Review of statins needed

7th September 2019

In the UK, it has been decided that high intensity statins can now be sold over the counter to people – no prescription required. The European Society of Cardiology has decreed that there is no normal level for cholesterol, the lower the better. It goes on, and on.

However, there are some glimmers of light, occasionally. Aseem Malhotra, and I, wrote a letter to Sir Norman Lamb MP. Chairman of the Science and Technology Select Committee – at his request – asking for a review of statins, and safety issues.

It was reported in the few news outlets that had any space left after Brexit. You can see the video on Sky with Aseem, here


(or here is the link to YouTube… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxCO9iiJYDw)

The letter is below.

Sir Normal Lamb MP

Chairman, Science and Technology Select Committee
29/08/2019

Dear Norman,

Re: The need for an independent reappraisal of the effects of statins

Statins are the most widely prescribed class of drugs in the UK.[1] They were designed to lower the blood cholesterol (LDL) level and therefore prevent cardiovascular disease.

Publications based on clinical trials have reported reductions in cardiovascular disease in people at high and low risk, and also a very low rate of side effects (drug-related adverse events).

It has been widely claimed that statins have therefore been responsible for the considerable reduction in the cardiovascular disease seen over the past 30 years both in the UK  and the rest of the Western World,[2] but there is evidence that refutes this claim. An ecological study using national databases of dispensed medicines and mortality rates, published in 2015, concluded: ‘Among the Western European countries studied, the large increase in statin utilisation between 2000 and 2012 was not associated with CHD mortality, nor with its rate of change over the years.[3] In the UK, despite far greater statin prescribing, the rate of cardiovascular disease has been rising for the past four years.[4]

In the absence of an analysis of the clinical trial data carried out by an independent group with full access to the raw data in the form of “clinical study reports”, there is good reason to believe that the benefits of statins have been ‘overhyped’ especially in those at low risk of cardiovascular disease, and the potential harms downplayed, unpublished, or uncollected.

Positive spin on the benefits of statins

It is well recognised that ‘positive spin’ is used to ‘hype’ the results from clinical trials. This should not happen but is widespread. According to one review: ‘Clinical researchers are obligated to present results objectively and accurately to ensure readers are not misled. In studies in which primary end points are not statistically significant, placing a spin, defined as the manipulation of language to potentially mislead readers from the likely truth of the results, can distract the reader and lead to misinterpretation and misapplication of the findings.’[5]

The authors continued: ‘This study suggests that in reports of cardiovascular RCTs with statistically nonsignificant primary outcomes, investigators often manipulate the language of the report to detract from the neutral primary outcomes. To best apply evidence to patient care, consumers of cardiovascular research should be aware that peer review does not always preclude the use of misleading language in scientific articles.’ [5]

As one example of such positive spin in relation to statins, the lead author of the JUPITER trial, Paul Ridker, writing in a commentary in the journal Circulation, summarised apparently statistically significant benefits between statin and placebo:

 The JUPITER trial was stopped early at the recommendation of its Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board after a median follow-up of 1.9 years (maximum follow-up 5 years) because of a 44% reduction in the trial primary end point of all vascular events (P<0.00001), a 54% reduction in myocardial infarction (P=0.0002), a 48% reduction in stroke (P=0.002), a 46% reduction in need for arterial revascularization (P<0.001), and a 20% reduction in all cause mortality (P=0.02).’ [6]

Picking up on these figures, another well-known cardiologist wrote in equally positive terms: ‘Data from the 2008 JUPITER Trial suggest a 54 percent heart attack risk reduction and a 48 percent stroke risk reduction in people at risk for heart disease who used statins as preventive medicine. I don’t think anyone doubts statins save lives.’[7]

In fact in the JUPITER trial there was no statistically significant difference in deaths from cardiovascular disease among those taking rosuvastatin compared with placebo. There were 12 deaths from stroke and myocardial infarction in both groups among those receiving placebo, exactly the same number as in the rosuvastatin arm.[8] So the results of this clinical trial do not support claims that statins save lives from cardiovascular disease. This dissonance between the actual results of statin trials and the way they are reported is widespread.[9]

Other studies, looking at whether statins increase in life expectancy have found that, in high risk patients, they may extend life by approximately four days, after five years of treatment.[10] Doubts have also been raised about the claims of benefit in otherwise healthy people aged over 75, in whom statins are now being actively promoted.[11]

An overview of systematic reviews that examined the benefits of statins using only data from patients at low risk of cardiovascular disease found that those taking statins had fewer events than those not taking statins. However, when the results were stratified by the patients’ baseline risk, there was no statistically significant benefit for the majority of outcomes.[12] In conclusion, the absolute benefits in people at low risk are relatively small. If the 2016 guidelines are implemented in full, large numbers of otherwise healthy people will be offered statins, it has been estimated that 400 will need to take statins for five years to prevent one person from suffering a cardiovascular event.[13]

This information is not routinely given to patients, or indeed doctors who prescribe statins, and both doctors and patients therefore tend to have false expectations of the benefits of statins. Clinical guidelines call for shared decision making, including informing patients of the actual likelihood of benefits and risks, but this rarely occurs. There are also obvious questions in relation to value-for-money and the efficient use of finite healthcare budgets.

Side effects/adverse effects underplayed

There has been a heated debate about the adverse effects of statins. On one side, it is claimed that the rate of adverse effects is extremely low, affecting fewer than one in a thousand people.[14] Other studies have suggested adverse events are common, with up to 45% of people reporting problems.[15]

Attempts to resolve this important controversy have been hampered by the fact that  the data on adverse effects reported in the clinical trials are not available for scrutiny by independent researchers. The data from the major trials of statins are held by the Cholesterol Treatment Triallists Collaboration (CTT) in Oxford and they have agreed amongst themselves not to allow access by anyone else.[16] Many groups, have called for access to these data, but so far, this has not been granted.[17]

It is not even clear whether the CTT themselves have all the adverse effect data, since the relevant Cochrane Review Group does not seem to have had access to them. According to Professor Harriet Rosenberg of the Health and Society Program at York University: “It’s not clear if the AE (adverse events) data was withheld from the Cochrane reviewers (by CTT) or were not collected in the original trials.”[18]

When asked the lead author of the Cochrane review, Dr Shah Ebrahim, the CTT did not have the data. “Full disclosure of all the adverse events by type and allocation from the RCTs is now really needed, as the CTT does not seem to have these data.”[18]

Release of the data would undoubtedly help answer the question on how and whether the trials collected data on the most common side effects of muscle pain, weakness or cramps.

Summary

Rather than mass prescription based on incomplete and selective information, patients and the public deserve an objective account so that individuals can make their own informed decisions.

We believe there is now an urgent need for a full independent parliamentary investigation into statins:

  • a class of drug prescribed to millions in the UK and tens of millions across the world.
  • which, based on the publications available, have had their benefits subjected to significant positive spin, especially among people at low risk of cardiovascular disease, and their potential adverse effects downplayed
  • where independence would mean review of the complete trial data by experts with no ties to industry and who have not previously undertaken or meta-analysed clinical trials of statins.

Among the signatories to this letter, there are a range of views: some of us are deeply sceptical of the benefits of statins, others are neutral or agnostic. But all are strongly of the view that such confusion, doubt and lack of transparency about the effects of a class of drug that is so widely prescribed is truly shocking and must be a matter of major public concern.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Aseem Malhotra, NHS Consultant Cardiologist and Visiting Professor of Evidence Based Medicine, Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Salvador, Brazil.

Dr John Abramson, Lecturer, Department of Healthcare Policy, Harvard Medical School

Dr JS Bamrah CBE, Chairman, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.

Dr Kailash Chand OBE, Honorary Vice President of the British Medical Association  (signing in a personal capacity)

Professor Luis Correia, Cardiologist, Director of the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine, Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Salvador Brazil. Editor in Chief, The Journal of Evidence Based Healthcare

Dr Michel De-Lorgeril, Cardiologist, TIMC-IMAG, School of Medicine, University of Grenoble-Alpes, Grenoble, France.

Dr David Diamond, Cardiovascular Research Scientist, Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA

Dr Jason Fung, Nephrologist and Chief of the Department of Medicine, The Scarborough Hospital, Toronto, Canada and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Insulin Resistance.

Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief, The BMJ

Dr Malcolm Kendrick, General Practitioner

Dr Campbell Murdoch, General Practitioner, NHS England Sustainable Improvement Team, Clinical Adviser

Professor Rita Redberg, Cardiologist, University of California, San-Francisco.

Professor Sherif Sultan, President, International Vascular Society

Sir Richard Thompson, Past President, The Royal College of Physicians

Professor Shahriar Zehtabchi, Editor in Chief, TheNNT.com, and Professor and Vice Chairman for Scientific Affairs Research, SUNY Downstate Health Science University, Brooklyn, New York

1: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/treatments/statins

2: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1933287415004493

3: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e010500

4: https://www.bhf.org.uk/what-we-do/news-from-the-bhf/news-archive/2019/may/heart-and-circulatory-disease-deaths-in-under-75s-see-first-sustained-rise-in-50-years

5: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2732330

6: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.109.868299

7: https://utswmed.org/medblog/statins-debate/

8: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0807646

9:https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272189007_How_statistical_deception_created_the_appearance_that_statins_are_safe_and_effective_in_primary_and_secondary_prevention_of_cardiovascular_disease

10:  https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/9/e007118

  1. Armitage J, Baigent C, Barnes E, Betteridge DJ, Blackwell L, Blazing M, et al. Efficacy and safety of statin therapy in older people: a meta-analysis of individual participant data from 28 randomised controlled trials. The Lancet. 2019;393(10170):407-15.
  2. Byrne P, Cullinan J, Smith A, Smith SM. Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: an overview of systematic reviews. BMJ Open. 2019; 9(4):[e023085 p.]. Available from: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/9/4/e023085.full.pdf.
  3. Byrne P, Cullinan J, Gillespie P, Perera R, Smith SM. Statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: modelling guidelines and patient preferences based on an Irish cohort. Br J Gen Pract. 2019. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp19X702701.

14: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31357-5/fulltext

15: https://www.lipid.org/nla/usage-survey

16: https://www.ctsu.ox.ac.uk/research/ctt

17: https://www.bmj.com/campaign/statins-open-data

18: http://healthinsightuk.org/2015/02/19/keep-statin-supremo-away-from-the-missing-side-effect-data/

 

Will this have any impact, on anything. We must keep bashing away, until the nonsense about cholesterol – has gone.

