostly confined to the regulars.,and there aren’t many regulars here who are that emotional. They seem to understand science and mostly;refrain from emotional hyperbole.That’s why it’s such a great blog. And being exposed to new information is how learning occurs, especially when citing scientific studies.

        Dr. Kendrick doesn’t appear to mind (he just doesn’t want to participate himself) provided it stays civil and science based. So I urge you to participate..

      9. AhNotepad

        Why do you speciffically want to push this in a vaccine discussion direction? Why are people posting here any “better” than people posting in other places? Why do you not wnt to set up and run such a blog?

        I have made my position clear. This is a CVD blog, with occasional diversions.

      10. Joe

        David Bailey:

        “unless they are related to CVD/statins/T2 diabetes”

        My blog on how getting chickenpox as a child can significantly reduce the chances of experiencing CVD as an adult should qualify, right? And each additional incidence of a childhood disease reduces it another ~14% by acquiring mumps, measles and rubella.in one’s childhood. That’s a pretty significant reduction of CVD in adults, isn’t it?

        Also, getting shingles increases the risk of heart attack.and stroke.

        All of which can be substantiated by the studies noted in Miller’s book, plus it’s pretty easy to find them by googling..

        What could be more pertinent for Dr. Kendrick’s blog?

      11. Gary Ogden

        Joe: The relationship of infectious diseases and CVD risk is indeed pertinent here. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to accept as true, but the JACC study, though observational, was so large (100,000+), that we can safely assume this is a real effect, and it was no small effect. We will never see an RCT for any vaccine, for it would end the program. Of this I am reasonably certain. I think it true that no currently-licensed vaccine could possibly show a benefit over placebo, nor stand the scrutiny of a real scientist. What we have now is a vast experiment on nearly the entire population, with essentially no control group. The promoters of this paradigm claim an actual scientific study would be unethical, yet they consider it ethical to inject pregnant women with DTaP and the flu shot. No safety testing has been done for these vaccines on pregnant women-that would be unethical. Catch 22 gazillion. I’m with Dr. Richard Moskowitz, a GP for 52 years in Massachusetts (“Vaccines-A Reappraisal”), who explains in great detail how the act of vaccination is damaging to the immune system, and carries long-term risks for many.

      12. Jerome Savage

        Hi Joe
        Opening up debate on vaccine issues is akin to opening up a war on two fronts. The more i read about vaccines the more they appear to me to be ill judged, probably doing more harm than good, the likes of Dr. Suzanne Humphries providing a convincing anti vaccine argument. A comprehensive japanese study ( I hav the link somewhere) endorses your comments about building up resistance) It’s not about the validity of the argument but about debating with a well oiled, massively funded machine, major advertisers on board applying subtle, covert and overt techniques to increase profit ratios and market share. Capitalism never sleeps, big corpos have the means to be all pervasive. And the vaccine debate is more frenetic & emotional than CVD/ statin, very often immature as Dr K has rightly pointed out.
        Your argument, well put and reading easy will encourage some nonetheless to ask some questions thus;
        1. Why do you say chicken pox is not of concern in children ? A quick check finds the following “Chickenpox Can Be Serious. Mostchildren who get chickenpox recover completely. But chickenpox can be serious, even deadly, especially forbabies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system”. This from the CDC, “centre for disease control”- very official & plausible looking indeed – ? All sites seem to promote vaccines.
        2. I put the word “awful” and chickenpox together and it threw up a reference to “the worst case of chicken pox that doctors had ever seen”, affecting a girl of 5 apparently in UK – July last year. Headline grabbing for sure, emotive yes and why would any so called expert (self appointed) want to deny a vaccine to one so young & innocent ?
        The net is riddled with such emotions and woe betide anyone who doesn’t want to protect little children !
        Devils advocate here I hope U’ll understand.
        3. “According to various studies” what studies ? And are they credible? Presumably they are referred to in Dr Millars book but if we interrogate the pro statin or pro vaccine reports & find them less than plausible we must be ready to apply the same scrutiny to anti statin or anti vaccine studies. Be on guard for “experts” to rubbish anti vaccine studies.

        Suggesting that Dr K is a little gun shy at the moment only encourages the metaphors & why not. Exposure on two fronts means, dealing with snipers also requires looking out for grenades from new angles while dealing with guerrilla tactics, all sorts of booby traps & ambushes never mind the propaganda war. Dr K will need MORE than double the stamina, double the body armour and double the cunning to handle the increasing flak.
        I agree with Dr Kendricks decision not to go there irrespective of how sound the anti vaccine logic might be.

      13. David Bailey

        Joe,

        If you have a blog of your own on vaccines, why not add a link here (or did I miss it).

        More generally, after reading Malcolm’s books, I am very wary of what non-randomised studies can tell us. Over and over, they give us the wrong answer. I mean, maybe more working class kids get chickenpox – that would skew the correlation between chickenpox and CVD risk, but it would have nothing to do with vaccination!

      14. Joe

        To Jerome Savage.

        “Chickenpox Can Be Serious. Most children who get chickenpox recover completely. But chickenpox can be serious, even deadly, especially forbabies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women, and people with a weakened immune system””

        But what if more people knew the following:

        “Reported complications from chickenpox vaccine include shock, seizures, brain inflammation (encephalitis), thrombocytopenia (blood disorder), Guillian Barre syndrome, death and infection with vaccine strain chickenpox or transmission of vaccine strain chickenpox to others”
        https://www.nvic.org/Vaccines-and-Diseases/Chickenpox.aspx

        “Be on guard for “experts” to rubbish anti vaccine studies.”

        That’s why more experts are needed to counter their experts. There’s a thriving anti-vax movement, and that’s why it’s growing., More experts are speaking out against the conventional wisdom. The vast majority of anti-vaxxers are well-educated,, understand science, and make good money..

        And when you tell these people that the CDC and FDA hods over 50 patents on vaccines, they start to smell a rat.,

        As far as Dr. K not getting involved, I’m okay with that. But there’s no reason that you and I can’t get involved, or anybody else here who wants to join in. I’m more interested in hearing the pro-vaccine arguments anyway, and hope they will get involved here, too.
        ;

      15. AhNotepad

        It is claimed vaccines are “safe and effective”. This is un unarguable.

        They are a safe product ie the manufacturers have no liability so they can safely continue production.

        They are effective ie as they are safe, they can provide an effective means of ensuring continuing income.

      16. Joe

        To Gary Ogden:

        “I think it true that no currently-licensed vaccine could possibly show a benefit over placebo, nor stand the scrutiny of a real scientist.”

