What causes heart disease part 65 – Lead again

23 September 2019

Lead again

I am returning to lead, the heavy metal. Not the verb to lead, or a noun – such as a dog lead. Yes, English is complicated, with the same word meaning several different things, which can lead to confusion.

I am indebted to Leon Vd Berg for bringing my attention to another paper about lead that I had missed. Which is slightly surprising as I tend to look for such papers. However, such is the daily avalanche of medical publications that it is literally, impossible to keep up.

There are several things about the paper that I found fascinating. However, the first thing that I noticed was that…. it hadn’t been noticed. It slipped by in a virtual media blackout. It was published in 2018, and I heard nothing.

This is in direct contrast to almost anything published about diet. We are literally bombarded with stories about red meat causing cancer and sausages causing cancer and heart disease, and veganism being protective against heart disease and cancer, and on and on. Dietary articles often end up on the front page on national newspapers.

Here is one such headline from the Daily Mail 7th August 2019

‘Eating chicken instead of steak, lamb or sausages ‘slashes a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 28%’

Mind you, here is another headline from the Daily Mail 8th Sept 2019

Chicken ’causes cancer’: Oxford University scientists say people who eat poultry are at increased risk of developing deadly disease.’

Tricky thing eating chicken. It can cause and prevent cancer simultaneously. You read it here first.

However, the point I wish to make is not so much the utter nonsense and constant contradictions of dietary studies. Nor is it the fact that the increased, and decreased risk in such studies, is minute. Sitting well within the boundaries of reasonable chance. Which is why you keep getting contradictory studies.

Researcher one:      ‘I just threw a head – all throws of a coin must be heads.’

Researcher two:       ‘No, sorry, I just threw two tails – most throws of a coin end up tails

Researcher one:      ‘Hold on, forget your tails, I just go four more heads – in a row – most throws end up heads, not tails.’

The correct term for this is idiot research, and those who do it are – primarily – idiots. However, none of this nonsense is really important. The point I am trying to make here is that this type of dietary research hogs the limelight.

It seems that whatever else Ancel Keys did not achieve – scientific truth and accuracy, for starters – he most certainly did manage to convince almost everyone in the World that diet is the single most critical important factor for health.

In years gone by, people ate food because they enjoyed eating it. This still happens in France. Imagine that. Nowadays every meal comes with implied fearmongering, and high-level criticism. Are you destroying the world or not – you evil scum.

‘Hold on, it’s only a bacon sandwich. With a fried egg and a bit of cheese grated on top…. Yes, I suppose you’re right, I am personally responsible for the destruction of the Amazonian rain forest. Forgive me father, for I have sinned.’

Destruction of the planet is only one aspect of eating, it’s also destruction of your health – with added moral judgement. If you go to Slimming World, you can eat various tasteless stuff, but you are allowed ‘sins.’ A sin would be something you really like eating, but it is so deadly, that it is a sin to eat it. Chocolate, for example. Get thee behind me Satan.

I don’t understand how anyone manages to eat anything nowadays. I have almost given up eating salads because someone will always remark ‘Oooooh, that’s healthy.’

My reply used to be. ‘I am not eating it because it is healthy, I am eating it, because I enjoy it.’ Nowadays I just grunt in a vaguely non-threatening way. I do not say. ‘No, a healthy meal would be a full English breakfast with bacon, eggs, sausages, fried bread. a few more sausages and a bit of lard melted on top.

I do not say this because, in truth, almost all diets are perfectly healthy. Vegetarian, paleo, keto, vegan (with a few essentially nutrients thrown in, so you don’t die), HFLC, etc. In fact, the only non-healthy diet would be the one recommended by all the experts around the world.

Namely, High carb, low fat (HCLF). The ‘eat well plate’, ‘the food pyramid’ – whatever it is now called. Stay away from that, and you will be fine.

Rule one of diet.       Everything the ‘experts’ recommend, is wrong.

Rule two:                   Eat food you enjoy – and enjoy eating

Rule three:                Eat food that looks like food

Rule four:                   Cook your own meals – when possible

Rule five:                   Try fasting from time to time

Rule six:                     That’s it

Where was I? Oh yes, lead. The heavy metal. The thing that, unlike diet, makes no headlines whatsoever, the thing that everyone ignores. Here is one top-line fact from that study on lead, that I missed:

‘Our findings suggest that, of 2·3 million deaths every year in the USA, about 400 000 are attributable to lead exposure, an estimate that is about ten times larger than the current one. 1

Yes, according to this study, one in six deaths is due to lead exposure. I shall repeat that. One in six. Eighteen per cent to be exact, which is nearer a fifth really.

Of course, this study is observational, with all the usual caveats associated with such studies. Indeed, many people commenting on this blog have stated that correlation [found in such studies] does not mean causation. I think you will find that this does not include me – although I may have said it by mistake. It is true that correlation does not mean causation, up to a point. However, once that point has been reached, causation can be considered proven.

For example, in observational studies, smokers were found to have fifteen times the risk of lung cancer. That is a powerful enough correlation to prove causation – beyond any reasonable doubt. There is no point in setting up a controlled clinical trial to prove this. In fact, any such trial would be completely unethical.

The question is, at what level of increased risk/correlation can causality be accepted. There is no absolute clear-cut answer to this Life ain’t black and white. However, most epidemiologists will tell you that unless the odds ratio (OR) is above two, you cannot attempt to claim causality. Too much noise, too many possible confounders.

Which means (deep breath, waiting for statisticians to attack this mercilessly) you need to find that a ‘factor’ is associated with at least a doubling of risk, before you do not simply crumple up the published paper and throw it in the bin.

Most dietary studies get absolutely nowhere near two. We have risks such as one point one (1.10), or one point three. One point three (1.3) is a thirty per-cent increase in risk. Here for instance is a review of red meat and colo-rectal cancer

‘As a summary, it seems that red and processed meats significantly but moderately increase CRC risk by 20-30% according to these meta-analyses.’  2

Figures like this, from an observational study, mean only one thing. Crumple, throw, bin. Remember also, they are only looking at one form of disease colo-rectal cancer (CRC).  The impact on overall mortality (the risk of dying of anything) would be minuscule, if it could even be found to exist at all. Of course, overall mortality is not mentioned in that CRC paper. Negative findings never are.

So, on one side, we have papers (that make headlines around the world) shouting about the risk of red meat and cancer. Yet the association is observational, tiny, and would almost certainly disappear in a randomised controlled trial, and thus mean nothing.

On the other we have a substance that could be responsible for one sixth of all deaths, the vast majority of those CVD deaths. The odds ratio, highest vs lowest lead exposure, by the way, depending on age and other factors, was a maximum of 5.30 [unadjusted].

Another study in the US found the following

‘Cumulative lead exposure, as reflected by bone lead, and cardiovascular events have been studied in the Veterans’ Normative Aging Study, a longitudinal study among community-based male veterans in the greater Boston area enrolled in 1963. Patients had a single measurement of tibial and patellar bone lead between 1991 and 1999. The HR for ischemic heart disease mortality comparing patellar lead >35 to <22 μg/g was 8.37 (95% CI: 1.29 to 54.4).’ 3

HR = Hazard Ratio, which is similar, if not the same to OR = Odds Ratio. A Hazard Ratio of 8.37, means (essentially) a 737% increase in risk (Relative Risk).

Anyway, I shall repeat that finding a bit more loudly. A higher level of lead in the body leads to a seven hundred and thirty-seven per cent increase in death from heart disease. This is, in my opinion, correlation proving causation.

Looking at this from another angle, it is true that smoking causes a much greater risk of lung cancer (and a lesser but significant increase in CVD), but not everyone smokes. Therefore, the overall damage to health from smoking is far less than the damage caused by lead toxicity.

Yet no-one seems remotely interested. Which is, in itself, very interesting.