194 thoughts on “Review of statins needed

  1. Michael

    “Thanks, Mav, that was really great. Oh, shit! Maybe I should become a truck driver. Mav, do you remember the number of that truck driving school that was on TV the other night, Truck America or something like that?” Sooner or later they will come after you Malcolm….be careful eh?

    Reply
    1. mmec7

      Will add my own thanks – and I also have printed off to hand to my GP – who was quite upset when I told him ‘No’ to statins, this following a very recent AVC – yes, am doing good. No doubt the post-ACV specialist I am to see in two weeks time will be equally determined that I take statins, no way ! And I have printed off an additional copy for her. Will advise of any interesting updates…!

      On Sat, Sep 7, 2019 at 11:43 PM Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

      > Michael commented: “”Thanks, Mav, that was really great. Oh, shit! Maybe I > should become a truck driver. Mav, do you remember the number of that truck > driving school that was on TV the other night, Truck America or something > like that?” Sooner or later they will come afte” >

      Reply
  2. Dave

    “Sir Normal Lamb MP”?
    Did you really call him that?

    Sadly Sir Norman recently announced that he would not stand at the next election,so let us hope he can achieve something with the letter very quickly.

    Reply
  3. Ria Lloyd

    Thank you Malcolm got again unraveling their lies.
    Have you looked into the statin injection valid fir 6 months yet? They claim this had less or no side effects. H I would welcome your thoughts on this.
    FYI. On my recent renewal of travel insurance I was asked if I suffered from high cholesterol. I asked what they regarded as high? They had no answer.

    Reply
    1. Frederica Huxley

      Even worse, I was asked whether anyone had ever suggested I take statins! Answering no is a lie; answering yes, and admitting that I don’t take statins just raised the premium.

      Reply
    2. StephenR

      I don’t wish to preempt Malcolm’s reply, but PCSK9 inhibitors prevent cells that have no need of any more ‘cholesterol’ containing lipoprotein packages from stopping expressing the protein ‘hook’ that catches then draws in the package.

      The effect is to cause cells that do not need any more of the content of lipoprotein ‘packages’ to continue hoovering up said packages and thus reducing circulating cholesterol.

      What could possibly go wrong? I have no idea, but I am sure that someone will have carried out the tests that will have demonstrated the safety – wouldn’t they?

      Reply
  4. Dave

    Oh, I forgot to ask. In the meantime can you recommend any source that gives what you view as a reasonable summary of statins? Specifically, when are they worth taking, if at all?

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Dave: All three of Dr. Kendrick’s books: “The Great Cholesterol Con,” “Doctoring Data,” and “A Statin Nation.” Also, the THINCS website. Also the Spacedoc website (which I think is still active, although he has passed). Also Uffe Ravnskov’s books. Also “Malignant Medical Myths” (which covers lots of other topics in the quackery which often passes for medicine and lifestyle advice).

      Reply
  5. P M Sykes

    Dear Malcolm,

    Excellent post.

    I wouldn’t rely too much on objectivity or upholding of trial standards by Fiona Godlee.  A small selection:

    http://www.virology.ws/2019/06/12/trial-by-error-a-letter-to-bristol-about-my-recent-foi-request/

    • • •http://www.virology.ws/2019/06/24/trial-by-error-another-review-mentions-lp-study-and-prompts-more-letters/

    •http://www.virology.ws/2019/06/26/trial-by-error-an-update-about-the-pediatric-mus-systematic-review/

    •http://www.virology.ws/2019/07/15/trial-by-error-our-exchange-with-bmj-journal-about-correction-of-lp- study/?fbclid=IwAR00ZI5NchnvWhfTbvt9REZUX1xLxldXvacRni9Zgv1RnE9r8gGsEb7WJXs

    •http://www.virology.ws/2019/08/28/trial-by-error-an-open-letter-to-dr-godlee-about-bmjs-ethically-bankrupt-actions/ Trial by Error: An Open Letter to Dr Godlee about BMJ’s Ethically Bankrupt Actions

    Kind regards,

    Pauline Sykes

    Reply
  6. The Wizard

    A clear and concise (given the abundance of evidence against statin benefits) letter explaining the key issues. Unfortunately, it will immediately hit the back burner or be kicked into the long grass. As you say, keep on bashing away; slavery wasn’t abolished in a heartbeat ( no pun intended ).
    The medico/pHARMa ecosystem is corrupt to the core, as are many of our so called “regulatory bodies”. As for our politicians, the less said the better.
    More dissonance today on the beloved BBC, straight from the ever so independent and reliably trustworthy siblings, the CDC and the FDA; apparently they have a “health crisis/emergency” in the US because of teenage vaping. Kids are dropping like flies in a hurricane, UK citizens beware. Emphasize in bold letters and voiceovers that there’s a link with THC and shock horror, the evil weed CANNABIS. Try repeatedly to put words in the mouth of an “expert” AFTER she has clearly stated that the suspect is an illegal thickening oil/agent ( vitamin E acetate ) and NOT the thc/cannabis.
    Meanwhile, continue to deny patients medical cannabis, vaccinate indiscriminately, fill the coffers with alcohol/tobacco duty and fill the shelves with statins etc etc etc. Surely a dystopian backdrop for a Hollywood blockbuster.

    Reply
  7. Mr Brian Fullerton

    1. Climate Change / Emergency (based on computer modeling and not reality / raw data)
    2. The War on (fill in the blank)
    3. Globalization / anti democratic actions (Pro EU / anti BREXIT ..project fear 1, 2, 3 etc etc)
    3. More and more and more Vaccinations
    4. You have a health problem….then the answer is always big pharma drugs… if not then even more big pharma drugs (Statins for ALL)
    The common thread here…….MORE money and control for the top 1%
    BY THE USE OF FEAR
    Problem [invent one]….Reaction [hype to the heavens]…”Solution” [repression]

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Brian, a comprehesive list of the corruption triggers used by those so concerned with “public” health, they are just giving the impression of doing good, while actually driving it the opposite direction. Don’t forget the imminent arrival of 5g, supported in the UK by the leaders of extinction rebellion, and the minister Nicky Morgan, minister for digital, culture, media and sport. What a dog’s breakfast. She sees the only point of significance is faster downloads and better communications, but none of the dire health implications. Watch out for Ian R. Crane and the 5g awareness tour around the country. If 5g goes ahead, we will be selectively toasted. No doubt statins will be touted as a miracle protection for the “non-existent” dangers of focussed milimetre waves.

      Reply
    2. AhNotepad

      Brian Fullerton, a comprehesive list of the corruption triggers used by those so concerned with “public” health, they are just giving the impression of doing good, while actually driving it the opposite direction. Don’t forget the imminent arrival of 5g, supported in the UK by the leaders of extinction rebellion, and the minister Nicky Morgan, minister for digital, culture, media and sport. What a dog’s breakfast. She sees the only point of significance is faster downloads and better communications, but none of the dire health implications. Watch out for Ian R. Crane and the 5g awareness tour around the country. If 5g goes ahead, we will be selectively toasted. No doubt statins will be touted as a miracle protection for the “non-existent” dangers of focussed milimetre waves.

      Reply
  8. Jennifer

    Thank you for this important letter. I hope Sir Norman Lamb is amenable to its contents.
    Another worry at the moment (re:- the B word…sorry) is the position our Government is taking regarding the Yellowhammer reports, and the vilification of Dr David Nichols.
    I have been communicating with my blinkered MP for some time now regarding health issues, and all fall on deaf ears, I am sorry to say.
    But, back to statins….my great endocrinologist never mentions the topic to me these days, and my GP doesn’t authorise lipid profiles any longer when I have my routine bloods checked. Two gold stars for my determination, I reckon.

    Reply
    1. Jerome Savage

      Canada CHD deaths are not decreasing according to this,
      https://www.statista.com/statistics/882535/diagnosed-heart-disease-number-of-deaths-canada/
      Ischemic heart disease has also increased along with incidents of acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks).
      Meanwhile in Scotland, always a blackspot, there appears to be some success but the rates of actual heart attack has reduced insignificantly.
      https://www.statista.com/statistics/382345/acute-myocardial-infarction-incidence-rate-by-gender-in-scotland/
      Cannot immediately find other national stats but wil keep trying.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: Thanks. Good to see improvement in Scotland, but worrisome in Canada. Would be more enlightening if the figures were given by percentage of population. Absolute numbers ignore population growth.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Jerome Savage: Another thought: Why two categories? Seems deaths from IHD and Mi would be at least overlapping, if not nearly the same. Did the MI’s die after the heart stopped for good, and the IHD’s expire with the heart still beating? That would be quite a trick. What about HF? A rise in this could certainly be blamed on statins. What about the contribution of DM to all of these conditions? That could partially be blamed on statins. What about canola oil, in the Canadians? The Canadians I’ve talked to, even those skeptical of mainstream nutritional propaganda, consider it a point of national pride.

      3. Jerome Savage

        Gary My summary may have been a little misleading. The graph in the 1st link refer to “deaths in Canada attributable to ischemic heart disease and acute myocardial infarction from 2000-2013.” Combined.
        The Scottish graph refers to “incidents”

    2. Stuart

      The greatly reduced number of people who smoke must have had an effect given how bad it is for your arteries (and every other part of your body).

      Reply
    3. StephenR

      Maybe its like the cases of measles in fully vaccinated children “can’t be measles, they have been vaccinated” must be misdiagnosis.

      Reply
  9. errett

    Congratulations—prodigious sums of money in competition with medical ethics—in a world awash in relativism. If we live long enough we may see this engender a profound cultural shift.