        Of course it couldn’t. Moreover, the “placebos” they use aren’t really placebos (in the traditional sense), they’re often a proprietary concoction that minimizes the dangerous side effects of their vaccine by comparing them to the side effects of this noxious brew.

        And I agree with you on Dr. Moskowitz. He knows his stuff.

      17. Joe

        Question for pro-vaxxers about the HepB vaccination:

        The HepB vaccine is given to babies in the US on the baby’s first day of birth, sometimes with a few hours of being born.

        What’s the big rush? HepB is essentially a disease of IV drug users, the people they sleep with, and babies born of mothers who have HepB. Prospective mothers are all tested for HepB, so we’re injecting this hours-old baby with a vaccine for a disease the baby can’t possibly get.. And this vaccine contains aluminum, a known neurotoxin..And it will be followed up with three more HepB shots within the next several months.

        There is no scientific reason that an hours-old baby should be given this dangerous vaccination for a disease it’s almost impossible for a baby to get. Many parents don’t even know that their baby will get the HepB vaccine at birth.. Aluminum can cross the blood-brain barrier and cause inflammation in the baby’s brain.

        Vaccine Papers
        http://vaccinepapers.org/

        Can a pro-vaxxer here make a good scientific argument for this vaccine?

        If so, I’m all ears.

      18. binra

        I wrote a response but felt not to send it. I have my reasons but put it down to a variant form of writer’s block. Why here and now on this blog – in such a way if not to invite Big Brother’s Boot to stamp out ‘wrong thinking’?

      19. binra

        Under the Soviet regime, people there learned to decode their ‘news’. I recommend this approach.

        Suppressing chicken pox as a childhood disease leads to more people catching it as an adult – but then it is ‘shingles’ and very much more serious.

        Corporate PR uses the mainstream media to inject the population with disinformation. Just as they use politicians and key opinion leaders. If you are actually interested in the subject you raise, please read ‘Dissolving Illusions’ by Suzanne Humphries, rather than choose to keep them.
        I have noted R Kennedy Jr here before but he offers a free ebook called ‘Conflicts of Interest’
        https://childrenshealthdefense.org/ebook-sign-up-conflicts-of-interest/#

        Generally speaking the defences of the self-illusion DO the thing they are supposed to prevent.

      20. Joe

        To JDPatten:

        The real and absolute change (the only one that matters, IMO)was 0.03% not the 78% relative change they reported. 38/100,000 vs 74/100,000. Read the actual study…These use the same trick when talking about statin drugs, too.

        And the part that wasn’t mentioned at all was how being around people with chickenpox essentially “boosts” one’s immunity against getting shingles b(and other childhood diseases). Which is why there are so many cases of shingles in the US and very few cases in the UK, where they don’t routinely vaccinate for chickenpox..We’ve managed to take a rather benign childhood disease and turned it into a far more serious diseases of adults.

        They also don’t mention the the fact that having chickenpox reduces one’s risk of CVD in adulthood by ~14% Or a reduced rate of brain cancer of 21%.

        Having these childhood diseases in one’s childhood (which is why they’re called childhood diseases). when they are relatively benign, is preferable, IMO, to getting them as adults, when they can be quite serious.. Also the chickenpox vaccine is starting to cause shingles in children..

        BTW, the NYT is essentially a mouthpiece for BigPharma, and you should take everything they write with a huge grain of salt..

        Anyway, I hope I addressed any concerns you had. If not, ask away!

      21. janetgrovesart (JanB)

        AhNotepad – I just watched that and am impressed and horrified in equal measure. Human beings are so clever and utterly foolish – also in equal measure. Thank you for sharing it.

      22. Gary Ogden

        Joe: All good points. They actually do something sensible (eschewing the varicella vaccine) in the Mother Country. Perhaps it fails QoF?

      23. Jerome Savage

        Joe,
        Thanks for the links & info.
        One of the stats in your link (which is indeed troubling) states “of July 31, 2018 there had been 3,936 serious adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with chickenpox and varicella-containing vaccines since 1990”. The context doesn’t jump out at me, ie how many treatments are we talking about? This boils down to the usual comparisons ie overall negative reactions and degree of severity from vaccines vis a vis that from natural childhood occurrence of chicken pox in terms of percentages.
        Secondly the readership of the NYT would I imagine be of a higher socio economic group than say the National Enquirer yet the readership betrays a strong pro vaccine bent.
        BTW, am surprised at ur assertion that NYT is a pro pharma mouthpiece. Nonetheless, I hav been disappointed by their coverage of the CVD & cholestoral debate.
        Finally your contribution to NYT debates would be appreciated and would no doubt sharpen your pencil further so to speak. Do U participate?

      24. Joe

        To Jerome Savage:

        Regarding measles outbreaks in the Philippines? Please not that ~37% (it could be higher because of unknown status of some) have been vaccinated.So we have to say vaccine failure is a major cause.

        Also, since the DOH is now passing out vitamin A supplements,, I have to assume that vitamin A deficiency is a problem in the Philippines. And that’s probably why the death toll is higher than it should be.,

        Then, depending on how many mothers have had measles in the past can affect the rate of measles in newborns, because they are unable to pass along passive maternal antibodies (cell-mediated and humoral) to their babies during natural both and breast-feeding

        And probably the biggest reason is that measles still endemic in the Philippines, specially in the indigenous areas.. The virus is no longer indigenous in the US. It has to be imported, so to speak, and they are responsible for own current outbreaks, by foreign travelers and Americans travelling abroad and then bringing it back home with them.

        The number of deaths is disturbing, of course, but I think it’s due to poor nutrition and probably poor medical treatment (e.g. giving certain NSAIDS to children with measles)..

        We’ve had over 1000 cases in the US, but ZERO deaths.,So that’s 1000+ more Americans who enjoy lifelong immunity, (improving herd immunity), can now pass along passive maternal antibodies to their newborns., and who now have a significantly educed risk of CVD, cancer ,and other infectious diseases..

        Without knowing moire about the reliability of data coming from their DOH, it’s hard to say much more., But I hope they do something permanent about vitamin A deficiencies,..

      25. Joe

        To Jerome Savage:

        “of July 31, 2018 there had been 3,936 serious adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with chickenpox and varicella-containing vaccines since 1990”. The context doesn’t jump out at me, ie how many treatments are we talking about?

        I’m not sure what you mean by “treatments.” It’s the number of times a serious adverse event happened after a vaccination. And the number of adverse events recorded in VAERS is estimated to be about 1% of the actual number. Very few Americans, including doctors, even know of it’s existence, or how to go about reporting an event.