It is true that most Governments have made efforts to reduce lead exposure. Levels of lead in the children dropped five-fold between the mid-sixties and the late nineties. 4 Indeed, once the oil industry stopped blowing six hundred thousand tons of lead into the atmosphere from vehicle exhausts things further improved. Lead has also been removed from water pipes, paint, and suchlike.

However, it takes a long old time from lead to be removed from the human body. It usually lingers for a lifetime. Equally, trying to get rid of lead is not easy, that’s for sure. Having said this, chelation therapy has been tried, and does seem to work.

‘On November 4, 2012, the TACT (Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy) investigators reported publicly the first large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evidence that edetate disodium (disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) chelation therapy significantly reduced cardiac events in stable post–myocardial infarction (MI) patients. These results were so unexpected that many in the cardiology community greeted the report initially with either skepticism (it is probably wrong) or outright disbelief (it is definitely wrong).3

Cardiologists, it seems from the above quotes, know almost nothing about the subject in which they claim to be experts. Just try mentioning glycocalyx to them… ‘the what?

Apart from a few brave souls battling to remove lead from the body, widely derided and dismissed by the mainstream world of cardiology, nothing else is done. Nothing at all. We spend trillions on cholesterol lowering, and trillions on blood pressure lowering, and more trillions on diet. On the other hand, we do nothing active to try and change a risk factor that kicks all the others – in terms of numbers killed – into touch.

Funny old world. Is it not?

Next time, back to diet, because everyone knows how important diet is…. Only joking.

1: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30025-2/fulltext

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698595/

3: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109716015989

4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240871/pdf/ehp0110-000563.pdf

158 thoughts on “What causes heart disease part 65 – Lead again

    1. Vincent McCann

      Great information here Dr Malcolm, thanks so much for publishing your work in such an accessible way. , one area I could only find a small reference to was Vitamin C. Why is this ruled out by so many experts? Every time I read a bit into it, it is either heralded as the solution or knocked out of the water, and there never seems to be definitive reasons?
      Thanks for your recent Podcast with Ivor Cummins, really excellent information.

      1. AhNotepad

        Vincent, several goto references are Andrew Saul, Suzanne Humphries, Robert Cathcart. Search YouTube for them and vitamin C. The main out appears not to work is the dose is too small. If you feel unwell, you need some more.

    2. Socratic Dod

      I once ran a lead-acid battery test lab. I was concerned about lead exposure, and looked into it. I found that vitamin C acts as a chelating agent with lead. I also found that OSHA (from memory) had a blanket prohibition on recommending Vitamin C supplementation as a protective strategy to people working with lead. Which made me think that it was probably a very good idea to take lots of it.

  1. Shena Lewington

    So, what are the most effective ways to reduce one’s exposure to lead? Not breathing the air around cars which may possibly be using leaded fuel, not drinking from taps attached to lead pipes … I can do those things – anything else?

    1. Chris Morriss

      I have seen articles which advise that a high level of dietary vitamin C (3 grammes per day or more), actually has a chelating effect on heavy metals. I have no idea if there’s any truth to this.

      1. AhNotepad

        Chris Morriss, I see 3g a day of vitamin C as a rather small amount. I see 10 to 15g as a low end amount, with the actual dose dependant on your condition at the time. So if you get pneumonia, then between 100 and 200g a day would be more appropriate. https://youtu.be/VkkWDDSti_s

      2. Dr. John H

        I recall Thomas Levy saying something about vitamin C working against all known toxins. I assume lead would likely be included in that.

        1. AhNotepad

          Dr. John H, your recall is correct. Further, all toxins are oxidative, vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, which is why it works. Since stress is also oxidative, vitamin C is also useful in those circumstances. The dose is important, enough so you are symptom free. Sometimes that might mean 200g a day, though I feel ok with 50g even if I catch something.

      3. David Bailey

        AhNotepad, Surely your statement, “all toxins are oxidative” is a generalisation too far!

        I mean many poisons act by binding to a particular enzyme to deactivate it. For example, the various nerve gas agents mind to acetylecholinesterase to stop a neurotransmitter being absorbed after use – nothing to do with oxidation.

        1. AhNotepad

          David Bailey, not so:

          A toxin is a poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms; synthetic toxicants created by artificial processes are thus excluded. The term was first used by organic chemist Ludwig Brieger.

          Nerve gas agents and other synthetic toxicants therefore may not qualify.

      4. David Bailey

        OK AhNotepad, sorry, I had thought that a toxin was defined as anything that was toxic!

        However, even limiting the discussions to plant or animal derived chemicals, why should “all toxins be oxidative”?

  2. AhNotepad

    Plenty of room for those who wish to cause confusion by taking one factor. It may not be wise to eat food cooked in lead pans, but the deaths figure seems surprisingly near the figure for deaths from properly prescribed medications. All that soldering of electronics equipment.

  3. abamji

    The attitude of “experts” in ignoring things that don’t fit with their beliefs puts me in mind of the first presentations to the rheumatology world of a new oral gold preparation (of course the world has moved on since then and we can control rheumatoid arthritis properly nowadays).

    The pharmacodynamics of excretion were described in a study of eight subjects. The half-life curves were very similar in seven, but quite different in the eighth, where excretion was considerably slower. The presenter blithely said that in the full analysis this outlier was ignored, because it was “obviously” an outlier. That was, effectively, 12% of the sample.

    Given that serious side-effects can arise from drug accumulation and the possibility, therefore, that 12% of patients given this drug might suffer from them I pointed this out. There was much umming and erring. I went sightseeing for most of the rest of the conference.

    There’s none so blind as those that won’t see.

  4. James Bee

    How does lead get into our system? Lead water pipes have mostly been removed.I always thought lead had to be absorbed through the skin

    1. Gary Ogden

      James Bee: Decades of leaded gas put lead pretty nearly everywhere cars are commonly used. Soils, for example, roadside dust. Our gardens may be poisoning us. Here in lawn hell (California), in virtually every case, the finishing touch to cutting the grass involves blowing all the dust up into the air, where the fine particles can remain suspended for days. Another source of exposure. You don’t dare suggest they stop using those hideous-sounding machines. They would be offended.

    2. Benjamin David Steele

      Many communities still have lead pipes in the public infrastructure. It’s expensive to replace. And those with the wealth are unwilling to pay for it. Old houses also tend to have lead pipes also because it is expensive to replace. It’s the poor who are forced to live in old houses in old neighborhoods with decrepit infrastructure.

      The entire US hasn’t invested much in its infrastructure since the mid-20th century. Lead is also still found in the chipping paint not only in old houses but old buildings, including old schools. Once again, it comes down to costs.

      But what isn’t considered is the vast costs to society caused by the havoc of mass lead toxicity where millions of Americans are not only killed but more often merely harmed and crippled, often with brain damage: lowered IQ, ADHD, aggressive behavior, etc. Then, when these people cause problems, they either become homeless or get institutionalized, typically in prisons or otherwise get lost in the legal system.

      It’s part of the health epidemic we are in the middle of. It’s quickly becoming a health crisis where the costs alone might bankrupt our society. We can externalize costs onto future generations. But eventually they have to be paid. Sadly, those who have profited off of this system of suffering won’t be the ones paying for it.


  5. Sharon

    I suppose we focus on diet because it’s a factor we, as individuals, can control. It’s much harder to make tweaks to your lifestyle to avoid lead – although I’m open to any ideas people have for that!

  6. Eric

    I must admit I don’t recall your previous writing about lead all that clearly. Here’s what comes to mind:

    1. Is it conceivable that medical treatment for CVD raises lead levels? After all, there is some stuff in other medications and miscellaneous devices that you have to wonder why its there (mercury, aluminum, soy oil, polyethene).