    Reply
  10. brainunwashed

    1. Climate change/emergency (based on computer models and not raw data / facts)
    2. The war on (fill in the blank..[then count the bodies and total the billions])
    3. The subversion of democracy (pro EU anti BREXIT project fear 1,2,3, etc etc)
    4. More and more and yet more (dangerous and or useless /ineffective) Vaccines.
    5. What ever the health problem the answer will ALWAYS be patented big pharma DRUGS (Statins for ALL) and if that does not work then the answer is MORE drugs.
    What is the common thread in ALL the above:-
    More control / money transfer to the (Globalist) 1% than they already have by the use of FEAR (Fear of drowning / cooking / getting blown up / losing money / losing jobs / getting a deadly infection / having a heart attack etc etc)
    PROBLEM [invent it]…..REACTION [hype it to death]…..SOLUTION [authoritarian / nannying state interventions]

    Reply
  11. Rob Pankratz

    Thank you again for continuing the battle for sanity and clarity in this age where peer review has been co-opted by subtle advomercials.
    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
    -Martin Luther King Jr

    Reply
  12. Jan

    Thank you Malcolm for publishing this in your blog. I have sent it on to my GP. What is the cost of the prescriptions for statins to the NHS? In the absence of sound evidence to support their efficacy and with the jury out on the true rate of side effects can the continuation of the status quo really continue? My mum has been prescribed statins but is too worried to tell the drs who trot out the usual benefits that she is not taking them. I wonder how many others are doing the same. It is of concern that such a medicine could be available as OTC. It is not uncommon for lay people to misuse OTC and statins could be catastrophic if used as preventative say due to family history and then someone finds out they are pregnant. Please keep up the fight. The principles are wider than this.

    Reply
    1. Craig E

      I got my mum off statins but her doctor yelled at her and scared her into recommencing. I wrote a letter to the doc with references to change her view. Needless to say it was filed under ‘b’ for bin, even though she acknowledged I made some good points.

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Gary Ogden
        Very good. Why didn’t I think of that ?
        We might add to those who benefit, those who treat those who suffer side affects, physiotherapists, neurologists, psychiatrists, liver specialists and ironically – heart surgeons.

  13. Robert Axford

    In Ref 7 it refers to “have now written to England’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies, asking her to call for and fund an independent review of the evidence on statins.”

    Do you know what her reply was and the outcomes of this,ie reasons to or not to investigate?

    Thanks

    Reply
  14. Gary Ogden

    A fine piece of work! Especially the last paragraph. What is needed, as well, is a complete separation, a firewall, so to speak, between all medical research and industry funds, especially in academic institutions. Between all regulatory bodies and industry funds. And between WHO and all private funding, including “charitable.” Thanks to all of you for speaking up.

    Reply
  15. gillpurple

    Thank you, Malcolm. Great letter and great post. Informed consent appears to be a problem in hospitals as well as primary care – but, as you say, if some doctors are convinced statins are as effective as Fortress Statin claim then those doctors might not see much point in having a discussion about the benefits and possible adverse events.

    I did actually see a reasonably sensible health report tonight on the BBC about weight bearing exercise to help with bone density for older women – and not even a hint of a mention about calcium tablets or alendronic acid. There might be hope yet.

    Reply
    1. mand Season

      In my experience, those who do “inform” the patient are giving information that’s skewed, because that’s the information they themselves have been given. Mostly the doctors have the best of intentions. 😦

      Reply
      1. gillpurple

        Agree. Doctors are trying to do their best for their patients but the establishment keeps tying their hands behind their back some of the time.When mine suggested statins I said “no thanks” – he was absolutely fine, and I get the feeling that he is well in the know about statins.

      1. chris c

        I think the date is UK format, 3rd September. Yes Aseem always knocks it out of the park. Despite the increasing quantity of science the zealots are doubling down. Now to hit Malcolm’s references too.

      2. chris c

        This one has a particularly excellent graph

        https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e010500

        reminds me of this oldie but goldie

        http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/02/cholesterol-presentation-between.html

        I wonder if Ancel Keys was a secret Seventh Day Adventist, I never saw any evidence but he was very anti-meat, except for himself. I read that a journalist spotted him eating steak in a restaurant confronted him, to be told “My diet is for other people”. Along those lines I wonder how many of the “experts” take statins themselves.

  16. mmec7

    Will add my own thanks – and I also have printed off to hand to my GP – who was quite upset when I told him ‘No’ to statins, this following a very recent AVC – yes, am doing good. No doubt the post-AVC specialist I am to see in two weeks time will be equally determined that I take statins, no way ! And I have printed off an additional copy for her. Will advise of any interesting updates…!

    Reply
      1. mmec7

        Apologies, Gary et al : AVC it is the way it is written up in France : accident, vascular cerebral. Bit of a stroke, but am doin OK. Slurred speech, bit dribbly, ‘Tottering By Gently’ – to echo my latest David Austin Rose !

      2. Gary Ogden

        mmec7: Thanks for the explanation. Glad you’re doing OK. My father-in-law, who will soon be 86, has made a remarkable recovery from a stroke three years ago, including being able to taste and smell food, which took a couple of years. Very slight limp. Hard of hearing and refuses to wear a hearing aid (stubbornness runs in the family), so you have to talk loud, though not shout.

      3. mand Season

        @mmec7 and Gary (and anyone): my best tip for recovering from stroke is never believe anything anyone says about how long it takes to recover. Read Jill Bolte Taylor (or find her TED talk) – she found recovery continued for eight years. I certainly noticed a plateau at around eight years, but I also think I’m still seeing subtle improvements here n there after thirteen, and no expectation that it won’t continue. They said that after six months not much more would get better… and if I’d believed that, it probably wouldn’t have. (What? Not believe every word the doctors say??!!)

      4. chris c

        My favourite stroke story was Rahsaan Roland Kirk, a very strange jazz musician who could play three saxophones at once. Initially he was almost completely paralysed but nearly everything came back except for a couple of fingers and a dead spot on his lip which meant he could only play two saxophones at once.

        I had a friend who made an almost complete recovery and another who died, so no promises . . .

  17. Anthony Poole

    It is such a pity that these posts are used as vehicles to highlight Brexit and other issues unrelated to the medical themes of this blog series.(“Mr Brian Fullerton” and “brainunwashed”).
    “Flat Earthers” will be next up I guess!

    Reply
    1. michael

      Too right. Please , no more right wing conspiracy theory crap I hope this is email might be the last mention of trump, ukip etc. One can only hope
      Let’s stick to heart and health issues

      Reply
  18. JDPatten

    It’s my understanding that most early research is generally included in meta-analyses of statins, and that those “RCTs” are generally flawed, not even coming up to current inadequate standards.
    How true is this? Really!
    If true, then what can be gained by a new critical look at “research” already done?
    Would acquiring all that withheld data (flawed?) really make a difference?
    How prohibitively expensive (and to whom?) would starting from scratch be? (I can already hear the resounding Establishment response to that one.)

    Reply
  19. Ruth Baills

    I want to scream from the roof tops, don’t take statins, you may as well take some smarties.

    I am an Aussie and smarties are made by Nestlé “Keep things fun and colourful with Nestle Smarties! These yummy milk chocolate buttons are encased in a sweet and crispy shell, and contain no artificial colours or flavours. They come in various packaging and are perfect for snacking on the go, or sharing with friends”.

    Reply
  20. Anna M

    I’ve known for 25 years that I would never take a statin. Except…there’s this book called How To Starve Cancer and I believe it is a game changer. This very advanced cancer patient began to go through the published articles and one by one found that certain older medications had off label benefits in cancer treatment. She is a layperson who has become very knowledgeable about the many pathways and changes that cancer cells undergo over time, allowing them to use not only sugar but protein and fats for fuel, as well as other metabolic abnormalities of cancer. And because cancer has all these avenues available to it, she emphasizes that you must not make the mistake (as chemo does) of treating one pathway at a time. No, you must close all the exits at once so that it cannot move.

    To do this there are a number of drugs to take in a cocktail, such as propranolol, persantin, diyridamole, doxycycline, mebendazole, metformin. And statins. Statins specifically in combo with, I believe, an NSAID. She claims there are water loving statins and fat loving, and one is the right one to be using.

    Since I am now in Mexico at a cancer treatment clinic, I was able to purchase most of these at the pharmacy without prescription. It can be difficult to find a cooperative doctor to prescribe them, but there is a group now in England who are doing this. Out of pocket, unfortunately.

    I am impressed with this clinic and how they can turn cancer around. Most people who come here are fairly hopeless and advanced. That includes me and I had a fair amount of tumor mass that has all turned around. I hope I can keep this momentum going when I go home.

    I never thought I would consider a statin! She thinks this older one (I bought atorvastatin) is fairly safe.
    Because the out of pocket expense of this 6-week stay here is so high I have started a funding campaign. I hope it is OK for me to post it.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/annas-cancer-battle

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      Anna, I have a question: if you are using this drug cocktail to cut off a number of pathways, what happens to the regular cells? Thanks.

      Reply
      1. Anna M

        That question is beyond my ability to answer, especially as this is all new. I expect that what happens to the cells is whatever happens when people take these meds for their other problems. Metformin may have actually useful affects, but most of the others have mild side effects. But they are relatively harmless; none of them are strong drugs, except possibly the statin.

      2. Sasha

        Thank you. If you don’t mind, I would be very interested to know how that protocol works out for you after you complete the initial phase.

    2. Stuart

      Thalidomide is also showing promise as an anticancer drug, so it just goes to show that a drug can have benefits that outweigh the costs.

      Anna, another source of information on possible alternative cancer treatments is
      https://www.cancertreatmentsresearch.com/
      run by a Romanian man who lost his wife to cancer. Seems to be science-based from what I’ve read of it.

      You should also probably read the book by Ben Williams “Surviving Terminal Cancer: Clinical Trials, Drug Cocktails, and Other Treatments Your Oncologist Won’t Tell You About”.

      Williams was a psychology professor at UCSD who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme in 1995. GBM is a rapidly growing brain cancer which kills patients within months. Because Williams had access to a medical library and the skills to analyse what he was reading he discovered that many existing drugs had anticancer properties. However he had to fight his oncologist, having to buy some of the drugs in Mexico that the oncologist refused to prescribe. In 2019 Williams is still alive with no recurrence of his cancer. You can read about him here:
      https://virtualtrials.com/williams.cfm# and the links there.
      Although that site and Williams’ book are focused on brain cancers there’s probably a lot of value for sufferers of other forms of cancer too.

      I’d also recommend you look at the videos on YouTube of the Epigenix Foundation on treating cancer with a ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. They began with dogs as proof of concept, with the aim of transitioning to human studies. They have had remarkable success in treating dogs with “incurable” cancer, to the point that some of these dogs have no detectable cancer at all. And these were animals that were originally scheduled to be euthanized! KD and HBOT worked best in conjunction with conventional therapies, not as substitutes. They mentioned that in one case after the dog no longer showed any signs of cancer it was reclaimed by its owner who failed to continue the ketogenic diet, the cancer recurred and the dog died. So the KD is for life if you want to live.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        According to Dr D’Agostino, there are cancers that use fat as fuel. And D’Agostino is as keto, as they come, I think..