        Regarding the NYT, pharmaceutical companies are heavy advertisers. You will rarely read anything that could put that relationship in danger.And their science writers are incompetent.,IMO.

      1. AhNotepad

        Just a quick look through the report showed 37% of cases were in vaccinated children. Now, was the measels virus the wild strain, or the vaccine strain?

      2. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: Interesting that that is about the same percentage as in the Disneyland outbreak of 2015. Who would buy a product with 37% failure rate?

      3. Frederica Huxley

        It may well be apocryphal, but I understand that a 40% success rate with most pharmaceuticals is rare, and that statistic in no way affects how,any are dispensed,

      4. Jennifer

        Jerome, and others discussing vaccines on this blog.
        My experience of chicken pox at age 6 was dreadful, and I was nursed at home, as was the case in most households in the early 1950s. My experience of shingles at age 68 was equally dreadful, and the doctor wanted me admitted to hospital as I was so ill. ( not blooming likely…hubby provided care at home). I am unaware of deaths in either condition, and take the stats promoting the chicken pox and shingles vaccines as questionable. Yes, I concede that avoiding both may avoid the most unpleasant associated symptoms, but manageable.
        But measles? That is a different situation altogether, and anything developed by mankind to protect against such a seriously debilitating illness, potentially death, can only be to the good. At age 4 I contracted measles, and almost lost my sight; at age 18 months ( in 1970), my son (unvaccinated because GP was against it), was seriously ill, requiring round the clock care at home, with one crisis after another for several worrying days and nights by us young parents. We were so frightened, and my parents travelled to be with us to weather the storms. There are always 2 sides to the vaccine discussion, and parental experience must be permitted to be taken into account by health care providers.
        Thank goodness I live in the UK, and not the USA!

      5. Gary Ogden

        Jennifer: Thank you. It should always be up to the parents, particularly with untested treatments. Horrifyingly, that fundamental right is being rapidly eroded here in the U.S. to the point of medical kidnapping.

      6. AhNotepad

        The problems with the expectations that vaccines will provide a long term solution to diseases is similar to the problems with antibiotics. The vira are always mutating, just as bacteria are mutating. Both becoming resistant to attempts to wipe them out. We are just about learnng this about antibiotics, where there are now dangerous diseases available such as MRSA. Something similar is happening with measles.

      7. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: I didn’t read it, but I don’t need to. WHO functions, in part, as an arm of industry marketing, and they are as good at fear-mongering as the media. Measles is only rarely a serious disease in well-nourished children, and was not considered a serious disease in the U.S. prior to the development of the vaccine. I know, from first-hand observation, that the Philippines has many under-nourished children, so a mortality rate of 0.014% is in the realm of credibility. Here in the U.S. prior to the launch of the vaccine, the best estimates I have read give a measles mortality rate of about 0.01%. Nobody really knows, but death from measles was rare, and most of them were infants or adults. In childhood it was relatively benign. The rate of serious complications in the pre-vaccine period is estimated at 0.1%. Dr. Klenner didn’t lose a single patient to measles with 2g every 4 hours IV vitamin C. I’ve also noticed that the authorities in the Philippines tend to slavishly follow and promote to the public whatever medical paradigm, treatment modality, or dietary advice is currently promoted in the U.S. We do know from CDC data that MMR produces febrile seizures at 500% the rate that a measles infection does, but WHO will never highlight this fact.

      8. Jerome Savage

        Jennifer.
        I can only speak for my own experience of measles which was less trouble than a head cold but with spots & chance to get off school – just like all the other kids on our street. Can’t speak for CP.
        Gary – appreciate your insights. Lazy people like me depend on others doing the checks.

      9. Jerome Savage

        AHN How did I miss that ?
        Tho 37% cud b even more interesting if we knew whar percentage of the population affected, had been vaccinated. If we surmise, not without reason, that vaccination levels are low, then this statistic might b even more damming – of measle vaccinations.

    2. Joe

      To Gary Ogden:

      “Perhaps it fails QoF?”

      I’m not entirely sure I know the answer to that. I think it’s because the UK health authorities are just smarter than ours.. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Joe: That may very well be the case. If you read “Doctoring Data,” you will understand QoF, which stands for “Quality Outcome Framework,” a collection of words whose meaning, on the surface, is inscrutable. It is basically a sort of cost/benefit analysis. With the varicella vaccine in the U.S., the increased medical costs outweigh the vanishingly small benefits. Possibly the main reason is that GSK hasn’t brought one to market (just speculation on my part). The UK authorities, to their credit, recognize that chicken pox is a mild disease not worth recommending a vaccine for.

      2. AhNotepad

        Not so sure the UK is more sensible any longer. We have an IT obsessed health minister, Matthew Hancock (who hates being called “Matthew”), who recently hinted children should not be allowed in school unless they were medically assulted, sorry, that should have been vaccinated against measles.

    3. Joe

      To Jerome Savage, Gary Ogden, JD Patten, and others:

      I posted replies to your questions ,but they apparently didn’t make it past moderation I have to assume that Dr. K. didn’t want to post them, for whatever reason. And it is his blog..

      So I’ll take the hint and go away. I just wanted you to know that I did reply, and hopefully Dr. K will at least post this.. And also will keep up the good fight on other topics.

      Ciao.

      Reply
    4. Paul Littlefield

      Having had most of the childhood diseases, I can tell you that they were not as mild as you seem to believe.

      My mother’s eldest sister died at age 7 of whooping cough, and the family long remembered the people lost in the influenza epidemic of 1918. (I myself contacted the H1N1 flu when it was rampant, a decade ago, and I would do whatever it took to spare my bitterest enemy from that scourge.)

      My mother and her father both contracted poliomyelitis, with lifelong consequences for both of them. No one in the family ever contracted smallpox, so far as I know, but I consider the minor effects of being being vaccinated a small price to pay for protection from the disease. It was not fun, by all accounts.

      I don’t dispute some of the points you make in your various posts, but please don’t romanticise or minimise these old scourges. Even mild cases were unpleasant, and serious ones could be deadly. This is why those of us with personal and familial memories of the bad old days hate to see children going unvaccinated. I would prefer to spare them the nastinesses I endured.

      Reply
  61. Aileen

    Dr Kendrick gets an approving mention at 12:30 mins in this piece about B12 deficiency (£3 charge to access, but the video is very good).

    Reply
  62. Margo

    Thank you for this… so glad you started writing and it seems did get over the writers’ block, at least for now anyway! All super interesting.
    Re writers’ block, maybe your brain is just over-whelmed — that wouldn’t be surprising.
    I’m so glad you are writing another book… Doctoring Data REALLY changed the way I look at things… fantastic book.