    2. What is the mechanism by which lead promotes CVD?

    3. Is there a point to preventive chelation therapy?

    4. Are there negative side effects of chelation therapy, such as depleting critical elements?

  7. John Duffy

    Thank you for another brilliant post Dr.K.I was wondering if you had heard of immersion therapy in water of around 35 degrees as an old but allegedly effective treatment for severe or chronic lead poisoning. Also calcium and iron supplements and mineral water as adjunctive therapies.These may help people who are concerned about their levels of lead if chelation therapy is not an option.How does one know if one has excessive levels of lead? Blood tests? Try getting a Gp to take the evidence you cite with any degree of acceptance as a causal factor in heart disease. !!.I know mine would throw me out of his office or “statinise”me on the spot.Thanks for all your great work Doctor.John d

    1. andy

      Hi Beatrix: there is a bit of lead in everything, even the cup of coffee that I am consuming now. Source could be: the beans, water, mug, or kettle.

      “Dad’s lead-laden hair dye could impact the whole family: FDA to consider barring lead compound in widely-used men’s hair dyes”

      “with as little as 1,000 mg of vitamin C – supplemented daily – you can cause a significant decrease in blood lead levels.”

    2. chris c

      Something I was pondering – they can no longer sell it in petrol so they must find other markets. Electric cars would be a big one.

      I recall a plastics factory (back in the seventies) where some of the workers had their lead levels monitored. When it got too high they were laid off until it came down again then they went back to work. If those plastics were used for water pipes it would be no bueno. People who work in or live near lead smelters would also be a population worth studying.

      My ex had a face cream that contained lead acetate. I freaked out when I discovered this. not just for her but because it got smeared all over me. How many lead-containing products no longer permitted in the west are sold in third world countries?

      And how long will it take for environmental lead from car exhausts to stop being a problem?

    1. Harry de Boer

      The study you refer to seems to show that the chelation therapy protocol they used did not work. Not that a difference between 35 ug/g patellar lead has a HR of almost 8.

      1. Harry de Boer

        Edit: The ‘smaller than’ and ‘greater than’ signs messed up my reply. I meant to mention the difference between smaller than 22 and larger than 35 ug/g patellar lead… etc.

    2. thetinfoilhatsociety

      I recently listened to a presentation, as a part of a class I’m taking, put on by the lead researcher for the TACT trial. He is a cardiologist himself. I would say that a 48% ABSOLUTE risk reduction in further events in diabetic patients, and a 30-something % risk reduction in patients without diabetes, is extremely significant. I went and read the study afterward to verify the numbers he presented. I would say, based on the fact that he admitted freely he thought he was going to prove exactly the opposite, and that his numbers and his statements show it does work, are pretty convincing. Naturally, no one that works for JAMA will ever tell you that. They would prefer to do acrobatics with statistics to prove otherwise.

    1. smartersig

      See my post below Eric, actuallt didn’t balnket unleaded fuel come into use in 1989. If this is the case then we may not see the effect showing up until around 2025 sih. as the next crop of 40 ish cohort come through. Interestingly Japan were lead free back in the 70’s and they have had good heart disease figures

      1. Eric

        The US and Japan went (mostly) lead free in the 70s, Europe in the 80s.

        Japans CVD rate was low to begin with. US was high, not sure when the peak was. Europe was going down already before lead free.

  8. smartersig

    The starting point for the success of the UK Sky cycle racing team was small incremental gains. That might be worth thinking about when study after study after study shows WF plant based diets are associated with less heart disease. Even the decently formed Healthy Shoppers study came out ahead for HD in terms of plant based. My approach would be to therefore look at where and perhaps why all cause mortality came out at a draw on that study and proceed from there. I am not dismissing Lead as a player but can you explain why the incidence of CHD has increased in the UK since 2005 when perhaps if the remove lead initiatives had been significant we could expect them to be kicking in and rates dropping

  9. Jean Humphreys

    Many thanks.
    Chips for dinner again. But not too many. As many as I can eat without feeling overstuffed. And that too is one of the secrets of eating well. Not Diet, because that is a nasty invention of the party that wants to control your life.

  10. mmec7

    Wonderful – removing nose from a large mug of coffee, and two slices of toast (French bread), with a hefty slew of good butter (French, ‘cru’ – raw milk) and a good helping of thick cut seville orange marmalade. Have a petition in front of me for the removal by the EU of E 171, titanium dioxide, used to whiten, as in toothpaste and hundreds +++ of products : https://you.wemove.eu/campaigns/support-the-french-ban-on-potentially-harmful-food-additive-e171? It’s a wonder anyone survives this continual multi-directional massive toxic onslaught… Need more coffee –

    1. chris c

      I just remembered a promo film for Tioxide we were shown in science classes at school.

      Yes there are no end of environmental exposures to things they never had in the past. Look at what is in shampoo, or makeup. Then there are room odorisers . . . and of course nanoparticles. When I was young particles were the proper size and a room odoriser was an Airwick which was bad enough. Fly papers used to be sticky, now they emit pesticide into the air.

      This guy


      may even have had a worse effect on health than Ancel Keys.

      Better Living Through Chemistry, my arse.

  11. Agg

    Top form Dr K

    How long before we find out that statins remove significant amount of lead from the human body, I wonder? They are the miracle drug, so why not?

  12. Justin Phillips

    Hal Huggins and Thomas Levy came to similar conclusions with Mercury, esp from Amalgam fillings. These heavy metals are a source of severe chronic inflammation and deplete Vitamin C, leading back to Pauling-Rath contention about CHD?

    1. David Bailey

      That is an interesting point, and chelating agent would no doubt remove a number of heavy metals from the system. I wonder if any attempt was made to determine exactly which metals were removed and in what quantities.

      1. peanutbutr

        EDTA used in chelation has a greater affinity for lead than for mercury. Lead is removed during early stages of chelation and then later stages of chelation will begin removing greater amounts of mercury. If, initially, a 24 hour urine test for heavy metals is done following an EDTA challenge and lots of lead shows up with smaller amounts of mercury, it does not mean one has less mercury in their system than lead. One must then retest after substantial lead has been removed in order to then get a better view of the toxic mercury load. Body burdens of other toxic metals, if present, will further complicate the picture, depending upon their affinity for EDTA. Also, it is extremely important to supplement with magnesium and trace minerals to avoid illness/fatigue due to depletion of essential minerals. It is not an exact science, but it seems to work, unlike current nutritional advice from the ‘experts’.

  13. Soul

    Indeed the English language can be strange and even humorous. Poor Leon! His parents were not kind to pass on the middle initials of Vd. I’m guessing he wasn’t popular with the ladies. I of course say that in jest, he is probably quite the charmer, but if I were him for an English speaking audience I’d drop the Vd middle initials/name.

    Very interesting about lead and its role in overall health. Sounds to be a substance to avoid and remove from the body. I recently bought some lead pellets for pest control around the yard. I’ll have to see if there are some copper pellets I can use instead.

    I personally suspect that there is an under appreciated roll for diet and food avoidance for improving health. I suspect though this is mainly for stomach issues, rashes, acne, aches and pains, mental issues/depression, etc.

    1. chris c

      Oh yes, shotgun pellets used to be lead. Fishing weights too. I think they have gone over to tungsten alloys since swans were getting lead poisoning which caused their necks to collapse. I know lead is not that soluble but there must be tons of the stuff in rivers – sources of our drinking water.

  14. edinburghnutrition

    Brilliant, as usual.
    Presumably the victims of the appalling Flint water scandal will suffer increased CVD accordingly.
    Other thought is… magnesium. Mg seems to help protect against lead exposure, by mobilising it, reducing absorption and by increasing lead excretion. Many people have a daily magnesium shortfall, for all sorts of reasons, including soft water, soil depletion, medications and refined foods (apologies for mentioning diet!), and feel the better for a supplement. Although lead isn’t mentioned in following paper, I wonder if this relationship between magnesium and lead accounts for some of its findings (ie lack of Mg = increased susceptibility to Pb, leading to CVD, or Pb exposure = reduced Mg levels, leading to CVD, or both.) ‘Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis’ (BMJ / Open Heart 13th January 2018) Another gem that ‘slipped by in a virtual media blackout.’