      2. Anna M

        Thanks for this. I think I did read about this guy and his story is incredibly similar to McLelland’s. I didn’t know he had a book. As to the keto diet. I tried it. All I know is I tried a lot of things and the cancer grew. Thus me now at the clinic. Now I am probably going to go on a low animal product diet with some juicing and lots of veggies. But I will eat some grains.

      3. Anna M

        Sasha,

        Yes, McLelland says cancers can learn to live on protein and fats, including ketones! I fasted for 11 days – didn’t see improvement in cancer…what if mine was eating just fine on the ketones?

      4. BobM

        The cancer has to use the Warburg effect. Not all cancers do. (I’ve seen estimates that 80% do, but I have no idea whether that’s true.) Furthermore, even the cancers that use the Warburg effect can ferment l-glutamine. So, that’s another avenue. You have to use drugs that block that pathway. The KD, hyperbaric oxygen and drugs that affect l-glutamine fermentation have to be used in concert.

        If you’re in the United States, these are not the official guidelines. You have to move elsewhere.

        This is a helpful podcast with Professor Thomas Seyfried:
        http://2ketodudes.com/show.aspx?episode=169

    3. David Bailey

      Anna, I know everyone here wishes you the very best.

      Don’t worry in the slightest about taking a statin to get rid of your cancer – for one thing, I don’t suppose you will need to keep taking statins once you recover. Hopefully you will be lucky and manage without any statin side effects.

      Reply
      1. Anna M

        Sasha et al,

        I’ll be happy to keep you informed. I will never know though, what worked and what didn’t, as once you combine a few things it is too complicated. My main treatment is the home program (I’m home now) that consists of 10 supplements of various sorts, 2 twice weekly injections, and some heat inducing devices. One PEMF device.

        While at the clinic, 2 patients each had McLelland’s book and I borrowed it. So from this I am putting together that cocktail approach. She also suggests mebendazole, which she did not use and did not know about but it is being used now. This is an antiparasitic or worming medicine. I’m using that as well.

        I read that prostate cancer is more of a protein and fat cancer. I don’t know if it is the case that only 80% of cancers use the Warburg effect, but they are not all restricted to that – and that is the point. They can move on and use other pathways, not just for fuel, but for faulty cell signaling and blocking the immune system and metastasizing.

        I see now that to turn an entrenched cancer around probably takes a big heave-ho. Just this or that thing might not be enough. So I cannot be sure but I did tend toward keto the past few years. Not that I was in ketosis, but I was using the intermittent fasting and a high fat and animal protein diet with minimal sugar. So this spring I did keto perfectly for 5 or 6 weeks and then went on two long fasts. I’m sure my ketones were high.

        BobM,

        You say the US is the wrong country to be in for blocking these various pathways. But are any countries on board with a better approach? It seems to me that all the docs in the world get the same training. But some countries don’t have quite the lockdown on protocols as the western countries.

      2. BobM

        Anna, the post I have above with Thomas Seyfried discusses some countries where keto+ l-glutamine drugs + hyperbaric oxygen are being used.

        I wish you luck.

      3. Sasha

        Bob, do you mean Turkey? Do you have the link by any chance? I think I found the clinic, but I am not sure if that’s the one. Thank you

  21. Frances

    From Statins in UK to Contraceptive pills, over the counter, in Australia. A Plan to make contraceptive pills available over the counter, without prescription, is before the medicine watchdog.
    Under the proposal chemists would have to get patients to fill in a minor questionnaire about family history of heart problems, hypertension and stroke.

    The chemist would also have to provide an in-pharmacy blood pressure test to ensure the patients suitability for the medication.

    There would be a limit of three to six months supply in one visit.

    Reply
    1. Stuart

      Is this any different to what your GP would do? (As a male I have zero experience of being prescribed oral contraceptives so you’ll be more knowledgeable here) Bear in mind that pharmacists have more knowledge about drugs than your average doctor. I fail to see the point in requiring women who are taking OCs for years to attend a doctor simply to get a repeat prescription. Does the doc perform a thorough examination or does he/she just print out the scrip and goodbye? Surely if the patients were suffering side effects they would go see their doctor about them anyway.

      It’s not as if your average doctor (and even specialist) is particularly knowledgeable about drugs and their side effects. Back in the early 70s the most commonly prescribed OC in Australia was Schering’s Neogynon. A medical student friend told me that Neogynon had severe side effects in most women due to very high doses of estrogen. There were other OCs available with much lower estrogen dose (including from Schering) but the doctors were prescribing Neogynon because that was what the drug reps were marketing to them. Another example, in 1980 in preparation for an extensive trip through SE Asia and India I went to a medical clinic that claimed to specialise in travel medicine. When I filled the scrip for the antimalarial medication I discovered it was chloroquine. The countries I had told the doctor I was travelling to were known to have chloroquine-resistant strains of malaria. Consequently I could have died from the first attack of cerebral malaria and probably some of their other patients did.

      When my father was hospitalised with pneumonia they gave him diuretics to reduce peripheral edema due to Congestive Heart Failure. On discharge the GP took him off the diuretics as they were pushing him towards kidney failure. His cardiologist then insisted he go back on them. A week or two later he was evaluated by a geriatrician who made no comment on the medications. Then I discovered that one of his diabetes medications (pioglitazone, brand name Actos) had been banned in France and Germany. In researching this I then discovered that PE is a known side effect of Actos, particularly when combined with another of his diabetes drugs. In the doses he was on, the rate of PE was 12.5% – 1 in 8 – hardly a rare side effect! Both NICE and the NIH stated that Actos should not be prescribed to patients with CHF. Yet none of the hospital docs, the cardiologist or the geriatrician had mentioned any of this, let alone taken him off it. Given the prevalence of both diabetes and CHF in their patients you would expect the cardiologist and the geriatrician should know about this common side effect, but no. With the GPs concurrence I stopped the Actos and the PE subsided.

      My conclusion from all this is that not all doctors are as competent as Malcolm Kendrick and that as a patient you have to check for yourself.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        I would say, from my experience, most MD’s aren’t nearly as competent as Dr Kendrick and those he respects: Ravnskov, Goetze, etc (sorry if I misspelled their names).

  22. Mary

    Please can you carry out your excellent work on the scandal of thyroid treatment and management. The same could be said of the treatment of Pernicious Anemia B12 deficiency Both these health problems are not being addressed correctly.

    Reply
      1. Jennifer

        I would, Dr K., but my fairy wand broke years ago.
        My vitamin B12 is borderline low, but if I mention it again at consultations, I feel as though I am perceived as a hypochondriac. My daughter has had 30 years of obvious thyroid problems, dismissed by several GPs until last year when an interested GP requested investigations. They showed multiple nodules and extremely low thyroid function…..outcome? ” just continue as you are”. Eh?

      2. mand Season

        We need to clone you! The thyroid thing is the other half of my personal medical research. (Thank goodness I found Thyroid UK’s forum, or I’d still be at 25% of “well Mand capacity” and dropping, instead of the 40-50% that I estimate I am these days, and stable if not rising.)

        The first half of this slow, life-changing learning curve = statins, which is all you. Thank you from my (fairly healthy!) heart.

      3. Joyce

        Malcom, even giving you an extra 24hours in the day sadly wouldn’t help. Human Beings want perfection. They want to feel 18 again, and have nothing to worry about (quite right at 18!) Sadly, the machines that we are, eventually begin winding to a halt whatever we do (and believe me I’ve tried the lot! Gym, diet, vitamins,you name it!). I’m 74, and certainly not in a hurry to go anywhere! However, to be honest, I’m sick to death of Big Pharma trying to medicate me to live forever! It’s made me angry, disappointed, tired, and even ill, but above all it makes you lose faith in human nature. There is no magic bullet. When it’s time, it’s time. In the mean time I try to enjoy life as it is, which incidentally for me at present is great! Don’t let them break your heart(metaphorically speaking of course! lol)

      4. Jennifer

        Joyce. I have followed this blog for years. Eventually, say after 2 or 3 days, there seems to be a constant theme running through responses, regardless of what the topic of the day is.
        That is….so many stories of patients ( myself included) questioning prescribers about medicines they are being advised to use, but not getting much of a coherent explanation.I have done my homework over the years, and decided that my perceived needs rarely match drugs being prescribed to me. ( eg. Statins and antihypertensives are at the top of the list, with flu and shingles jabs following closely behind). Any questions appear to cause consternation, and an awkward silence in the consultation room. ( it is years ago since I questioned the use of Pioglitazone, and got a flea in my ear). How come qualified doctors seem unable to give me logical explanations as to why I ought to be taking such treatments? Do they not follow the readily available research that I read, or are they comfortable in their own skin to let the computer do the deciphering of blood profiles , rather than looking at me? .I find Nurse Practitioners, elevated to be able to prescribe, ( I am a retired RGN) certainly fall into that category,

  23. peterlepaysan

    I am currently 77 years old. I take no meds, apart from beer, wine and the occasional single malt.
    About a year ago ( when I was youthful 76 yo) my gp was concerned about my pulse rate, hypertension and suggested I start to take statins. I told him I thought statins were worthless.
    About a month later he recommended me for a “routine” blood test, which was news to me, “routine”?
    I dutifully obliged.
    We subsequently received calls (from nurse) telling us that she was going to put me on a statin prescription She got quite “huffy” when I told her not to bother.

    The reading was identical to readings made when I was in my early forties (early 1980s).

    Two were done then within a couple of months of each other. One was a happenstance lunch time stroll through a large shopping mall. I was told my level and concerns about it.

    A couple of months later I was talking to my gp about unrelated matters. He suggested a test.

    Result came in. Chin stroking time. Luckily gp and I got on very well, He knew I was a sceptical something or other. I am still here. In retrospect our conversation include statistics, at which point we agreed to end the appointment. He was as sceptical as I was.

    The problem with “professions” is that they are self governing bullies with no independent oversight of their behaviour, and, they know how to bury their mistakes.

    Teachers at least are accountable to the public for what they do.

    Medics, lawyers, accountants, engineers, whatever get away with a lot of rubbish, and money.

    The medical profession just keep burying their mistakes.