    Reply
  63. LA_Bob

    Dr Kendrick,

    Have you considered inviting guest bloggers?

    Guest posts can provide different perspectives on things. Even “friendly critics” of your ideas could enrich your readers’ education. Dave Feldman has done this to good effect, most recently with Dayspring follower Spencer Nadolsky. In the climate change arena, when he ran a blog, Dr Roger Pielke, Sr provided a forum for guest posters to write about different ideas.

    Guest bloggers could take some pressure off you and help keep us natives engaged and happy 😉

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I seem to remember that some years back, Malcolm did get someone to present the orthodox point of view. It was remarkable, because all this guy did, was talk as if he was addressing an uninformed audience, making statements like “NICE still recommends a low fat diet as the best way to prevent CVD” (I don’t have the specific blog in front of me, but you get the general idea).

      Reply
  64. Joyce

    Malcolm, sometimes all we need is “a little me time!” None of us are invincible. The world will still be spinning when you get back. 🤯

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I don’t know if I like Norman Swan, or not. I only really know he attacked and destroyed Maryanne Demasi’s career. Therefore, I would not place him amongst the world’s top seven billion honest and trustworthy people.

      Reply
      1. Bill in Oz

        That is true Malcolm. He is often an obstacle. And as I think a stoic once said, ( Marcus Aurelius ? ), the obstacle is the way.

        And he does run the program “The Health Report” on ABC’s Radio National. And occasionally by accident or chance report something curious or interesting.This is an example.

        Others have discussed the capacity of infectious organisms to cause CVD. ( Just saw it referred to on TV tonight re gingevitis. ) So the capacity of a drug usually prescribed as a blood thinner for heart patients, to also be an anti-biotic is interesting to us here. Could it be that this anti-biotic role is art of the reason why it helps heart patients ?

  65. Bill in Oz

    Malcolm I agree with you about not joining in with the fracas on vaccines.

    Being a significant contributor to debate/conversation on CVD etc is quite enough to draw the ire of the powers that be.

    Reply
    1. Craig

      So the million dollar question is: Will that antibiotic reverse the calcification that statins cause? And then what will happen?

      Lordy lordy, disease fighting drugs fighting drugs causing disease, it’s more entertaining than the wrestling on TV.

      Reply
      1. shannon

        In the bigger picture, maybe the fact that an antibiotic helps points away from Cholesterol and towards the immune system

  66. TS

    What these blogs have reinforced in me is a belief that the body’s functionings are intricately related and we mess with them at our peril. Interfering with hormones obviously needs careful monitoring.
    I have recently lost a friend to aggressive breast cancer. She was in her 90s and very fit. It seemed strange to me that at such an advanced age and never having had breast cancer before she should go so quickly with a rampant form. Surely if she had had a BRCA gene it would have been likely to manifest much earlier?
    I wondered if her very long-term thyroxine medication had influenced things. She was a very slim and tiny person. Perhaps she had more thyroxine than she needed. So I googled thyroxine and cancer and found several references to it stimulating cancer cells, often aggressively.
    Perhaps it is better to err on the slightly hypothyroid side than the hyperthyroid? Perhaps people taking thyroxine should be tested much more regularly than they currently are. What happens if they lose weight in the interim period and should be on less of the medication?
    Any views or is this too off topic?

    Reply
    1. Joyce

      TS…I too suffered from triple negative breast cancer, 16 years ago. To be honest, I think it’s simply down to good or bad luck who survives this aggressive form of the disease. As is evident, I did! However, two or three of the others I had treatment with sadly did not. Why? Who knows? Life is a lottery that’s for sure, and what you eat/drink/or medicate with, may or may not have an effect. My oncologist told me many years ago that if we could all live long healthy lives into extreme old age, we’d most of us end up dying of cancer! (Well, you’ve got to die of something haven’t you?) Personally I don’t even give it any thought anymore. I am now 74, and comparatively fit (after a cardiac arrest 4 years ago) and now minus two of my nine lives! I’ve decided to be sensible(ish) and enjoy life until it ends, which it will one day. Death is unavoidable. Don’t waste precious time worrying about it, it may take years off your life.lol.

      Reply
  67. Mark Heneghan

    I wondered if you might have looked at the recent studies of the health risk of ultra processed food? There was a paper in the BMJ, 1/6/19, also discussed on the BBC health website. The BBC made a big thing of the relative increased risk of death (62%) associated with a diet high in processed food. The absolute risk facts are less impressive – 19899 patients, aged 20 -91 were observed every 2 years for a median time of 10.4 years. At each 2 year interval every participant was given a food and drink questionnaire, and from this, at the end of the study, they were classified into 4 dietary groups, 1 being the group that ate the least processed food and 4 being the one that ate the most. The amount of processed food in the diet was based on the NOVA classification. At the end of the study, 335 had died, 1.68%, roughly 0.168% per year. Comparing deaths in 1 vs deaths in 4 showed that 4 had 62% more deaths than 1. The BMJ did not report the actual numbers in 1 and 4, but if we make a reasonable assumption that roughly half (168) the deaths were in 1 and 4 combined, that would give roughly 64 deaths in group 1 and 102 deaths in group 4. Expressed as a percentage this is 0.32% versus 0.51% for 10 years. Or 0.032% versus 0.05% per year – an absolute risk increase of 0.019%! Spit out that pepperoni pizza now!
    And this is before asking questions such as were there more smokers (for example) in group 4, or more poverty, or drug abuse etc?
    The other major flaw in my view is that the NOVA classification is based on such things as preservative additives, number of processes, whether nutrients in the product were in the original food have been supplemented e.g. salt, sugar fat etc. While this may be a convenient way of putting a figure to the amount of food processing, it produces heterogeneous groups, so that when there is a difference in death rates (0.018% per year) which element of the processed food is to blame? The BMJ commentary suggested that processing either ‘displaces nutritious foods from the diet’ or delivers ‘risk nutrients’ into the body. Does the lack of nutrition foods mean a deficiency? That should be measurable, and easily proved/disproved. And what is a ‘risk nutrient’? Cholesterol? Hasn’t that all been debunked?
    I am not particularly a fan of processed food, although some are delicious, but what worries me is that some of the foods that get into the category of processed may be completely harmless, and yet they are all grouped as one. Looking at the absolute risk increase I would suggest that possibly all of them are harmless, but I’m not a statistician
    The general message is the perpetuation of the idea that some foods are ‘healthy’ and some are ‘unhealthy’, which really took off when saturated fats became the villain. If certain foods are unhealthy, why do they stop someone from dying of starvation? When a diabetic is in a hypoglycaemic coma is given ‘unhealthy’ sugar brain damage is averted. It seems to me that this study was done to confirm something the authors already believed to be true rathe that honestly looking for the truth itself.