    Love it! Enjoyed a laugh in the middle of my (35 patient) day.
    Will try your dietary ideas on my group tonight.

    Sent from my iPhone

  16. Bill in Oz

    Really worth waiting for Malcolm. Thank you ! In recent weeks i have almost abandoned reading comments on your posts because I sick & tired of the diet debates… I agree almost entirely with your remarks about diet..My only point of difference : I still endevour to keep my sugar and seed oil consumption low.. But for the rest.. I’m with you !

  17. Frederica Huxley

    Some of those trillions should be spent replacing lead pipes in the American water supply. Detroit was a cause celebre ( which still hasn’t been rectified), while there are current reports of lead in water in many other municipalities. Sometimes it is hard to believe that the US is a first world country.

  18. Gary Ogden

    Thank you for this, Dr. Kendrick. Of course the authorities and media are paying no attention. Lead in drinking water and paint they worry about, but I’m concerned about lead in dust. I rather doubt all that environmental lead went away like a good boy even after it was removed from gasoline. I do have a bottle of EDTA in capsule form, 600 mg. I did take them for a short period the last time the subject arose here. Does anyone have experience using these?

    1. peanutbutr

      Oral EDTA does not seem to work well. It needs to be IV because it does not pass through the digestive tract into the circulatory system well. There are other better oral agents (including and more effective than vitamin C). Read “The Mercury Diaries: A Memoir of Healing and Hope” by Daniel Forsyth. It’s an enlightening read and provides a good introduction to the work of Andrew Cutler, from whom Daniel adopted some of the approach he used.

  19. BobM

    I know Dr. Kendrick is not fond of diet as a CVD inhibitor, but Ivor Cummins and the like have been showing CAC scan score (CAC = coronary arterial calcification, a marker of “hardening” of the arteries) reversal using low carb and some vitamins. Even Dr. Davis of Wheat Belly fame has shown similar reversal. However, these are anecdotal and have not been substantiated in an RCT. And, to the extent that insulin resistance/diabetes/high blood pressure have any effect on CVD, both Virta and Dr. Fung and many others (Dr. David Unwin) have shown T2 diabetes/blood presssure reversal based on fasting and low carb or just low carb.

    For me, I’ve been low carb/keto since 1/1/14, and have insanely high Lp(a), have been using intermittent and long-term fasting for 4.5 years or so, and just got a CAC score of zero (55 years old, 90% of people have higher CAC scores). At least based on this metric, saturated fat does not appear to be “clogging my arteries” and Lp(a) does not seem to be having an effect (or I am overcoming that effect). Maybe saturated fat and Lp(a) will kill me some other way, but I don’t know in what way that would be.

    I also think people’s responses to carbs are different. For instance, I used a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) for over a year, and I’ve found foods that don’t seem to affect my blood sugar (popcorn, fresh salsa) and others that do (fruit, any grain, potatoes). Meat and eggs and cheese cause zero blood sugar rise. To the extent that blood sugar spikes are bad, this is at least partly individual.

  20. Nanno & Coosje Bakker

    From Holland a question to you about statins, We know and do believe that cholesterol is not the reason for heartproblems etc. What we read is that when yiu have had a heartattaq you should take them. My husband has is wearing a icd pacemaker and is 79. What is your advice.

    Hope we will get an answer from you.

    Nanno and Coosje Bakker with greetings and shalom to you.

    Op 23 sep. 2019 10:14 schreef “Dr. Malcolm Kendrick” :

    Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “23 September 2019 Lead again I am returning to lead, the heavy metal. Not the verb to lead, or a noun – such as a dog lead. Yes, English is complicated, with the same word meaning several different things, which can lead to confusion. I am indebt”

    1. Gary Ogden

      Phil: Thanks for reposting that. I’ve been taking only 0.7-0.8g lately, but I’m going to go back to 1.5-2.0g. Those findings are an excellent reason to ditch the BP pills, which I did 3 1/2 years ago.

  21. JDPatten

    Another vote here for Eric’s four points, particularly – what is the mechanism of lead’s actions on CVD?
    Understanding that there is a problem at all; understanding the full nature of the problem: two points for getting you half-way to the solution.

  22. Chad

    Fascinating. My grandfather worked at a gas station when he was younger pumping gas. He also used gas for cleaning car parts and paint brushes. I can only imagine the amount of lead he was exposed to. He had his first heart attack at 47 and never a smoked.

  23. David Bailey

    This a bit off-topic, but I know a man who is extraordinarily fit at age 80 – cycling up very steep hills and the like.

    He told me that a few years ago, his heart showed up some sort of abnormality on an ECG. The consultant said that he would need to have a pacemaker fitted. My friend protested, and the consultant explained that he would probably be able to climb stairs again using a pacemaker. My friend pointed out that he could run up stairs and do a variety of energetic activities, as explained above. At this point the consultant went down a list of alternative reasons for his ECG abnormality (which gave him no symptoms) and it turned out that his problem was a that he was sensitive to caffeine and tended to drink rather a lot of coffee! Switching to decaffeinated coffee solved his problem!

    This staggered me, because why would doctors jump to the conclusion that he needed a pacemaker (with all the attendant costs and risks associated with implanting it) before checking simple alternatives first? Scaled up, how much pacemaker abuse is going on?

    1. Stuart

      “why would doctors jump to the conclusion that he needed a pacemaker (with all the attendant costs and risks associated with implanting it) before checking simple alternatives first?”

      Because the doctor gets a large fee for implanting the pacemaker but nothing when the patient switches to decaf? I’m not suggesting that they are necessarily doing this cynically, but it’s amazing how people can rationalise actions that just happen to offer the most benefit to themselves. In addition the doctor gets a huge ego boost from playing the Hero Surgeon (As Seen on TV!!) saving lives by his god-like talent and skill. Recommending decaf just doesn’t cut it in the ego department somehow. Incidentally, my Scots uncle died from what seems to have been Clostridium difficile infection (difficult to get details at 12,000 miles distance). He apparently contracted the infection in hospital while having a pacemaker installed, so add that to the dangers of unnecessary procedures.

      I can add my own experience with unnecessary procedures. One of the major effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (known as ME in the UK) is gastrointestinal disorder, however it’s not widely discussed being embarrassing for the sufferers. When I went to see an Infectious Disease specialist in order to get a diagnosis of Lyme Disease (and thus actually get some treatment) he referred me to a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy. The GE said “you’re not coeliac so you’re OK. Next!”. After antibiotic treatment the majority of my Lyme/CFS symptoms disappeared (temporarily unfortunately) but the diarrhoea remained. My GP sent me to a different gastroenterologist who did another colonoscopy – same answer “no coeliac. Next!” Neither offered any suggestions about actually curing my GI problems. After trying antifungals, probiotics etc my GP ordered a blood test for anti-gliadin antibodies. Bingo! My results were 3 times normal levels. Switched to a gluten-free diet, diarrhoea and bloating disappeared. Neither of those so-called experts mentioned Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity, yet they were happy to conduct an invasive procedure for which they get paid handsomely. Plus that colonoscopy isn’t as safe as they’d have you believe. Read about the dangers from a man who lost his intestines from a botched and unnecessary colonoscopy

    2. Göran Sjöberg

      As far as I understand CVD “treatment”, as most of what is happening in the health care, seems to be exclusively about industrial business interests. E.g., bypass has been shown to be of basically no benefit in the long run but is certainly a comprehensive operation not without danger. So why do they do it? The simple answer is because they can and there is money to be made.