    Reply
  24. Soul

    When that news paper article came out a month or two about statin deniers, and your picture plastered on it, I wondered if something was being cooked up. I believe the media, drug firms, and government agencies can coordinate with each other at times. Of course don’t know if that happened with the news papers article but it made me wonder what change was coming.

    Well, now we know what that move was. I wonder if this change to sell statins over the counter will boost sales. It’s not like statins resolve anything noticeable. Your headache isn’t going to improve. If anything you are more likely to develop various pains.

    I’ve often wished they would do that here in America, do away with prescriptions for most drugs. Buying over the counter means paying out of your own pocket. Americans seem less willing to do that. If insurance or the government pays for it, then getting and taking a drug is less controversial or thought about. Having to pay for something with your own money though makes people question.

    Well, I guess statins are off patent I believe, and maybe competition is lowering their sales.

    Reply
  25. mand Season

    I’m sure of one more reason that the ill effects of statins are under-reported: people don’t realise they’re happening. You get ill, or you simply get a bit older, and they put you on a statin, and you gradually have less energy, more aches, and/or are less clear-headed than you used to be. You put it down to age or to whatever illness brought you to their notice. You then lose decades, assuming that your new identity as “half-fit person” is something you just have to learn to accept. Either that, or the effects come on so gradually that you never notice when things started to change.

    I lost a year to atorvastatin – hands too painful to hold a sheet of paper or slice cheese, head too fuzzy to notice that this was getting worse fast and was worth mentioning to someone. By chance I found a list of potential side-effects, asked my doctor, and was taken off the statin. The full blood count brought up other questions and after that she forgot to come back to find a statin that suited me by trial and error, as she’d originally threatened, ahem, intended to.

    But before Atorvastatin, I’d been on Simvastatin for seven years. They prescribed it automatically after stroke in my 30s, even though the usual suspects (cholesterol, clogged arteries, blood pressure etc) were all ruled out as causing that. I was virtually housebound from “post-stroke fatigue” for those six years with weak, painful hands and arms and other stuff going on… I now believe those problems came as much from the statin as the stroke. If not entirely from the statin. Once I wasn’t on *any* statin, my thinking was clear enough to run my own life, for the first time since losing my health, and my hand strength became as good as can be given past muscle wasting.

    Now I know it isn’t conclusive; my recovery will have levelled up anyway, and some of the weakness/fatigue must have been from the stroke, surely… or from whatever brought it on (no cause ever identified)… BUT nothing made me question the statin. Nothing made me think of trying to do without it for a few weeks, just to see. When I had the “default” symptoms, aches and so on, I put it down to being sedentary (because too weak to be active) and to fibromyalgia (another diagnosis I now doubt).

    We’ll never know in my case, but I am certain that many people know they’re getting statin-type problems, but either put them down to other things or don’t notice them at all (boiling frog syndrome). When you think that people let their vision get too bad to be safe behind the wheel and never notice, you realise how easy it is to let other things get worse than is reasonable to handle, without noticing.

    I have given up throwing scientific studies at friends (which I can’t quote accurately anyway), in favour of exclaiming “Statins? Poison!” whenever the subject comes up. The world needs to be frightened of statins, not just those of us who are lucky enough to happen upon the doubts and also well enough (and clever enough) to read up on it all. The world’s opinion is swayed by headlines, not argument. (I hate that, but it’s what we must work with.) My “statins? poison!” headline may at least make them hesitate when other forces push them towards the prescription.

    … Or the impulse to buy over the counter. (Oh, horror.)

    Reply
    1. Joyce

      mand season…personally, I think the real reason Statin damage is under reported is the abject refusal of G.P’s/Hospital staff to apportion blame to them! I was hospitalised after four weeks on 80mgs of Atorvastatin,( after a cardiac arrest) for severe liver disfunction, only to be told I had to have my gall bladder removed because I had two gallstone! No gall bladder pain whatsoever(even after three doctors poked and prodded me endlessly to try and produce one!) but absolutely the Statins I was taking wasn’t the problem! Needless to say, and to their complete amazement, I refused their kind offer of surgery and went home! Of course I was advised-before discharge I needed to continue taking my Statin, which I stupidly did(what did I know then?). After the weekend, I spoke to my Cardiac Nurse who told me “No, no! stop the Statin! ???? That’s when the cogs started turning, and you wonder what the hell is going on. Three years down the line, I know exactly what is going on.

      Reply
      1. mand Season

        Gary, thank you so much for saying that. I always come away fearing I’ve taken up too many inches.

        My main worry (outside of my own situation, of course!) is that we need to do more than putting information out there. Those ill enough to be put on statins after some kind of event are rarely well enough to make sense of complex new information. And rarely brave enough, for the very good (rational, even) reason that in those circumstances a human being knows itself to be vulnerable and going against officialdom comes in the category of risk-taking. Something much wider and bigger needs to be out there… feels like a long, slow undertaking. It’s nice that seeds are being sown, though, that at least gives me hope for the species.

      2. Gary Ogden

        mand Season: I, too, am optimistic. Thanks to the internet the public has a greater opportunity than ever in history to become informed in the scientific and medical realms. Many more in the public are better informed than ever before. This is a very good thing, yet is such a threat to the revenue stream of industry that all alternative medical information and factual information about vaccination and its risks which don’t come from official sources are being actively censored by the big tech companies. And, unfortunately, there are still too many sheep who are driven by fear into the arms of the white coats. The censorship has come at the request of our political leaders. Fortunately, censorship always backfires. The Epstein case, I think, was the final nail in the coffin for trust in our government.

      3. Ahnotepad

        The rot set in decades ago, but I suspect most people believe the “authorities” are doing the best they can to improve their circumstances. This is very long, but worth lookig at It explains the contols the rich have over people. https://youtu.be/l5tqG9wCfRo

    2. David Bailey

      A related reason why statin side effects don’t get reported, is that the side effects don’t always start immediately. In my case they took 3 years to start – rather suddenly as it happens. Even I didn’t think about my statin prescription (40 mg Simvastatin), but because I knew they could cause muscle problems, I suggested to my GP that I take a break from statins until the severe cramps in my polio leg had been diagnosed and treated if possible.

      Of course, every time I stopped the statins the problem faded, so I was keen to resume my health giving statin treatment, so I started my statins again… It took three such oscillations before I realised the obvious – one of those moments I’ll never forget! I could all too easily have gone down an endless search for a medical reason for my problem, and still been struggling with the consequences of taking statins.

      Without that chance suggestion to my GP, my life could have become utterly different from how it is – I remain very active, and have just come back from a very enjoyable bike ride

      Reply
      1. mand Season

        @ David Bailey, yes, that’s a reason I hadn’t thought of, too.

        “Endless search for a medical reason” – and most likely, a self-perpetuating road of ever-increasing medical intervention! Thank goodness you escaped all that.

        Well done taking only three instances to see the pattern. I mean that – we’re usually pretty dense about seeing the obvious, when we aren’t schooled to expect it. 🙂

      2. Jerome Savage

        There’s a sort of unease that comes with breaking from the official medical world. Its a big decision. Your rational mind tells U your doing the right thing but the world says otherwise. Can this result in stress induced cortisol ? Mmmm. That’s partly why I see these reminders of the real world as an essential antidote to the false gods of pharma.

    3. David Bailey

      I just wonder if making statins available over the counter, might actually achieve something useful.

      There will suddenly be a group of patients turning up at GP surgeries with a strange cluster of symptoms – muscle pains/cramps and mental fog. This new disease might be described in the press before it was understood. After the inevitable suggestion that a new virus was responsible, the cause might finally be fully recognised:

      Statins make a fair percentage of those who take them, very ill.

      Reply
      1. mand Season

        @ David Bailey – I like that idea! Fingers crossed!

        I wonder how much difference it must make to be worth the loss of life quality for the number of people, in the interim before the establishment get the point?

        … shouldn’t have taken myself down that rabbit hole. 😐

      2. David Bailey

        mand Season wrote:
        “I wonder how much difference it must make to be worth the loss of life quality for the number of people, in the interim before the establishment get the point?”

        A very, very conservative answer to that would be to say if you feel enough discomfort that you stop doing exercise that you would otherwise have done, continuing the statins can’t possibly make sense. Everyone seems to agree that exercise is extremely valuable at avoiding CVD, so that criterion would probably translate into very little discomfort.

        In practice, I think if my statin side effects had continued unabated or even intensified, I might conceivably have reached the point where I would have considered suicide. Everyone says I have a rather sunny personality, so that is no small statement. I’ll bet some people have done just that if they didn’t know what was causing their pain.

      3. AhNotepad

        Loss of quality of life is one aspect of inappropriate use of medications, but there are other factors that will affect people, and they won’t be able to choose whether or not they consent. https://alternativeview.co.uk/. Have a look at the list of presentations. They are pay-per-view, and will be £5 if paid for on the day. Expect to give up 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

      4. mand Season

        @ David Bailey – “if you feel enough discomfort that you stop doing exercise that you would otherwise have done, continuing the statins can’t possibly make sense” – this makes SO much sense. This is a good way to try suggesting it to my 83-year-old aunt, who really isn’t likely to defy doctors that she trusts (and isn’t following complicated conversation very well since she went on statins) but may try coming off them “and see how it goes”, if I can only find the angle that makes her think it’s worth the risk as she sees it.

        I do hope you’re right that the increase in people taking them (because over the counter) will make the dangers obvious enough to make something happen. It’s just the bit in between, the extra guinea pigs taking them before the penny drops.

    4. gillpurple

      The adverse effects of many medications are under-reported – doctors don’t have time to fill in the forms and most patients don’t know they can report themselves. If I remember rightly, less than 5% of adverse effects actually get reported. Another reason why big pharma are laughing all the way to the bank.

      Reply
  26. janetgrovesart/JanB

    Thank you for that, Dr. K. If the European Society of Cardiology has decreed that “there is no normal level for cholestero” that would mean that the body find its own optimal level and strives to keep it there….or am I being incredibly dim here?
    Cheers
    JanB

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      JanB: Great point. Fact is, they don’t even measure cholesterol, just the little boats which carry it around in the blood. Same with triglycerides. They don’t measure those, but “calculate” them. Bit of a crock, I’d say.