    Reply
      1. chris c

        Harvard researchers should be forced to eat Willett’s “Gorilla Diet” of 83 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. That way they will spend most of their time eating and the rest in the crapper so they won’t be around to bother the rest of us. (David Ludwig a rare exception)

    1. Joyce

      This all boils down to us all knowing “a man who smoked 60 Woodbines a day for 80 years” and never got cancer, doesn’t it? I do believe that foods can be healthy or unhealthy for us, and try to act accordingly, but also realise we are all of us genetically different, which probably accounts for the mystery of the Woodbine man, and Mr. Perfect, who sadly dies of cancer or heart disease! I had EVERY childhood disease going, Mumps, Whooping Cough,Measles, Chickenpox… and as an adult, Breast Cancer, and heart disease. My sister, whose life has almost mirrored mine in diet/lifestyle etc. has luckily suffered from nothing in her life other than German Measles(the only thing I never had!). The mysteries of life eh?

      Reply
  68. Charles Gale

    CVD/stress/personalities – keep the flag flying

    Dr Kendrick wrote in a previous blog “What causes heart disease – part 63”:

    “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…”

    I’m currently reading Irwin Shaw’s 1975 novel Night Work and this comment seemed appropriate and rang a bell:

    “There are men who wear themselves out with ulcers and heart attacks before the age of sixty four…”

    It rang a bell because (1) it reminded me of the chapter on stress and personalities in The Great Cholesterol Con and (2) of my own CVD circumstances.

    Reply
  69. Charles Gale

    I think I quoted the wrong age in my Irwin Shaw quote – it should have been age 60:

    “There are men who wear themselves out with ulcers and heart attacks before the age of sixty…”

    Reply
  70. Don

    We live in a post-truth world where you can pick your own truth and everyone else has to agree with your delusion, or face the wrath of the deluded and their enablers. The truth will not out because truth is not only not valued, it is outright hated and despised; every effort is made to drive a stake through truth’s heart and bury it. Without knowing it, post-truthers have entered a suicide pact, even as they delude themselves that they are affirming life.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Don,

      I know why you say that, and how you feel, but I am more optimistic. I think there is going to be a huge correction at some point.

      It is clear that people believe medical stories less and less – lust read the comments after any medical story in the Daly Mail.

      Nowadays some politicians shout about a “Climate Emergency”, but the reason they are shouting, is because in truth people are getting wise to that scare. The Labour leader in Australia was thought certain to win the recent general election, but he made a big speech about tackling the “climate emergency” just before the poll…and lost.

      The collapse of phoney authority may be quite sudden when it happens.

      Reply
      1. Don

        The internet has made a huge impact on the flow of information. No longer does it come down from the gate keepers and high priests to us lowly peasants. I think this is why there is a concerted effort to rein it in, and people like Dr. Kendrick are disappeared from Wikipedia. I guess ultimately reality will not be denied, so I share your optimism, but not so much in the short term.

      2. chris c

        Tom Naughton

        http://www.fathead-movie.com/

        recently announced the ten year anniversary of his blog, so in full Aspergers/ADD/OCD mode I read/reread it from beginning to end. Malcolm is a doctor with a keen sense of humour, Tom is a comedian with medical knowledge, so they complement one another.

        His main thesis (he has some talks on YouTube) is The Anointed versus the Wisdom Of The Crowds, which is derived from Thomas Sowell (Nicholas Nassim Taleb has a similar concept he calls The Intellectual Yet Idiot).

        Basically The Anointed see a Great Wrong and decide upon a Grand Plan to solve it. When the Plan inevitably fails this must be because people are stupid and failed to follow it, or they are evil and trying to undermine it. It can’t possibly be because the plan is rubbish because they are educated at Harvard etc.

        The only option is to do the same again, only bigger. Thus we are told that of course low fat diets work, it’s just that no-one follows them. Or they will work only they are not yet low enough in fat. Or currently because they are not vegan.

        Meanwhile people themselves, and a small but increasing number of doctors, researchers and even dieticians abandon the Plan and achieve undreamed of results.

        This is where we are at now, The likes of Malcolm, Aseem Malhotra, ec. are pilloried in the press. The two trials of Tim Noakes uncovered masses of evidence, but although he was found not guilty twice The Anointed in South Africa have not taken in any of it.

        Worse, they have taken down a massively successful Facebook group, probably because it IS successful. Eventually they reinstated it

        http://foodmed.net/2019/05/facebook-take-down-banting-7-day-meal-plans/

        Back in the day, Annika Dahlqvist in Sweden was first to be attacked. Like Noakes she fought back with evidence and eventually their government listened. Some low carb and other “heretical” blogs were deleted by Google Blogger. Then there is Wikipedia – and nonexistent coverage of the Noakes and Fettke trial in the mainstream media.

        So the Wisdom Of The Crowds is winning out but The Anointed are still fighting their increasingly irrelevant corner for all they are worth.

  71. Charles Gale

    Vitamin C Foundation – Heart Disease paper posted

    I’ve just spotted (Sun 16 June) a new post by the Foundation’s Owen Fonorow in their Forum section entitled “Landmark research article on vitamin C and heart disease” which provides a link to a 2017 paper called “A new look at atherosclerosis repeatable science ushers in a new era of medicine”.

    Here’s the link to the Vitamin C Foundation forum page:

    https://vitamincfoundation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&p=54435#p54435

    Owen Fonorow provides some comments including “I don’t think a better case for vitamin C (and lysine) could be presented more cogently, directly and authoritatively”.

    I think Owen’s right – it’s very readable and primarily covers the work started by Dr Willis in the 1950s and then picked up by Linus Pauling, Matthias Rath and the eye doctor Sidney Bush, and a few others too.

    Headings in the paper includes vit C dosages, vit C misconceptions and the current approach to treatment of heart disease.

    Regulars here may recall that the names and work of Willis, Pauling and Rath have been covered by Dr Kendrick in a previous “What causes heart disease” instalment – part XXIV.

    Here’s a link to that:

    https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2017/01/16/what-causes-heart-disease-part-xxiv/

    Reply
  72. Don

    I know you can’t give specific medical advice, but could you speak to a hypothetical case? Let’s say an elderly woman in her late eighties recently had a few stents implanted after never having had any heart trouble and taking no medication. Standard treatment would include beta blockers, statins, and blood thinners. Beta blockers seem relatively benign, and statins are a definite no-no. In general terms, what are the pros and cons of the blood thinner? Are there other options a doctor might recommend? And finally, what would be some specific concerns about the stents themselves? Thank you.