      I have an old friend (about 75) who is fit for his age and had no problem with his heart but when he went to a routine check up he was certainly trapped. They called him later from the hospital when he was strolling the city and told him that he needed to have stents urgently inserted which was promptly done with three units. He didn’t notice any difference whatever in physical performance.

      It is a shame business!

    3. Mr Chris

      David Bailey
      This approach is not limited to medicine.
      I know a man who could not get reverse gear on his boat. The repair shop lifted out the engine and re ground the reverse gear. When he had the same problem a month later, I suggested a different repairer, who found the need for a new cable.
      Motto: try the simple things first

      1. David Bailey

        Everyone who commented, please remember that this happened on the NHS, so the doctor didn’t benefit directly in terms of money, though there may have been some other perks including prestige – I do not know.

        I was told at the time what the exact fault was, but I don’t remember exactly.

      2. Stuart

        David, aren’t the “consultants” I keep hearing about in the NHS hospitals actually doctors in private practice who get paid by the NHS for each operation performed as opposed to salaried employees of the NHS? That’s certainly the case here in Australia with the surgeons who see patients in the public hospitals, it’s just that the surgeon is paid by the government health department rather than the patient or their health insurance.

      3. Stuart

        OK Malcolm, I was misled by the use (or rather misuse) of the word “consultant”. In every other field a consultant is somebody you bring in from outside and is paid on a case by case basis, not a full-time employee – eg consulting engineer, management consultant.

      4. David Bailey


        Senior doctors in NHS hospitals are called consultants – I think it is analogous to the fact that in the US they mistakenly talk about the pavement as being the middle of the road, whereas it is actually the name for the strip on the edge for walking on 🙂

      5. Stuart

        The linguistic oddity that tripped me up in the US was the word “entree”. When I was asked in a restaurant what I wanted for an entree I replied that I would just have a main course – only to be told that an entree WAS a main course! (or it is in the USA). They even use the French pronunciation. But then, what would the French know? As GW Bush reminded us all, the problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for “entrepreneur” 😁

        You Pommies have a few problems with the lingo too. Not only do you have consultants who are actually salaried employees, the public is excluded from your “public” schools! Very strange.

    4. Malcolm Achtman

      Maybe your friend experienced some heart arrhythmias that were mistakenly deemed to be serious. For example, my brother used to experience periods of very rapid heart rate (supra-ventricular tachycardia) that went away as soon as he stopped drinking caffeinated beverages (tea, coke, etc.).

  24. David Bailey


    I am a bit puzzled by the rule of thumb that an odds ratio of two or more is enough to believe an observational study. To take one of your own examples, if you measured the correlation between yellow fingers and CVD, it would be almost as high as the correlation between smoking and CVD (for obvious reasons).

    Surely one possible reason for a strong correlation of lead vs CVD, might be that ‘lower class’ people tend to live in cities, and also suffer more disease.

    I’m not claiming this is true – I am more interested in the odds-ratio rule of thumb.

      1. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Yes, and the Bradford Hill criteria are an important tool for assessing the strength of the conclusion that an association is causal. But a doubling of risk seems to me to be a reasonable starting point to drawing such a conclusion, given biological plausibility.

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          I find the Bradford Hill criteria interesting, fascinating but – in the end frustrating. The main point of them is to confirm that is very difficult to prove causality. Really, his criteria are just an extension of Popper’s ideas on falsification. You can never prove a scientific hypothesis to be true, you can only prove it to be untrue. However, Popper’s ‘black and white’ approach to falsification is also complex. The slightly erratic orbit of Neptune appeared to falsify Newtonian physics. A black swan? No, Pluto was interfering with the orbit. The orbit of Mercury, however, did falsify Newtonian physics. Although people spent decades looking for the planet Vulcan – though the explain the orbital eccentricities of Mercury. With any apparent falsification there is always the chance that there is another ‘planet’ in orbit that you have not yet identified. The closest to certain proof you are ever going to get is through scientific experimentation. In medicine the RCT. Even then however, there may be planets out there you never even thought of. Statins, for example, reduce LDL – and slightly to moderately reduce the risk of CVD. However, statins also do many other things e.g. increase nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Is it the LDL lowering that creates the benefit, or the increased NO synthesis? Are we looking at the orbit of Neptune, or the orbit of Mercury?

          If you are totally purist you would say we can never prove anything about anything. But that is not going to get us vary far. Pragmatically, I tend to work on three main criteria. Scientific plausibility/mechanism of action, Odds Ratio (in observational studies) greater than 2 (preferably more), scientific experimentation. The last is usually the most difficult, in that carrying out controlled experiments on humans – with toxic substances – rapidly bumps into the problem of ethics.

      2. David Bailey

        Wouldn’t it be superb if someone found the planet Vulcan – perhaps with a very low reflectivity, so it hadn’t been detected before.

        Maybe they already have, but the observation was deemed not worth publishing because it would bring General Relativity into doubt!

      3. David Bailey

        Maybe a way to shed light on the lead problem would be to study a group of people who are exposed to lead for reasons other than living in the city. Someone mentioned that in the US fuel for light aircraft still contains lead. At a guess, this is probably an organo-lead compound, which is probably particularly efficiently absorbed. Thus if you compared light aircraft enthusiasts with people with some other, rather expensive pastime that didn’t involve exposure to lead, you might get an interesting difference between people of similar social status..

        I am very cautious about observational studies after Malcolm described how HRT was considered protective against cancer and heart disease, until an RCT was done that removed the confounding effect of social class, which resulted in HRT causing more of those diseases! I always try to imagine how social class might be causing the result.

      4. chris c

        Epicycles come to mind, especially in regard to “cholesterol”. Don’t whatever you do reject the theory, just add more bits to it.

  25. Göran Sjöberg

    Very informatory and scary when I realize that the first part of my life I spent in an environment with only leaded fuel – may be a contributing factor to my MI case.

    My present attitude in life at 73 is now one of caution against all toxic substances and especially the ones in my food. I evidently have got enough of poison in my body already! That is why I go for organic food when available. And no farmed fish since it is “full”of it.

    I understand that sugar in “excess” is also a CVD poison (as noted by Yudkin 60 years ago) so I left sugar behind 20 years ago after my MI.

  26. Charles Gale

    BobM – CAC score and lp(a)

    I recall a recent comment of yours in which you mentioned your excellent (enviable!) CAC score of zero, and also your very high lp(a) level but I held back from commenting.

    I’m the exact opposite: CAC score of 1500 and my last lp(a) was a very,very low 72 mg/L.

    It’s been a few years since I drilled down into lp(a) and had several tests done, but my recollection is that it is (very basically) a CVD marker and it is a mobile repair molecule (which I think might be Dr Rath’s description in one of his presentations), thus indicating that arterial damage is being repaired.

    Here is a link to Dr John Cha’s 2015 talk on the matter – the 1st 5 mins cover lp(a) and fibrinogen:

    He describes fibrinogen as “responsible for the clotting cascades whenever you have a damage in the artery wall” and “lp(a) interfaces with fibrinogen”, both lp(a) and fibrinogen described as “repair factors” and “stabilise the artery wall”.

    Any idea what your fibrinogen level is? A high level might be conclusive.

    Is it possible your CAC score of zero and high lp(a) indicate possible soft plaque not yet calcified?

    I’m not sure if there are tests available to specifically identify soft plaque, as opposed to markers such as lp(a) and fibrinogen.

    I’m not sure how positive or reassuring these comments are, so I held back previously.

    I hope this helps!