      Reply
  27. Sue Knight

    Thank you Dr. Kendrick for being such an amazing advocate for us, against the powers that be. This battle, that you and your colleagues have been fighting for so long, is the stuff of myth (David & Goliath?). Reading your blogs (and this one is truly tantalising) does wonders for my sense of hope; that one day we will live with integrity. Strange things do happen, don’t they? I am in awe. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  28. Mark Heneghan

    Speaking as a statin sceptic GP, I usually point out that the general principle of preventative medicine is to ensure that you die old, preferable after a life of free of symptoms as possible, so what is the point of giving statins to anybody, when the life extension is so short, and especially to the unstatinated elderly, who clearly haven’t needed them, else how did they get so old in the first place? I have similar feelings about mild to moderate hypertension, again, especially in the elderly.

    Reply
    1. andy

      Mark Heneghan; re treating cholesterol and hypertension
      Consider the medications as gateway drugs to sign up more patients for ineffective treatments and very little health benefits.

      Reply
  29. Lee

    Great article. As a child I noticed that those who took statins and cholesterol lowering drugs would start suffering from many health problems and man of them would get cancer. That stuck in my mind for years. I decided to look into it deeper and I did a blog post on it. It verified everything I suspected. The pharmaceutical companies would say that is anecdotal evidence. In the movie Wizard of Oz there is a part where they say “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” , that is exactly what I think of when the pharmaceutical industry says something is anecdotal evidence. They put up smoke screens and try to use peer pressure to keep people from looking deeper into the truth of the harm they are causing.

    https://iamajuicer.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/the-truth-about-heart-disease-cholesterol-lowering-drugsand-their-effects-on-mental-health-and-health-of-the-body/

    Reply
  30. David Bailey

    Malcolm,

    When I read about that initiative, I wondered if you had played a part in it – many thanks!

    As I read your letter, it occurred to me that when agitating about statins (and other similar issues), it might be worth introducing the idea of the NNT and quoting the appropriate figures – which are of course dire in the case of statins.

    The NNT is such an easy and vivid concept to grasp. The waiting room of people about to start consuming statins, also makes it easy to understand the fact that far more people will go away with side effect problems, than gain any benefit.

    Reply
  31. Umberto Ucelli

    Good evening,
    Even the yeah-sayers seem to be less enthusiastic about statin for primary prevention.
    But what about seocndary prevention. Even Redberg and Malotra ackowledge a benefit for seocndary prevention.

    But the “mothers of all studies” this claim is based on ae highly flawed if not blatant fraud.
    This has been exposed in English by of of your co-signers, Michel de Lorgeril.

    Recommended reading :

    Reply
  32. Donald Parsons

    I believe statins are probably the worst “medicines” of all time.

    (next 3 paragraphs contain info from the Yosephs’ book “How Statin
    Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol and kill you one cell at a time”)

    First of all it is “illegal” to prescribe statins as the drug
    companies fraudulently withheld the very bad testing data from their
    application for approval that would have caused its rejection. So for
    your own health you must refuse to fill any and all statin
    prescriptions.

    Only one of the many pharmaceutical companies that developed statins
    refused to sell them because of their extreme danger and lack of any
    benefits. Forgot the name but Malcolm undoubtedly remembers, as it
    was a large British pharmaceutical company that was bought out in the
    90s due to passing up on billions of profit from sales of harmful
    statins.

    Not only that, the Japanese discoverer of statins said he would never
    agree to take statins even with his high cholesterol.

    Even the idea that you want to lower cholesterol is incorrect.
    Basically the higher your cholesterol the healthier you are. WARNING,
    if it goes above 7.5 (290 USA) you must cut sugar and seed-grain
    (carbs?) consumption as much as possible.

    Apparently the Russian rabbit experiment that started the fear of
    cholesterol was incorrectly done. The experiment was repeated a few
    decades later properly and cholesterol had no bad health or heart
    affects on the rabbits. Russian error was leaving fat and cholesterol
    out for rabbits to eat and just adding more as time went by thereby
    allowing it to oxidise and go rancid. The later experiment only left
    food out for short time (30 minutes?) and subsequent meals were fresh
    fat and cholesterol. Note dogs (most carnivores?) are immune to this
    rancid food.

    I prepared a paper that should be published showing that adults with
    low cholesterol are 10 times MORE likely to appear in the hospital
    Emergency room with a heart complaint than those with high
    cholesterol! Or a factor of 3 more or less compared to those with
    average cholesterol. I do not want to say where the data is as I am
    afraid it would disappear. (I’m sure Malcolm knows what it is.) One
    of the two data sets is NHANES which cannot disappear.

    Reply
    1. Jessie

      Interesting post Donald, thank you. I am always heartened (no pun intended) to see any research that reveals statins as the biggest public “con” of all times, primarily because I have consistently refused take them, refused to cut full fat milk or butter from my diet and won’t have “oil in a bottle” in the house – because it oxidizes very quickly inside the bottle. Since probably the time when cholesterol was first being measured routinely mine has stayed almost consistently at around 6mmol/L and the only time it went above this (about 7.2) was when I developed an underactive thyroid. Once that was dealt with cholesterol returned to 6.

      The body has a perfectly good, tried and tested system for controlling cholesterol, LDL transports it to the blood, HDL carries it back to the liver to store what is not needed and adjusts production with intake – why would anyone want to interfere with that? Everyone is different and I would prefer to rely on the wisdom of my own body to determine the level that is right for me.

      I was reading a short while ago a short reference to the Honolulu Heart Programme which carried out a study on 8,000 (Japanese 2nd generation residents as I recall) from 1965-1998 (updated 2005) which had concluded “Long term persistence of low cholesterol increases risk of death”. I haven’t so far tried to look up the study results myself, but will make an attempt if they are available.

      One of the other things that has always worried me about artificially reducing cholesterol is:-
      Does it prevent other diseases (apart for underactive thyroid) which produce higher than normal cholesterol levels from being recognised? Liver disease for instance, does anyone know?

      In conclusion, the other thing that worries me, is how are the dangers of statins ever going to be communicated to the general public, who are the real victims in all of this, who blissfully carry on believing that statins et al will deliver them into old age in good health.

      Reply
  33. Angelica Nelson

    Thank you, Dr. K! I’m baffled why Lovaza is not OTC. It’s way less dangerous than the muscle destroying side effect of statins.

    Reply
  34. dearieme

    “The European Society of Cardiology has decreed that there is no normal level for cholesterol”

    I once demanded to know of a doctor what he meant by “normal”. Did he mean usual, ordinary, average, or did he mean desirable? His jaw dropped. He’d obviously never asked himself the question.

    I’d rather be treated by a medic with some ability to think for himself rather than one who parrots a jargon without ever having reflected on its meaning. So: what is the European Society of Cardiology’s definition of normal?

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Whatever ‘normal’ means, if cholesterol is used for various purposes in the body, and is transported by a rather complicated mechanism, it seems completely naive to assume that you can lower its level as low as you like without causing problems.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Then, in terms of BP, “normal” is improperly used, since it is based upon the mean of 18-year-olds, or thereabout. Were the mean calculated for other age-groups, and normal properly used for them, a lot of anxiety would disappear, I think.

      2. JDPatten

        OK. I looked this up. “Mean” is fairly straightforward, though why not just say “average”?
        The rest I’ll just leave to the cognoscenti. Malcolm?
        https://www.mathsisfun.com/data/standard-deviation.html

        Normal: That which we all would hope to be, while thinking privately that certain important aspects of ourselves are certainly above that, while fearing that some substantial aspects might well be far below that. Yeah. Normal.
        But you’ll never truly know about your own little self.

  35. Jean Humphreys

    Jargon! The nasty attempt to baffle us all with B/s**t. My GP doesn’t use it. He knows that I am likely to jarg straight back at him.
    Last week I went for my six-monthly pacer check. Note that the people who do this are not doctors. Their jargon went along the lines of ” We have given you a bit of a tweak. We have beefed up the on-demand facility so that it should give you a bit more oomph when you try to be active.” Remember that days when there were workshops that tweaked your Mini, to make it go like a bat-out-of-hell? I feel that I have been through one of them. Put it this way: I needed a wheelchair to get into the clinic (long walk) but I was able to walk back to the entrance with very little breathlessness. In my mind, this beats all medication. And I haven’t noticed any unwanted side effects yet.

    Reply
  36. Soul

    The Scottish republic island of Eigg was highlighted on the news night. (loved the creative island spelling) It was described as a place where a statin can never be found. Or maybe it was satin. It wasn’t always easy for me to understand what was said due to the accent. Looked like a nice ruff place to be.

    Reply
  37. Charles Gale

    Are statins risky?

    I’ve just spotted this article on Dr Mike Eades’ twitter, with appropriate comments by Dr Eades e.g. “Article by the loathsome CSPI, the folks who brought us trans fats, extolling the virtues of statins while downplaying their problems”.

    Here’s the link:

    https://www.nutritionaction.com/daily/heart-and-disease-cat/are-statins-very-risky/

    The (blood boiling) article concludes with:

    “Bottom line: statins are unlikely to cause serious, irreversible harm”.

    Reply
    1. Jerome Savage

      Charles. For health reasons, RBP, raised cortisol and risk of MI, I tend to avoid that sort of stuff. Statins hav caused me enuff grief.

      Reply
    2. andy

      Charles Gale: re Miller article on statin safety

      Muscle symptoms. “The typical symptom is achiness and maybe weakness,” says Miller. “But if you don’t see it on both sides of the body, it’s not likely due to statins. And it’s slightly more common in older, frail women.”

      Looks like statins accelerate process of getting older and frailer.

      https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpcell.00406.2014
      -The novel results of this study indicate that statins impair the differentiation potential of MSCs in a similar fashion to the process of aging and diabetes.
      -recently published findings of an increased risk of cataract formation with long-term statin therapy
      -statins impaired the osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation potential of MSCs and increased cell senescence and apoptosis
      -Statins also impaired the expression of DNA repair genes

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2623526
      “In this study, statin use was associated with increased likelihood of back disorder diagnoses and a dose response to both dosage and duration.”

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22269621
      “statin use was associated with a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal pain, particularly in the lower extremities, among individuals without arthritis.”

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        The idea that statins attack symmetrically is totally wrong – they seem to attack bits of the body that are already weak – in my case Simvastatin only affected my polio leg. My other leg was fine.

        I consider that this is one of the insidious qualities of statins, because for example I went chasing explanations related to post-polio. It you look at other statin side effect reports, they often seem so strike in one place and not others.