    Reply
      1. Don

        It was actually an acute situation. Admitted with pain, blockages found. Probably necessary, wondering about best practices going forward.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Don: I haven’t seen anything either, and I don’t know if he will respond, but he wrote several cogent and lengthy comments about anti-coagulants in past posts.

      1. Göran Sjöberg

        Dr. John, I fully agree!

        20 years ago after my very serious MI I did my “proper homework” on the prescribed pills and the first one I dropped was the beta-blocker. The other four went the same way within a year – the last one was the standard “blood-thinner” which BTW no-one seems to believe in nowadays .

        /Göran

    1. David Bailey

      Don,

      In your hypothetical case, it isn’t clear what any proposed treatment is for! Indeed, why were the hypothetical stents inserted?

      I think if I had reached my late eighties, I would refuse all medicine of that sort because I would not trust the doctors not to make me worse!

      Reply
  73. Martin Back

    I look at real and absolute values in terms of Lotto tickets. One ticket of our Lotto gives you a one in fourteen million chance of hitting the jackpot, i.e. virtually no chance.

    Buy two tickets and you double your chance to one in seven million, i.e. virtually no chance.

    In fact, you could buy a hundred tickets and you would have a TEN THOUSAND PERCENT better chance, but it’s still virtually no chance.

    A big increase in a tiny number is a slightly bigger tiny number. It doesn’t move it out of the ‘tiny number’ category.

    Reply
      1. Martin Back

        If there’s one thing I hate, it’s statistics. I just can’t get my head around the reasoning.

        After reading up on the problem, I believe I should rephrase the proposition to “the chance of picking a correct combination of numbers” because of course there could be other winners of the jackpot and it could be shared.

        I always take the Quick Pick. Let’s assume the computer chooses a genuinely random set of numbers and there are 14 million combinations.

        Then my chance with one ticket is 1/14m. With the second ticket, since I have already covered one combination, my chance improves to 1/(14m – 1). The combined chance is the sum of the two, which is very slightly better than 2/14m.

        But hang on… What are the chances that the Quick Pick could choose the same combination of numbers for the second ticket as for the first? It’s possible, if the numbers are truly random. So the combined chance has to be very slightly reduced to cover the possibility.

        I am unable to compute the revised odds because my head just exploded.

      2. Martin Back

        *possible duplication*

        If there’s one thing I hate, it’s statistics. I just can’t get my head around the reasoning.

        After reading up on the problem, I believe I should rephrase the proposition to “the chance of picking a correct combination of numbers” because of course there could be other winners of the jackpot and it could be shared.

        I always take the Quick Pick. Let’s assume the computer chooses a genuinely random set of numbers and there are 14 million combinations.

        Then my chance with one ticket is 1/14m. With the second ticket, since I have already covered one combination, my chance improves to 1/(14m – 1). The combined chance is the sum of the two, which is very slightly better than 2/14m.

        But hang on… What are the chances that the Quick Pick could choose the same combination of numbers for the second ticket as for the first? It’s possible, if the numbers are truly random. So the combined chance has to be very slightly reduced to cover the possibility.

        I am unable to compute the revised odds because my head just exploded.

  74. Don

    Has anyone seen the “white meat will kill you just like red meat” study? They actually slathered the white meat in butter and said, “Yep, white meat raises cholesterol too!” It is becoming laughable.

    Reply
  75. John Kelleher

    Dr. Kendrick,

    By way of thanks, I insert here (A) a semi-technical comment on regression, and (B) some statements and research on the predictive value of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF).

    A. As you have noted, a 2016 Kaiser study indicated that the ACC/AHA model overestimates prospective (i.e. real) cardiovascular risk by “five- to six-fold.”

    What you may not know is that, regardless of the quality and relevance of the original data, ALL regression models, as currently used, automatically over-predict. Roughly, this is because they deploy a mathematical superstructure which is NOT part of the data, but is never ‘integrated out’ at the end. So what is actually reported is our certainty in the quality of the superstructure (which we don’t care about), and not our uncertainty in the predictions of our actual data. When you do ‘integrate out’ the superstructure, you commonly get three- to five- to ten- to more-times uncertainty than reported. The 2016 Springer-Verlag book ‘Uncertainty’ by William Briggs (and his blog, wmbriggs.com) can open your eyes to these kinds of errors.

    B. As briefly as I can, something on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF):

    1. A 2017 report on the predictive algorithm developed from the HUNT study showed that the tool, which relies on proxies for cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), predicts cardiovascular mortality not only independent of ‘traditional’ risk factors, but also without any need of them: “By adding clinical variables to eCRF, the net reclassification improvement of CVD mortality was 0.014 (95% CI, -0.023 to 0.051) and 0.052 (95% CI, -0.023 to 0.127) in men and women, respectively.”

    [ Prediction of Cardiovascular Mortality by Estimated Cardiorespiratory Fitness Independent of Traditional Risk Factors: The HUNT Study. Nauman J, et al. Mayo Clinic Proceedings Volume 92, Issue 2, February 2017, Pages 218-227. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025619616306280 ]

    2. Predictive algorithms based on cardiorespiratory fitness have a further advantage, which is a strong underlying biological rationale: “There is no doubt that cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), measured as Peak Oxygen Uptake (PeakVO2) is the single best predictor of current and future health (better than if you have heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes etc). The reason is that every single cell in the body requires oxygen to work properly over time. PeakVO2 is the sum of how good your lungs are to breathe in oxygen (and CO2 out), how good the oxygen is transferred to the blood stream, how good the heart is to pump oxygen rich blood (stroke volume), how good the blood vessels are to transport the blood to the different organs, and how good the organs are to receive and utilise the oxygen offered.” (Ulrik Wisløff, one of the HUNT researchers).

    [ https://www.thewinnower.com/papers/7897-science-ama-series-my-name-is-ulrik-wisloff-and-i-am-a-professor-of-physiology-at-the-norwegian-university-of-science-and-technology-my-research-focuses-on-the-cardiovascular-benefits-of-exercise-both-in-healthy-individuals-and-in-individuals-with-lifestyle-related-diseases-ama ]

    3. Moreover, a recent American Heart Association scientific statement declares: “A growing body of epidemiological and clinical evidence demonstrates not only that CRF is a potentially stronger predictor of mortality than established risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, but that the addition of CRF to traditional risk factors significantly improves the reclassification of risk for adverse outcomes.”