    1. BobM

      Hi Charles, I’m not sure I got my fibrinogen tested. I’ll have to see. My test results are at home.
      I have not done a ton of research with Lp(a), but what I’ve done leads me to believe they don’t know a lot about it. It’s definitely associated with heart disease, but also (at times) with lower cancer rates. And here’s a study indicating what they thought it did, it didn’t do:


      As to your questions of soft plaque versus not yet calcified plaque, that I cannot answer. I have seen others with high Lp(a) but low CAC (including Ivor and others), but what that means, I do not know

      Basically, all the markers I know of (OGTT, AST, ALT, GGT, ferritin, HS-CRP, Pattern of LDL/lipids, etc.) are all low for me. With the exception of Lp(a).

  27. Harry Mossman

    I am proud to say that my sister works in lead abatement for the State of California. She always reminds me that turmeric, that really wonderful cure for so many things, often has high levels of lead. Also chocolate and other foods from countries that still use leaded gas.

  28. dearieme

    “That is a powerful enough correlation to prove causation” No it isn’t: if whoever taught you statistics didn’t show you an example where that logic was false he was remiss in his duties.

    It all depends on the potential confounders. He should have taught you that too. He might even have shown you Bradford Hill’s rules of thumb on the matter which are an improvement over mere correlation-worship.

    The sequence with smoking was simple. The evidence was frightening enough that lots of people gave up smoking. That was the John Snow moment, because it was duly followed by a decline in lung cancer. That was the proof.

    1. JDPatten

      Don’t trip over your Philosophy of Proof on your way to alerted awareness and sensibility concerning the information at hand and a possible lifestyle refinement . . . and hurt yourself. 😉

  29. andy

    No doubt lead (Pb) is a nasty substance and one should attempt to minimize exposure. The study estimating deaths due to lead appears to be same genre as dire projections from climate change alarmists. I will get my level checked just in case.
    Some good news:

    “The mean blood lead level of persons aged 1 to 74 years dropped 78%, from 0.62 to 0.14 mumol/L (12.8 to 2.8 micrograms/dL).”

    “The geometric mean blood lead level declined 41% from 2.76 microg/dL (0.13 micromol/L) in 1988-1994 to 1.64 microg/dL (0.08 micromol/L) in 1999-2002.”

  30. Anna M

    When it comes to diet I am completely flummoxed. I never believed for a moment that red meat causes cancer or that chicken is somehow magically better. But after failing in my quest to cure my cancer naturally I had to go to a clinic for 6 weeks. Now I might as well follow their recommendations. They say red meat twice a month. No dairy. No wheat. Wheat they say is inflammatory. They served chicken and fish every day, eggs for breakfast about every other day. I find living without dairy almost impossible, but I am eating very little of it. I am snacking and roving around looking for what to eat all the time. But so many people and books and websites over the years for cancer say no meat and no dairy.

    The author of How To Starve Cancer says certain things that may be very good at caner prevention are not good once you have an active cancer. It can feed it. Iron, glutathione, saturated fat. Not all cancer eats only sugar. In fact, prostate cancer likes protein and fat. So maybe eating lower on the food chain is the right thing to do. I just don’t know!

    1. Gary Ogden

      Anna M: Yes, it is difficult to what foods are best to avoid, and best to eat, in treating cancer. Dr. Seyfreid emphasizes not only the role of blood glucose in feeding cancer cells, but also glutamine. This is an essential amino acid, so the protocol calls for cycling in and out of blocking glutamine metabolism, I believe through an enzyme inhibitor. The website I looked at listed three compounds which will do this: 1. Green tea. 2. Ashwagandha. 3. The seeds of chiles (Capsicum sp.).

      1. Craig E

        @Gary Ogden I have read Seyfried’s book and although heavy going it’s fascinating. Just a point of clarification – glutamine is a non-essential amino acid in that the body can produce it.

        @Anna M – if one believes that glucose and glutamine are the primary fuels for cancer cell metabolism, it would make sense to cut out foods that are high in glutamine and glucose. I believe red meat, dairy and wheat fall into the ‘high in glutamine’ category. However the body makes its own glucose and glutamine so I gather trying to inhibit the endogenous production of each would also be a factor.

  31. Harry Mossman

    Although leaded gas has been banned in auto fuel in the U.S., It is still used in fuel for small planes. “Owners and operators of more than 167,000 piston-engine aircraft operating in the United States rely on aviation gasoline (avgas) to power their aircraft. Avgas is the only remaining lead-containing transportation fuel. Lead in avgas prevents damaging engine knock, or detonation, that can result in a sudden engine failure. Lead is a toxic substance that can be inhaled or absorbed in the bloodstream, and the FAA and EPA and industry are partnering to remove it from avgas. Avgas emissions have become the largest contributor to the relatively low levels of lead emissions produced in this country.” https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/avgas/

  32. Melanie

    Looks like you are being character assasinated again. A google search for Malcolm Kendrick returns the following results first suddenly:-

    About 12,900,000 results (0.33 seconds)
    Search Results
    Web results
    https://rationalwiki.org/https://rationalwiki.org › wiki › Malcolm_Kendrick
    Malcolm Kendrick – RationalWiki
    16 Mar 2019 – —Malcolm Kendrick medical scientist hater. According to Kendrick: A high-fat diet has no impact on blood cholesterol levels. High-cholesterol levels do not cause or increase the risk of heart disease. Statins do not protect against heart disease by lowing cholesterol levels.
    ‎Biography · ‎Far-out claims

  33. Sue Knight

    I use a Rife machine, which has a Heavy Metal Detox program. But as others have stated, there are several ways to chelate. I was listening to a man talking about Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) devices (these do not chelate heavy metals – but…). He listed several countries who use these, and/or approved them (e.g. Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Roumania, Poland, Russia). When the interviewer asked if the UK approved them he said, “Ohhh, no… They are very behind.” This was also the case in Elizabethan times, when scientists had to go abroad to tap into state-of-the-art thinking. Back then they had the excuse that we were cut off, as an island. The real reason why the main steam takes no interest in validity is probably the same as it was then: Egoism and greed. Men like you Dr. Kendrick were (and are now) considered heretics. I prefer the term Saint!

  34. Charles Gale

    David Bailey – “How much pacemaker abuse is going on?”

    Maybe it’s a question of context – I had mine fitted 3 years ago while in intensive care. Perhaps a life saving necessity in that context. Maybe not in the context of your anecdote.

    And yet it angers me that the consent form was dangled in front of me while lying on the slab, with no knowledge of anything to do with CVD, the usual scare mongering – it’ll keep my alive, it was described as my “new best friend” by the surgeon. And QOF payments keep nagging away.

    Every 6 months I go for a pacemaker check – to see if it’s been activated. After 3 years there’s only been a few seconds. If I had my way, I’d get the thing removed. The cardiologists who take the readings state there are many out there for whom it is a life saver. I don’t doubt it. Not in my case.

    Perhaps finding out how many are fitted every year, how much the surgeons have financially benefited from sticking them in, survival rate of patients after the implants and how often they get activated would answer the question.

    So, I guess we’ll never know, apart from anecdotally.

  35. Soul

    This isn’t going to be terribly helpful but with that said I thought it interesting and thought to bring it up.

    Back many years ago, in the 90s, I knew of a doctor that had heart disease. He was a business friends of my father. The doctor believed he could cure his heart disease, (what his symptoms were I don’t recall.) by eating lots of fiber. Well, his high fiber diet worked according to him. The doctor ended up writing a book about treating heart disease by eating lots of soluble and insoluble fiber. I believe the book was a decent seller. I don’t recall the doctors name. I believe it was a long Polish sounding name.

    Anyway, looking up on the internet I see mentions that fiber is a way to remove lead and other heavy metals from the body. The studies linked appear unimpressive. They might have possibilities though. Possibly eating more fiber might be an inexpensive way to remove toxins from the body.

    I’ve ordered some books on the topic and look forward to reading more into this area. .