      2. andy

        David Bailey: re statins and muscle pain
        Statins reduce Q10 but supplementing after the fact may not correct the problem. There are many other factors involved.

        https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/9/4/519S/5055942
        “Conclusions
        Mechanistic studies and deductive reasoning suggest that CoQ10 dysregulation could be the cause, or could at least contribute, to SAMS. Clinical studies, however, have not documented its effectiveness in treating SAMS. Consequently, the present role of CoQ10 supplementation in managing SAMS is limited.”

      3. mand Season

        A question about statins and Q10 – I came off statins about five years ago (after being on Simvastatin for seven years and then Atorvastatin for one year). Am I wasting my money on ubiquinol, which I’ve recently switched to as being the more easily absorbed “version” of Co-Q10?

  38. David Bailey

    In the previous blog, “Not Changing your mind”, there was a discussion about the devious actions of GOOGLE, making dissenting medical views harder to access. I advocated using the search engine, “Duck Duck GO” as an alternative. After using this for about a week, I have to admit that I returned to GOOGLE because the results are much better.

    Perhaps the best way to protest, is to use the search engine, but scrupulously avoid buying anything from the firm, or clicking on any advert on the pages it produces.

    Reply
      1. BobM

        I have started using Duck Duck Go on all my computers. A lot of what I do in my job requires me to search. While I think DDG is not as good as Google, I don’t find it to be that bad. Or at least bad enough to transition back to Google as a search engine.

    1. Anna M

      I think we have to be tougher than that. I stopped using google the day they fired James Damore. I often use Bing and find the results very good.

      Reply
  39. LA_Bob

    Anyone ever get the feeling the medical establishment (in this instance the European Society of Cardiology) wants as many folks on statins as possible before enough of us catch on that statins are not such a great idea?

    Too much anti-statin books and internet publicity going around for the Powers That Be to sleep well at night.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      Perhaps the medical establishment realise that once the lies about statins get admitted, people will think again about other ‘fringe’ medical subjects such as MMR, saturated fat, salt, stents, etc. etc.

      Once the ball starts rolling, where will it stop?

      Reply
      1. chris c

        oops, the reply below should have gone elsewhere, very strange.

        What I’m wondering is if they have a statin antidote waiting in the wings, and first they want as many people on them as possible to increase the uptake of the antidote. Well it could happen.

      2. chris c

        Yes but maybe they have succeeded in producing a patentable form. Merck never went forward with their patent to add Co-Q10 to the statin. Now if they could produce Co-Q10 turbo and sell it for £80/month or more . . .

    2. chris c

      I’ve had some really bad doctors and one or two really good ones. The big disappointment was the one the head of our practice recommended after she retired. He probably was a good diagnostician and may have been good with acute illness, but when it came to chronic conditions he had obviously just memorised the NICE guidelines and PCT Protocols and couldn’t think out of the box. I’ve found some hospital doctors more able to think for themselves, presumably because they are more interested in outcomes than Rules.

      Reply
  40. Jerome Savage

    I haven’t yet thanked you Dr Malcolm for your investigations, research combined with common sense – all delivered with a very welcome softening touch of humour. Makes it very welcome for us touched by CVD but who don’t have the wherewithal or confidence to do the right thing. I feel bombarded by constant ‘false news” that sometimes is overwhelming and causes me to pause & double check. The assurances I get from these pages is comfort and the revelations & science based logic very welcome and a terrific intro to the world of medicine. ( for 10 years or more I hav been drawn to the cardio aspect for obvious reasons.) What has struck me during that time is attempt by our medical world to separate the body heamth from the mind. They are inextricably linked. We will except impact injuries tho recovery is supported by attitude & optimism. So many who participate in aerobic & anaerobic activities will testify to that.
    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So it goes in the search engines, for every partison theory there is an equal and opposite theory. I don’t hav the means to analyse & disect the arguments. I would like to thank to thank you for doing so & highlighting the scourge of money driven medicine.

    Reply
  41. errett

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-24/valsartan-recall-tainted-heart-drugs-face-lawsuits-over-cancer?srnd=premium

    Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against drug makers and sellers over widely prescribed generic heart medications tainted with potential carcinogens, the first claims in what some lawyers expect to be a wave of litigation.

    Millions of Americans have taken the drugs, which are at the center of a widening recall being overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and have been for decades used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure and other common conditions.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      errett: The recalled drugs were manufactured in the Peoples Republic of China, as are some 80% of the drugs prescribed in the U.S. They have such a robust system of quality control and oversight there, it warms the heart!

      Reply
    2. Jerome Savage

      Following extract is interesting;
      “Bloomberg found that FDA inspectors who’d expressed concerns about data integrity at some manufacturing facilities were at times overruled by senior officials at the agency”
      Meanwhile business not so bad. You might have thought it would hav meant end of the line but the stock market is very forgiving;
      “Shares of Zhejiang Huahai lost 2.5 percent on Wednesday in Shanghai” ONLY 2.5% ?

      Reply
  42. Martin Back

    Is fight-or-flight responsible for calcification of arteries?

    But a new study from Columbia researchers suggests that bony vertebrates can’t muster this [adrenaline] response to danger without the skeleton. The researchers found in mice and humans that almost immediately after the brain recognizes danger, it instructs the skeleton to flood the bloodstream with the bone-derived hormone osteocalcin, which is needed to turn on the fight or flight response.

    “In bony vertebrates, the acute stress response is not possible without osteocalcin,” says the study’s senior investigator Gérard Karsenty, MD, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

    “It completely changes how we think about how acute stress responses occur.”
    https://phys.org/news/2019-09-bone-adrenaline-flight-response.html

    Reply
  43. Charles Gale

    The flu jab just got better!

    I’ve just had a letter from my doctors’ surgery stating:

    “We would like to offer you influenza vaccination in preparation for the coming winter season. This year the vaccine will include protection against swine ‘flu. The ‘flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 65 and those who may have any of the following conditions…”.

    So much for speculation that the powers that be are trying to cull the herd – not here in England reading this altruistic letter.

    And yet…

    I spent many years working in financial services – a heavily regulated industry where much was caveated such as (1) investments can go up and down, (2) strongly advised to seek independant financial advice before making a decision and so on.

    I think I’m driving at that our healthcare needs better regulation, and letters like this giving a biased point of view should include some caveats about vaccines.

    So people can make an informed decision.

    No chance with this letter.

    Reply
    1. mand Season

      Thumbs up, Charles! Not a new idea but framing it as a parallel to the kind of caveats that we’re used to with financial advice – that makes it so clear. I’ll start putting it like that, when chatting with friends who have never come across the idea of disagreeing with doctors’ advice or even doubting that they’re the last word on whatever their question is.

      Reply
    2. Jerome Savage

      Caveats like ;
      “Dozens of British children who developed narcolepsy as a result of a swine flu vaccine could be compensated after the high court rejected to withhold payments.
      Six million people in Britain, and more across Europe, were given the Pandemrix vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline during the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic, but the jab was withdrawn after doctors noticed a sharp rise in narcolepsy among those who received it”
      https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/09/ministers-lose-fight-to-stop-payouts-in-swine-flu-jab-narcolepsy-cases

      Reply
      1. LA_Bob

        This is really annoying, to put it lightly and says so much about the issues with public health.

        https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3948.full

        “We fully support the swine flu vaccination programme … The vaccine has been thoroughly tested,” they declared in a joint statement.3

        Except, it hadn’t…

        I can understand and accept that the narcolepsy side effect might not show up in testing. But kudos to the doctors who recognized it in clinical practice and stopped administering the vaccine.

        And kudos to the policy-makers who will let compensation to the victims go forward, especially since it appears there was no real testing.

        It’s just baffling there are not more minds open to the possibility that vaccines (and statins and other procedures) might be more problematic than advertised.

      2. Jerome Savage

        The BMJ article is very interesting. Unfortunately not being a member, I only got down as far as following;
        “Another element, adopted by countries such as Canada, the US, UK, France, and Germany, was to provide vaccine manufacturers indemnity from liability for wrongdoing, thereby reducing the risk of a lawsuit stemming from vaccine related injury”
        I never knew the indemnity was so widespread.
        In theory, produce anything, call it a vaccine and if the regulator is onside ……… !!

    3. LA_Bob

      Charles Gale, for shame!

      Don’t you know that predicting the financial markets is based on “probabilities” (voodoo, really)? You know, “fundamental analysis” (macro trends, micro trends, Central Bank policies, profit and loss, consumer sentiment, housing starts, sectoral flows, and what not) and “technical analysis” (momentum gaps, Elliot Wave Theory, volume analysis, moving averages, RSI, etc, etc).

      And, of course, Expert Opinion! Musn’t forget that! But there are always caveats, you know. Past performance is never a guarantee of future results. Musn’t sue your Financial Analyst as you lose your shirt!

      But, Medicine! How different could it possibly be? Vaccines, blood tests, clinical diagnoses, Expert Opinion..er, Certainty rather, statins and stents…all based on Impeccable Science! No concerns, no caveats, no doubts! In fact, when it comes to Vaccines, the More the Merrier! When it comes to Cholesterol, the Lower the Better! Guaranteed.

      Have faith, Man! Musn’t sue your “health care provider.” If you don’t respond to treatment, must be your fault.

      (Sorry, couldn’t resist. Your comment was so on point)

      Reply
  44. Stephen Rhodes

    Is Thomas Seyfried another Dr Malcolm?

    From this https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OjLhOAkmLPs#fauxfullscreen it certainly appears so.

    If heart disease doesn’t get you then cancer probably will, but the treatments are wrong, for most people, for most of the time. Yet there are people who know that what we are told is wrong and they are kept hidden from a wider public, why is this not a scandal that the medical profession is working frantically to expose?

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Good reference! Seyfried is one of my favorites!

      When i comes to the official medical treatments of the most common “ailments” my opinion is:

      CVD- completely wrong!

      T2D – completely wrong!

      Cancer – completely wrong!

      Reply
    2. andy

      Stephen Rhodes: re Thomas Seyfried, glycolipids and glycoproteins as cell signalling molecules
      Interesting topic with connections to CVD, Alzheimers, cancer, insulin resistance etc..
      Looks like hyperglycaemia/hyperinsulinaemia will mess up cell function

      Reply
  45. Charles Gale

    Mand Season – your Sept 16 comments on statins/CoQ10 (as ubiquinol)

    I think CoQ10 is essential! I supplement with it as ubiquinol.