    [ Importance of Assessing Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Clinical Practice: A Case for Fitness as a Clinical Vital Sign: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.
    https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/cir.0000000000000461 ]

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      John Kelleher: Thank you very much for that comment! Would be a bit easier to understand were it translated from science into English, but I think I understand. Something similar gave us the linear model of hypertension risk-math, not data. As for CRF, it only makes sense that the ability to utilize oxygen is a key to good health. I’m going to harp on it one more time-the best way I have discovered in recent years to improve blood flow and thus oxygen delivery to the tissues is citrulline malate. I think everyone, at least we old farts, should be taking it. Remarkable effects it has. The little soldier now makes a brave attempt to stand at attention from time to time, something he hasn’t done in eighteen years.

      Reply
  76. Martin Back

    Honestly, these pharmaceutical companies have the morals of a street-corner drug pusher. If they are prepared to push opiods despite knowing they are killers, what are they willing to do to move a far less harmful drug like statins?

    Johnson & Johnson faces multibillion opioids lawsuit that could upend big pharma
    As the state of Oklahoma’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson has unfolded over the past month, the company has struggled to explain marketing strategies its accusers say dangerously misrepresented the risk of opioid addiction to doctors, manipulated medical research, and helped drive an epidemic that has claimed 400,000 lives over the past two decades…

    Portenoy [pain specialist] told the court that painkiller manufacturers “understated the risks of opioids, particularly the risk of abuse, addiction and overdose” to boost sales. He accused the drug makers of distorting his research and that of other specialists by selectively quoting the results, including omitting information about the dangers of narcotics.

    “Those messages about risk were neglected and de-emphasised,” he said in recorded video testimony shown in court. “I think the purpose of doing that was to improve the sales of their products. ”
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/22/johnson-and-johnson-opioids-crisis-lawsuit-latest-trial

    Reply
  77. JDPatten

    Article:

    Mortality From Ischemic Heart Disease
    Analysis of Data From the World Health Organization and Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factors From NCD Risk Factor Collaboration

    CONCLUSIONS: IHD remains the single largest cause of death in countries of all income groups. Rates are different between countries and are falling in most countries, indicating great potential for further gains. On the horizon, future improvements may become curtailed by increasing hypertension in some developing countries and more importantly global growth in obesity.

    A link to the full article on pdf:
    https://t.co/ms5p69fFxN

    (This is what this blog is supposed to be about, is it not??)

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      JD, Very interesting statistics indeed!

      But I see no good explanation for the 10 times (!) higher death rates in Ukraine in comparison with other countries – there must be a good one!

      Reply
  78. Sasha

    Good episode on Super Human Radio podcast with Chad Jarod. It’s about cilia cells, including on heart cells and how they react to RF radiation that’s now all around us. It’s being connected to increases in mitral valve prolapse and A-fib, among other things.

    I don’t have the link, but I’m sure it is googlable.

    Reply
  79. Michael B

    “One way to look at it — though an admittedly a cynical way — is to recognize that doctors have throughout the ages embraced the wrong idea. Considering the drug problems in our time, the adamant disregard of sterility in the nineteenth century, leeches, bleeding, purgatives, you could make a case that medicine has always been hazardous to the majority of patients. “ — Robert Mendelsohn, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, p. 38. (Published in 1979.)

    Reply
  80. Gary Ogden

    From Dr. Karen Becker: “Guinea pigs live four to eight years, although the oldest known guinea pig lived to nearly 15.” Makes me wonder if that little dude got plenty of vitamin C.

    Reply
  81. Gary Ogden

    Another interesting experience with citrulline malate: Two days ago, on Wednesday, I did my most strenuous hike of the season: 8 miles in 6 hours, with 2,000′ of climbing, a fair amount of it over snowdrifts (still gobs of snow here in California above 8,000′, but the same bunch of idiots in the Capitol). I normally take 3 2g/ doses, spread out through the day, but on hiking days the third dose is at the halfway point in my hike. Yet the most important dose seems the one before bed (and after a restful night when the little soldier springs to life, sort of). So on Wednesday I took a fourth dose before bed. Thursday I had a big job to do; the monthly making of the cat food, which involves whacking two 6 lb. chickens and a 2 lb. beef roast into bite size pieces. Takes 4-5 hours. I was pleasantly surprised that I had plenty of energy, not a bit tired, nor am I today. I know, it would be way easier to have guinea pigs, but once you have cats you’re stuck with them. I feel better, sleep better, urinary function has improved, and I have greater exercise capacity than I did before. Highly recommend it.

    Reply
  82. David Bailey

    Malcolm wrote:
    “Things seem very clear when I am walking about, but the moment I try to get started – glomp.”

    My suggestion would be to write out a sketch of a new blog – something like
    Discuss Paper A
    Discuss paper B
    Discuss additional evidence.
    File that, and then next time you sit down to write, just expand one of those topics into something a bit less sketchy. Before you know, you will have a wonderful blog. Sometimes I write software that way!

    The fact that you don’t have to write linearly helps a lot.

    Also, don’t forget that when you moderate the comments on your blog, it lets us all discuss ideas among ourselves.

    Reply
  83. Martin Back

    An alternative, non-vaccine, cause of autism is suggested by Katherine Reid. She is a PhD biochemist whose fifth child, a daughter, was diagnosed with autism. She also had co-morbidities like GI issues, inflammation, allergies, and asthma, and would eat only a few foods — bagels, macaroni, pizza — and refused to eat vegetables.

    Dr Reid tried many different therapies which didn’t work. Hearing from other parents that cutting out gluten and casein helped, she tried eliminating them from her child’s diet, and the child improved somewhat. Wondering what the connection between gluten and casein might be, she put her biochemical skills to work, and discovered it was glutamate.

    Glutamate is an amino acid used by all living creatures and in humans is a neurotransmitter responsible for activating over 40% of our nervous system, as well as involved in digestion, learning, inflammation , and immune response.

    But while glutamate makes up only 5-10% of the average protein, it makes up over 25% of gluten and casein. Dr Reid’s theory was that ultra-processing of grain and dairy products degrades the proteins, creating excess free glutamate which the nervous system cannot cope with.

    However, removing grains and dairy was only partially successful in healing her child. So Dr Reid started looking for other sources of glutamate. An obvious culprit is monosodium glutamate, widely used as a flavour enhancer. It turns out that MSG or its close analogues are in a huge variety of processed foods, even in some herbal teas with “natural flavourings” which turn out to contain MSG.

    In fact, it is estimated that the average American consumes 53 grams of glutamate every day. Note also that over 25% of Americans suffer from a diagnosable disorder affecting the brain in a given year.