    1. andy

      Soul: found this about lead, what it does and what can be done about it

      Toxicity of lead: A review with recent updates

      Just a thought: serum lead levels are going down but glyphosate levels are rising. Glyphosate chelates heavy metals including calcium. Lead binds to iron in red blood cells. Increasing iron consumption reduces lead absorption unless glyphosate binds it first. Now if you add statins…

      1. Soul

        Thanks Andy, I’ll read further into the article. Looks interesting. I’ve ordered some books on the topic of lead and toxic metal exposure. Should made for good reading.

  36. Jean Humphreys

    I saw that ad on TV again. It has been annoying me. It depicts a woman (of course) gazing into a shop window at cakes and the song goes along the lines of “tired of longing for something I can’t have” It is plugging a modified “cake” that is a snack that she can have because it has fewer calories (maybe less fat as well). All this diet nonense is just a profit opportunity for Big Food as opposed to Big Pharma. I swear at the ad and say just eat something nice with LOTS of cream and LOTS of butter and LOTS of eggs, instead of the palm oil, sunflower oil and glucose fructose syrup that are so hard to get away from in manufactured foods. Would that I had the strength and energy to do my own baking again.

    1. JanB

      Jean – yes,yes, yes. Totally agree on all fronts. This morning, waiting for a train, I had a latte with an entire (small) pot of clotted cream stirred in. It was delicious and I knew it would keep me going for the 6 hour journey.

  37. Jerome Savage

    At 18 to 19 + minutes.a clear message about Ldl and it’s non influence on CVD is a treat. Insulin is the unrecognised driver of CVD.

    1. AhNotepad

      errett, I wonder if this is just a “peasant” level operation, or if the “elites” are implicated. Population control?

  38. Benjamin David Steele

    Then again, diet may play an important role in detoxification.

    I noticed a detail in the book Fat is Our Friend by Sammy Pepys. In discussing Roseto PA from the 1950s, he mentioned their supposedly unhealthy diet full of animal foods and saturated fat. Yet they were healthy. He points out that maybe it was because of this diet, probably loaded with fat-soluble vitamins.

    This is in spite of the fact of smoking and drinking a lot, along with workplace toxins (p. 117): “Rosetan men worked in such toxic environments as the nearby slate quarries … inhaling gases, dusts and other niceties.” Could the healthy diet have helped? Has anyone ever researched people exposed to toxins on a healthy diet vs an unhealthy diet?

    1. andy

      Benjamin David Steele: diet has become a four letter word
      Combinations and permutations of foods are called diets, and the term has become meaningless because of the sheer number of named diets. Purpose of eating is to obtain nutrients for cellular functions. Some foods like plants contain nutrients and anti-nutrients. Then there is the dose response, too much of a nutrient can be toxic.
      A chicken can be healthy or unhealthy to eat depending on how it is raised. Modern chickens eat GMO corn and soy, antibiotics to prevent diseases and hormones for rapid weight gain. Man-boobs can result from eating hormone laced chickens.

      What is future of food? Noticed meatless hamburgers in meat section. Need to vilify real meat to promote the new foods.

  39. Greg Hill

    I have noticed a lot of comments here mentioning mercury (the element, not the planet). That reminded me of a rat study dating back to the 1970 if I recall correctly where to one group of 100 rats they gave an LD1 of lead (that’s enough to probably kill about 1%) and none of them died. They gave an LD1 of mercury to another group of 100 and none of them died. A third group received an LD1 of lead plus an LD1 of mercury, and all 100 of them died, apparently because of some kind of synergistic effect. It would be interesting to do an observational study comparing the age and cause of death in humans having a high load of lead but not mercury, a high load of mercury but not lead, high loads of both, and high loads of neither.

  40. Soul

    Learned tragic news this evening, a guy I briefly knew passed away suddenly from a heart attack early this morning. He would have been in his middle 40s, a couple years younger than me. He had two young kids. He was President and CEO of a bank. We shared the same last name so naturally we tried to find out if we were related . No ancestry connection could be found. He ended up marring a girl that lived across the street from my parents home. Anyway bit of a ramble but his passing hits close to home. I was a bit surprised to learn he was rushed to the hospital last night, in pain but conscious. The hospital was working to place a stent into an artery, when he died suddenly. RIP Tom.

    1. Jerome Savage

      Also had a similar event locally. 49 year old also bank programme manager but this was a lifelong & consummate athlete and the picture of good health. Died suddenly and a shock to the local sports community. There is some suggestion that such terrible events are more common than we might expect for that age group, more particularly in to early 50’s and more particularly prime athlete types.
      I would like Malcolm to give his thoughts on this, if it is a phenomenon.

      1. JDPatten

        Yeah, Doc. What gives?
        There’s research that suggests that the consummate athlete is likely to have way-high Coronary Artery Calcium scores, but that the beneficial aspects of exercise make it worthwhile. True? Maybe only for some of us?
        Perhaps it comes down to the simple matter of allowing healing to keep ahead of (endothelial) injury??

      2. Soul

        I’m sorry to read there was a similar incident of a fatal heart attack to someone young, very young at 49!

        What I take from Tom’s fatal heart attack and what might have helped him was if he had been, or a co worker had been more responsive to his chest pains a better outcome might have happened. I’ve only heard second hand what occurred. I was told that Tom was complaining of chest pains all day while at work. For what ever reason he must have felt the pains would resolve on their own. He went home. Very late at night or early morning, it was around 3:00 AM, the pains increased and he was rushed to the hospital.

        I guess we may complain about cardiac prevention methods. If experiencing persistent chest pains though best to have the hospital check it out just in case. Then if you survive the heart attack, best to adopt a prevention plan. Worrying about cholesterol levels isn’t going to be of much help. Other prevention strategies are needed.

        Come to think of it, I’ve known 2 other people that complained of intense chest pains and didn’t quickly go to the hospital to have it checked out. One survived and one did not. The guy that passed away was a character. He would wear wrong sized hair pieces. It looked very odd, but he was a very successful businessman. I figured he was to wealthy for anyone to point out his hair piece being on sideways and wrong sized. Anyway, he complained of chest pains for a week at work. He eventually died at an airport. The other guy was on a cruise around Cuba. He had chest pains for a few days, but didn’t want to see a doctor away from home. I guess in considerable pain according to his wife, he drove home after the cruise, and then went to the hospital. He was lucky to have survived I suspect. That was 3 years ago. I see him out walking all the time now. He doesn’t appear all that healthy but good to see him still getting around. I know he has taken a PPI medication for years. I’ve guessed that medication was his likely heart attack cause.

      3. Jerome Savage

        Soul. Still a bit raw so I won’t go in to too much detail but of all the several hundred runners in our running community, many late comers and up to a hundred over 50 this was least expected. In excellent shape, good social network and relaxed demeanour, he had completed a 20 mile run some days before and a brisk 10k (warm down) on that morning of the sad event. Hours later, after watching kids football game he called his doctor but ….. need say no more.
        Did not fit the picture. My own kids are now looking at me in a new light –
        don’t kno whether to be thankful or fretful – tho am in no sense a consummate athlete – hav enjoyed long distance running since angina & subsequent stenting in 2004, running replaced by long distance cycling – and hill walking more recently. But I know, or think I know what to look out for, having experienced angina.

  41. Gary Ogden

    Craig E: Thanks for the clarification. I have not read the book, only listened to the Q & A. I would think it necessary to inhibit endogenous glutamine production or metabolism if it is indeed feeding cancer cells, in addition to reducing consumption. Yet it is an essential part of rebuilding tissue, so how to do this, that is, reduce it but not too much?

  42. Martin Back

    I stumbled on a nice quote I think Dr Kendrick will appreciate:

    “There is no error so monstrous that it fails to find defenders among the ablest of men.” — Lord Acton

  43. smartersig

    Puzzled why at 38mins in your Cummings interview you did not correct him when he stated there are only two trial showing regression of HD and perhaps point out that the Ornish trial published in 1991 also qualified

  44. testing123testing420162851

    Dear Doctor Kendrick.