    – For one thing, our bodies produce less of this important substance as we age.
    – Another reason (my main reason for supplementing) is for cardiovascular reasons – it improves heart strength (i.e. ejection fractions). I’m not aware of your CVD background but 3 years ago I spent a week in intensive care, subsequently got hold of my records which recorded an ejection fraction of 20% (i.e. very, very low – in the process of dying). The work of cardiologist and CoQ10 guy Dr Peter Langsjoen’s work on CoQ10 and its impact on improving ejection fractions is worth checking out on youtube.

    You may want to check out the CoQ10 website – here’s the link:

    http://www.icqa.org/

    In particular, the “Partners” heading, which gives you the choice of (1) First supporting members and (2) supporting members.

    Select “First supporting members” which will give you links to Pharma Nord and Kaneka.

    I think the Kaneka site is a fantastic resource – easy to navigate, easy to understand info, a buyer’s guide, FAQs and more – here’s the link:

    https://www.kanekanutrients.com/

    It should help answer your questions on ubiquinol/ubiquinone and what brands to buy.

    Hope this helps!

    Reply
    1. mand Season

      Many thanks, Charles! I’ll get stuck into those links, especially as Q10/ubiquinol isn’t something I’ve researched in any depth.

      I had a stroke in my 30s – but they ruled out all the usual causes (cholesterol, blood pressure etc), even by conventional standards none of those measures were enough to cause stroke even though I’m Type 1 diabetic. The best guess is a very rare form of migraine. So I don’t count myself as in the category of previous CVD even though it was (as far as they can be sure) stroke. But still keen to get as much right as I can from here on, as I have every intention of living to be 130 and getting fit to enjoy it.

      A few years ago I had an overactive thyroid “glitch” which by a series of flukes led me to uncover a severe Vitamin D deficiency and other oddities, and that started me on this new learning curve – wonderful, after having accepted that nothing I have will improve and it was all about managing it better day to day. Oh, and fibromyalgia (a diagnosis I’m now doubting, too). I’m hoping to find a Mand-shaped Theory of Everything which, once identified, will make all the disparate things pull together and, overall, fix me. Well, I may as well hope. 😉

      Reply
      1. mand Season

        Anna – never thought of that! I very much doubt it, for two reasons. One, I took the pill for only a few weeks, then the mini pill for about four years, and that’s all; the stroke was about twelve years after I stopped. Two, because I was so young for stroke and because they couldn’t find a cause, I was a VIP (Very Interesting Patient) for several months. (One of the “top” UK neurologists kept calling my neurologist to get another MRI as he thought of one possibility after another.) They took the most detailed medical history imaginable, going back through my whole life, including the least apparently relevant stuff, and (in those days) I had a near-faultless memory of everything. And they tested me for everything they could think of, at least two or three times just in case. If that is testable, I’m sure it was tested for.

        (It was quite fun being Very Interesting. If you’re going to have something serious, have something interesting, I say. Quite a different experience from years of trying to get indefinable aches n pains taken seriously.)

  46. alandtapper1950

    I have a story that may be of interest. In 2015 I started suffering from widespread low-level symmetrical muscle pain and tiredness. After a few months I decided it was being caused by having had my Lipitor dosage raised to the maximum at the start of the year. I stopped the statins, and expected the pain to go away. It didn’t. I then figured I was a case of “persistent statin myopathy”.

    Three years later, and after I had seen various types of specialist, a haematologist diagnosed the problem as non-Hodgkins lymphoma causing paraproteinemic demyelinating neuropathy (PDN), for which I have been receiving immunotherapy treatment. The pain and tiredness are still there, but the problematic proteins have been eliminated. I’m soon to have a ketamine infusion, which is said to “reset” the malfunctioning nerves.

    The point of my story is that statins sceptics (I’m one) need to consider other possible causes of their symptoms, including PDN (which seems to be rare and little known), if stopping the statins doesn’t cure the pain.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I think this is important. We often tend to focus our attention on one area, and lose sight of other possibilities. It seems to be hard wired into our brains to do this. It is always a problem in medicine. Deciding what is wrong with a patient before they have got half way through their story. Always be ready to change your mind. Especially when you know you are right.

      Reply
      1. mand Season

        “Especially when you know you are right.” – indeed! Reminds me of the Sam Johnson quote: “Read over your compositions, and where ever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.” It’s holding a hammer and seeing everything as a nail, isn’t it. Humility has to be action consciously taken, not just a personality trait.

    2. David Bailey

      This is a very heretical thing to say, and Malcolm is free not to publish it, but once you start to doubt medicine – as I have – you never quite view it in the same way. Of course, I am not a medical doctor!

      1) Since statins have some association with other nervous diseases, such as ALS, is it possible that it is also connected with this disease (which I have never even heard of).

      2) Is it possible that when you are unwell and see enough doctors one of them will make a heroic effort to diagnose something, and that diagnosis may be wrong?

      3) The cynic in me says that if you have received treatment that has not helped you, but has removed some biomarker in your blood, you might consider if it has really done anything useful at all!

      I am not sure if my statin pain would have disappeared completely on its own (did you see any improvement at all when you stopped the Lipitor). Hopefully you don’t take a statin any more.
      What I did, was to take a painkiller so I could take exercise and try to push my body into more exercise than it really wanted to do. As time went by, I was able to lower the dose of painkillers until one fine day (about 9 months later), I was cured! I have no idea if it would have resolved anyway.

      It might also be useful to see an alternate practitioner. I used them recently for what I think was sciatica, and they resolved that very effectively.

      Reply
      1. alandtapper1950

        Thanks, good questions! Regarding (1), yes, in my uninformed opinion the statins may have triggered the lymphoma. On (2) I think the lymphoma diagnosis is definite, and the PDN is backed up by a biopsy. On (3) I have an open mind, but am still hoping to get back to normality.

        When I stopped the Lipitor I got a lot worse, and often struggled to walk any distance, though I improved with time. Nothing would now make me take any statins. In my case, no painkillers worked at all, until recently Palexia has helped to some degree. The pain is low level. I do as much walking as I can.

        I did see a “whole health” doctor, one I greatly admired. He diagnosed me as having fibromyalgia, a seriously mistaken interpretation. My opinion of him dropped.

        I also tried acupuncture and massage and various dietary supplements.

        I admire my local GP, who never once pretended to know what was going on in my case!

  47. Angelica Nelson

    Thank you for posting this, Dr. K. The cynical side of me says that plenty of independent researchers will get a chance to see firsthand the damage statins do, as long as they begin a safety study right now. Perfectly reasonable to do a safety study on statins now that they’re OTC.

    Reply
  48. Charles Gale

    “Conspiracy Files: Vaccine Wars”

    A heads up about this documentary – on BBC2 at 9pm on Thursday 26 Sept. Andrew Wakefield got mentioned in the TV guide I read.

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Charles Gale, many thanks. It’s in my electric diary to record. Just it’s not another BBC hatchet job on Andrew Wakefield. I have already written to them over comments similar to “Wakefield has been thoroughly debunked”. The BBC quoted some grossly misinformation pedalling head of a nursing college. I may get more of my time taken up having to do the same again. If anyone else sees it, and thinks they are misrepresenting the facts, please take the time to write to their complaints department. You may need to write to Boris and the other “mandatory vaccines will save us” club members as well.

      There is a lot I don’t know, but I am far better informed about the “health” industry than most politicians and medics, since most of them seem to believe what they are paid to believe.

      Reply
  49. Randall

    ….oxidized LDL is the stuff that will penetrate through the endothelial lining. And that’s the stuff that’s going to form the plaque. If you have a healthy LDL particle that’s not modified, and by modification, I mean either glycation where you have sugar attaching to the B100, or oxidation of the LDL particle, if you don’t have either of those factors there, then it’s just not going to end up in the atherosclerotic plaque. https://thefatemperor.com/dr-paul-mason-advanced-cholesterol-chat-and-much-much-more-part-1-of-5/

    Reply
    1. ehoser

      Dr Mason also said he figured out that the real rate of adverse effects from statins isat least 25%. He looked at the PCSK9 trials. Everyone in the trials was required to be on a statin first and they rejected anyone who had an adverse reaction. I don’t have a link handy, will try to find one.

      Reply
    2. JDPatten

      Randall,
      Are you ignoring Dr Kendrick’s primary lesson in irony? Not sure here.

      LDL is quite a large molecule. The endothelium of arteries subject to plaque is quite tight. LDL receptors are only present at smaller vessels where endothelial fenestration can accommodate useful LDL delivery.
      There’s no known scenario wherein a rogue LDL particle would – or could – penetrate that secure larger vessel lining.
      Sure, the endothelium can get injured at points of high turbulence due to high blood pressure, etc. A clot forms, constituted of the blood coursing by. Endothelial progenitor cells arrive, differentiating into macrophages that trim up the clot, and into new endothelial cells to cover the clot, incorporating it into the vessel wall. Red cells – the main constituent of the covered clot – are constructed largely of cholesterol. And, of course, there are the normal percentages of representatives of the range of lipoproteins found in everyone’s flow of blood. Voila!
      It happens all the time to everyone.
      The trick is to keep the healing process ahead of the vessel injury process.

      (If anyone thinks I’ve gotten this lesson wrong in any way, please comment.)

      Reply
  50. marie johson

    Statin therapy has been shown to reduce major vascular events and vascular mortality in a wide range of individuals, but there is uncertainty about its efficacy and safety among older people.

    Reply
  51. merrilie2015

    Dear Dr. Kendrick, Did you ever get a response to the letter that was written to Sir Norman Lamb MP on 29/08/2019? I realise that the Brexit chaos will have overshadowed everything but wondered if writing to MPs etc would have any effect. I am trying to persuade a friend who is 76 to give up his statins. He has a bad back, Prostate cancer and has just been told he is pre-diabetic! He is on so much medication that I’m sure is not doing him any good. I think his memory is going and his hearing is getting markedly worse. Even sending him all the you-tube videos that Aseem Mulhotra, David Diamond, Stephanie Seniff and yourself have put up on the subject of statins he would still rather trust his doctor! I think the only way of persuading people like him would be for NICE to change their prescribing advice to GPs. Do you think anything will be done about it? I know you are very busy, but if you do hear anything please can you inform us. Best wishes Merrilie >

    Merrilie Cameron merrilie@blueyonder.co.uk 0131 667 0606 07913 420083

    >

    Reply

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