    A literature search revealed more than a million sources dealing with various diseases and disorders — ADHD, mood disorders, autism, diabetes, obesity — associated with glutamate dysfunction. Glutamate blocker drugs are big business, but have adverse affects.

    MSG has been added to US food since WWI, when returning soldiers complained US food didn’t taste as good as Japanese food. Currently Americans consume about 15 g/day, much of it from glutamate freed from hydrolysed protein rather than from added MSG, so it doesn’t appear on food labels.

    Dr Reid wanted to eliminate as much free glutamate as possible from her daughter’s diet, discovering in the process the many guises glutamate shelters under — natural flavors, hydrolyzed substances, added protein, many other additives — used by manufacturers to make food taste good.

    JW Olney first raised the alarm about glutamate in 1969. The food industry responded by forming the International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC) with many different subsidiaries, devoted to keeping glutamate in the food supply. It has over 50 different publications, which completely swamp any negative papers.

    Glutamate is a by-product of protein fermentation which takes place naturally in the human gut. Many gut microbes need glutamate to survive.

    Dr Reid devised the Reduced Excitatory Inflammatory Diet (REID) program, consisting mostly of high-fibre, nutrient-rich vegetables and smoothies, along with healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, etc, and of course no glutamate-containing processed foods. The intention to feed the gut microbes with fibre to keep them happy.

    After a five-week trial period on the diet her daughter became very social, lively, and joyful, her language improved, she conveyed emotion and engaged with the world. Currently she is no longer diagnosed with autism.

    Dr Reid herself went on the diet and her pollen allergy and headaches and brain fog, all of which she had assumed were normal, disappeared. Her mood improved and she lost weight.

    Regarding vaccination, in response to a question Dr Reid said her daughter had had all the usual vaccines. She didn’t notice any particular connection with vaccination. She thinks a course of antibiotics she went on while six months pregnant might have had an affect.

    Short video, including a scary clip of her daughter having a 4-hour screechy melt-down

    Longer video plus Q&A, on which most of this comment is based.

    There is also a non-profit, Unblind My Mind promoting nutrition as a treatment for chronic conditions, and a blog and a twitter feed, which appear to be dormant. Dr Reid appears to focus on talks and personal consultations.

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Martin, Stephanie Seneff has postulated that glyphosate also seems to correlate with autism. In that case it may be the glyphosate, or the adjuvants in the mix. “Autism” is a broad brush term, and may not properly describe the condition in any one sufferer. (“sufferer” should reapply be “victim” as “suffer” indicates that permission was given. I doubt it was.).

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        AhNotepad: Yes, it was a big mistake to allow what is quaintly called the “psychiatric profession” to get ahold of this condition in the first place. It is not a psychiatric condition, but clearly an organic one, a result of neurological injury, with gut manifestations in most. Medicine shoots itself in the foot once again.

    2. Martin Back

      What got me started researching MSG was I made a beef stew and added two stock cubes instead of my usual one. That night I had a terrible night — restless, couldn’t sleep, didn’t feel myself. The only thing I could think of was the extra stock cube. They are mostly salt and MSG with a fat binder and some herbs.

      I make my food fresh from scratch, with very little commercial processed content, not even sauces or dressings, so my MSG consumption would be much lower than the average American’s. Maybe that’s why it hit me so hard. I’ll certainly take steps to avoid it in future.

      Reply
  84. Göran Sjöberg

    The more you read (study) about medicine with sceptic eyes the more you lose hope about medical “progress” and just see the opposite – the Big Pharma corruption.

    Just now i am putting my teeth deep into the book “RIGOR MORTIS” by Richard Harris. He is a believer in the present medical system (while I am not) though he consider that the present medical research system as “dead” (Rigor Mortis) and that we can not trust any paper that is produced.

    I don’t know why I am reading this kind of books since I am already convinced (as Malcolm) about the shortcomings of what is going on. It is though a kind iof confirmation.

    And, still I can recommend reading the book – well written!

    Reply
  85. Gary Ogden

    Still writer’s block. Rats. Hope everything is fine with you otherwise, Dr. Kendrick. Just wanted to share something I’ve rediscovered, Mark Sisson has talked about this, and now I am fairly certain he is right. We do need more protein as we age, especially if we are actively doing muscle-building activities. Citrulline makes my hikes and workouts easier and recovery faster, but taking more protein, both from food and whey powder, makes me stronger and improves my endurance. I aim for at least twice the recommended amount (usually 1g/kg body weight), although I eyeball rather than measure. I think this is important for improved health.

    Reply
    1. AnnieLaurie Burke

      Check out Dr. GAbrielle Lyons’ research on protein needs as we age. Fascinating info.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        AnnieLaurie: I watched an interview two years ago with Gabrielle Lyons, when it was recorded, in which she talked about protein. I had forgotten some of the crucial information, so I watched it again. Thanks for reminding me. Very important information about amount and timing. I would recommend everyone watch it, as sarcopenia is one of the scourges of aging, and as she says, muscle is the “organ of longevity.”

  86. Christopher Palmer

    It is not writers block you are experiencing, Malcolm, I do not think.

    However there may be occasions in life when a person realises old and familiar questions can be interrogated from new and unfamiliar angles or approached from alternate points of an academic compass. This may the one radical step that engenders a new enlightenment, all-be-that one that may be difficult to express in spoken and/or written words. If this diagnoses the cause of your ‘block’ then I suggest that the words will come to you in time.
    Read Schrodinger on the matter of ‘What Is Life’. Rather lIke Darwin on evolution he had to talk around the question and offer observations rather than offer specific and truly objective answers. For all their difficulties neither Schrodinger nor Darwin were lost for words, but the difficulties their curiosities presented made it difficult for them to find the right ones.

    Top tip: Ask yourself what is stickiness? This is a general question. Rephrase this question as what renders matter sticky?

    Now be advised that physicists are now confident that there exist only four fundamental forces of nature that each result in a kind of ‘stickiness’ but each have alternate spheres of influence and distinguished properties.
    Having thought about that question in general terms apply the same kind of fundamentalism to the question of thrombogenesis. I do not know the answer(s) but truly dispassionate fundamentalism assures me that thrombogeneis must involve a contrasting shift in expression in the expression and influence of the force of electromagnetism at cellular and molecular level as applies to platelets.

    I can set you up for a thought experiment (though not in public). If you follow this through you will appreciate that Shrodingers primary hindrance was to go at the question, What is Life?, head on, when a sideways approach may have reduced the question to its more fundamental concerns.

    Reply

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