    It has been suggested to be that I should look at SGLT2 inhibitors to help manage my diabetes.

    Where would you suggest I look, as all the articles I have read so far seem suspect .

    Many thanks Rachel Brett (One of your many appreciative subscribers)

    On Mon, 23 Sep 2019 at 09:20, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “23 September 2019 Lead again I am returning > to lead, the heavy metal. Not the verb to lead, or a noun – such as a dog > lead. Yes, English is complicated, with the same word meaning several > different things, which can lead to confusion. I am indebt” >

  45. chris c

    Silly man, lead can’t possibly cause heart disease because it doesn’t come from animals. QED.

    I see the Intellectual Yet Idiots at Cambridge University have banned beef and lamb from their canteens. This makes me wonder if there is enough lead in the drinking water to cause brain damage. Harvard too.

    Good point above about the potential for interaction between lead and mercury. And the rest, glyphosate, statins, lack of magnesium . . .

  46. errett


    Over the weekend, America’s largest pharmacy chain made the decision to stop selling the heartburn medication and a similar generic version after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the medications, which contain ranitidine, could have low-levels of impurities that may cause cancer.

    On September 26, the administration issued a press release urging pharmacies to institute a recall of the drugs.

  47. errett

    “Depressingly, all this tends to indicate that after all these years and all these millions of research participants, we still don’t know much,” he said.


    They added that the quality of evidence linking processed meat with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes was “very low.”

    “There are very small risk reductions in cancer, heart disease and diabetes, however the evidence is uncertain,” Bradley Johnston, an epidemiology professor at Dalhousie University and director of the NutriRECS group that put together the guidelines, told AFP.

    1. David Bailey


      I think that is an excellent video of an interview with Malcolm Kendrick, explaining and connecting all the various issues we discuss here.
      @Malcolm I think it would be great if you provided a link to this video at the top of the blog.

    2. Sasha

      Goran, thank you for the link, it’s very very good. A question: has anyone seen their CAC score decline and, if yes, what strategies did they use? I apologize if this has been asked and answered already. Thank you.

      1. chris c

        William Davis was the past master at doing this. Being a scientific sort he changed his protocol several times as his knowledge changed. Unfortunately he also changed his blogs around several times and a lot of the old stuff was lost.

  48. Soul

    Reading a book on heavy metal detoxing, the author made an interesting claim. He says to detox one of the most important points in detoxing is to not be stressed. According to him stress causes the fight or flight system to shut down the bodies detoxing abilities.

  49. Karl Schmidt

    Apparently lead exposure likely increases coagulation – this supports the ‘clot happens first’ theory of CAD.



    Full disclosure – I thought they were overreacting to lead exposure – I now think they understated the risks.

    Little did I know.. Further – I thought the heavy metal test that I took told me I had not had lead exposure – just isn’t the right test. There is a florescent xray test that can measure the amount in bone.

  50. Charles Gale

    BobM – test results

    Intriguing stuff.

    You mentioned Ivor Cummins with his high lp(a) and low/zero calcium score.

    Did you get that info from the interview he conducted with Dr Kendrick – Goran provided the link below?

    If not, lp(a) and vit C are discussed at around 01.12.11.

  51. Soul

    I’ve begun reading Dr. Morton Walker’s book on Chelation Therapy. It can be seen here ~

    “Chelation therapy: How to prevent or reverse hardening of the arteries”


    What he writes about is exciting stuff, if he is accurate. He so far just writes about case studies but if what he writes is true, chelation therapy can help not only with hardening of the arteries but also with diabetes symptoms. He writes about a case of a patient that went blind from type 2 diabetes being able to see again after a series of chelation therapy sessions. A doctor that was to have his feet amputated due to a lack of circulation and turning black. The feet’s color returning to normal after chelation therapy. Pictures were provided. etc.

    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Soul, interesting!

      My wife and I made the same exciting experience when we turned ketogenic ten years ago when my wife was in a pretty bad late T2D shape. She had severe peripheral neuropathy with two eye diagnosis and lost night vision.

      The immediate improvement was impressive while full recovery took about a year.

      I now wonder if there is a connection between the ketogenic state and chelation therapy.

  52. Stuart

    See also “A Textbook on EDTA Chelation Therapy” by Elmer Cranston

    Gives details of studies that supposedly “proved” that chelation was ineffective where the data actually showed the opposite. In particular look at the Heidelberg study which claimed that chelation was less effective than placebo. The “placebo” was actually bencyclan, which is a widely used drug for intermittent claudication, and not only was the improvement similar in both groups, the chelation group continued to improve even after therapy was stopped which was not true for the bencyclan group.

    I have no personal experience with chelation therapy, however I do remember reading that interest in chelation for heart disease was sparked by patients being chelated for lead poisoning reporting that their angina was dramatically reduced.

  53. Soul


    I of course don’t know but I’d guess could be. I say that, I’m beginning to re-read some materials I have on calcium poisoning. Their idea is that our needs for calcium are far lower than official recommendations are. From my amateur analysis the studies highlighted are poor quality. Possibly a case can be made though that following a diet low in calcium or some other metals such as lead, mercury, iron, etc, or taking the other route of chelation therapy to remove poisoning metals will result in Type 2 diabetes health improvements. Wonderful to read your wife experienced improved eye sight following the diet.

  54. Charles Gale

    Sasha – CAC reversal

    The jury seems to be still out whether you can (1) reverse your calcium score, but (2) stopping progression or (3) slowing progression has been achieved.

    I’ll quote one source for all 3 scenarios – Dr Matthias Rath’s 2018 Cyprus lecture. During this he talks about calcium deposits in clinical trials (i.e. on humans, not animals) and there are a few slides he presents on this topic – here are the titles for 2 of them:

    (1) “Micronutrients can slow the growth and reverse coronary deposits” and
    (2) “Clinical documentation of natural reversal of human coronary artery disease”.

    However, he later states that not all forms are reversible, especially in the advanced stages.

    Annoyingly, no CAC scores are mentioned in this presentation so I’m not sure how he defines advanced stages. He refers to a 1996 clinical study so the data may be available somewhere.

    I’ll bet that someone like me with a CAC score of 1500 comes under that definition – I’m sure that score will never get down to zero.

    In December, it will be 2 years since I had my CT – CAC scan and perhaps time for another one and see what has happened (and provide a n=1 answer to your question). I know other commenters have had CAC scores but no answers yet to your question.

    I have cholesterol deposits on one knuckle but nothing has shifted that – not that it’s an issue but it gives me doubts about my calcium score reversing.

    1. Sasha

      Charles: thank you for your reply. If you do get another CAC CT and if there’s a decline in score, please let me know what strategies you used, if any. Thank you once again.

  55. Charles Gale

    Sasha – CAC reversal (postscript to my previous comment)

    I’ve found the 1996 study – the results were published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition in 1996.

    Here it is:

    Click to access Nutritional-supplement-program.pdf

    You can read a bit more here:


    It’s a bit technical for me and I’ve only had a quick read but they did the CT – CAC testing on 55 patients and under the “Results” heading it states the intention to monitor the “progression of coronary artery calcification particularly in its initial stages” and early coronary calcification is “defined by a CAS score of less than 100”.

    I don’t think Dr Rath mentioned any recent studies in his 2018 lecture, just the 1996 study.

    So, calcium score of less than 100. I wish. It would be interesting to know about CAC reversal for those of us with advanced levels of calcium.

    Some commenters don’t see much merit in testing at all. If nothing else, this is an argument for testing and nipping things in the bud before it’s too late.

    1. Sasha

      Yes, that was part of the reason for my question. Ivor Cummins advocates for CAC testing so my thinking was: once you got a score, what do you do next?
      Thank you, I will read the papers you linked.


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