The Great Placebo scandal

25th February 2020

In this blog I am going to have a closer look at an issue that has niggled away at me for a long time. Placebos. In part I was stimulated to write on this following an article that Maryanne Demasi published on the CrossFit site ‘Sometimes a placebo is not a placebo.’ 1

There are many, many different issues about placebos. Most of which people don’t even consider. Such as, is there really such a thing as the placebo effect? And if there is, how come we haven’t managed to sort out what it actually might be? I know most people reading this will retort. ‘Of course, there’s a placebo effect. It’s a known thing.’ Personally, I am not so sure. Like many known things it begins to fall apart under a bit of critical examination.

For example:

‘Whether you know you’re taking a placebo pill or not, it will still have a beneficial effect, new research has revealed. Scientists from Harvard University and the University of Basel prescribed a group of minor burn victims with a “treatment” cream, telling only some of them that it was a placebo. After the cream was applied, both groups reported benefits, despite the placebo cream containing no medicine.

The study goes against traditional medical thinking surrounding the placebo effect, which has always revolved around the idea that it was necessary to deceive patients in order for “sugar pills” to be clinically effective.’ 2

In short, you get the placebo effect whether you know, or don’t know, that you are receiving a placebo. Which kind of blows a major hole in rationale underpinning double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials.

However, I am not exploring that particular rabbit hole today.

Today I am going to look at the question. What is in a placebo? You may well believe you know the answer to this. A placebo is an inert formulation containing no active ingredients.

This is a reasonable assumption to make as the medical definition of a placebo, as taken from the Merriam-Webster medical dictionary, is:

‘1a: a usually pharmacologically inert preparation prescribed more for the mental relief of the patient than for its actual effect on a disorder

b: an inert or innocuous substance used especially in controlled experiments testing the efficacy of another substance (such as a drug)’

A few years ago, I was speaking to an investigative journalist from the Netherlands who was trying to get hold of the placebo tablets used in a particular clinical trial. He wanted to establish exactly what was in them, and if they were truly inert. No such luck, these placebos were very carefully guarded, as was any information about what they contained.

He gave up, but I did file his tale in my mind, recognising this was something that needed to be looked in greater detail at some point in the future. Can it be true that placebos are not actually inert?

Surely, it’s possible to ask the pharmaceutical company running the trial what’s in the placebo. Well, you can try. To quote a section of Maryanne’s article

‘The process of obtaining regulatory documents, however, is by no means straightforward. In fact, it is often complicated and time consuming. I have made multiple appeals to a European drug regulator (Medicines Evaluation Board) to obtain information (Certificate of Analysis) regarding the ingredients of a placebo used in a controversial statin study (JUPITER trial), but so far, they have fallen on deaf ears. So, too, have my requests to the trial’s lead investigator, Dr. Paul Ridker.

Medical journals will need to take responsibility and insist that published papers report on the methodological details of “inactive” placebos. Recently, Shader of Clinical Therapeutics stated, “It will no longer be sufficient to simply indicate that a placebo was used.”

“We will require that a full description of any placebo or matched control used in a clinical trial be given in the Methods section. This means that color; type (capsule or pill or liquid); contents (e.g, lactose), including dyes; taste (if there is any); and packaging (e.g, double-dummy) must be noted,” he stated. “We are instituting this change as part of our ongoing effort to facilitate replication of findings from trials. All too often this valuable information is omitted from published trial results.”

In short, you can’t find out what is contained within the placebos. Or at least, it is exceedingly difficult – to impossible.

This is very disturbing indeed, because it has become increasingly clear that placebos are often far from inactive or inert. In fact, they often contain some quite unpleasant substances. For example, here from an article in Medical News Today

‘The authors outline an example where a particular placebo skewed the results of several studies. In studies that investigated oseltamivir, which people may know by its brand name Tamiflu, scientists often added dehydrocholic acid to the placebo.

Dehydrocholic acid has a bitter taste, as does oseltamivir. The researchers chose to add this chemical to the placebo so that the participants would not know whether they had received the active drug or the placebo.

However, both dehydrocholic acid and oseltamivir cause gastrointestinal side effects. When scientists attempted to calculate the rate of gastrointestinal side effects due to oseltamivir, they compared them with side effects from the placebo.

As the placebo also caused these types of symptoms, scientists underestimated the overall gastrointestinal side effect rate for oseltamivir.3

Essentially, and you may find this rather shocking, a company doing a clinical trial can stick almost any nasty substance they like into a placebo and tell no-one. There are no regulations to prevent this happening, or at least none that I can find.

From time to time, however, the secret ingredients are revealed, or discovered, such as dehydrocholic acid. Here is Maryanne on the Gardasil (HPV) vaccine. In this case the ‘secret ingredient’ in the placebo was also identified.

‘In trials of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, participants were told they were either receiving a “vaccine or placebo.” The vaccine manufacturer defines a placebo as an “inactive pill, liquid, or powder that has no treatment value.”

However, participants in the placebo group did not receive an inactive substance of no treatment value. “Instead,” RIAT researchers state in the BMJ, “they received an injection containing amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate (AAHS), a proprietary adjuvant system used in the Gardasil vaccine to boost immune response.” 4

[RIAT = Restoring invisible and abandoned trials. Good people]

This is worrying. Many of those who are concerned about the potential for vaccine damage, believe it may well be the amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate (AAHS) itself which is the substance that can cause the adverse effects seen with many vaccines.

If both placebo, and vaccine, contain this adjuvant, then… it’s a free pass for the vaccine. In order to hide adverse effects with the vaccine, the placebo contained the substance suspected to cause adverse effects. Anyone who thinks that is remotely acceptable needs a long hard look in the mirror…

However, important thought it may be, it is time to move onto my favourite subject, statins – and placebos. For years I been highly suspicious of the adverse effect rates seen in the statin clinical trials. My concerns, and the concerns of others, formed part of a letter written to the then Health Secretary (Jeremy Hunt), and also to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 5

Here was the section on adverse events:

  1. Conflicting levels of adverse events

In emphasising the cost per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY), NICE is clearly making a major assumption that the key issue is mortality reduction, and that statins lead to very few adverse effects. We would question this very strongly.

The levels of adverse events reported in the statin trials contain worrying anomalies. For example, in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS, the first primary prevention study done), the cumulative incidence of myalgia was 0.6% in the statin arm, and 0.6% in the placebo arm*

However, the METEOR study found an incidence of myalgia of 12.7% in the Rosuvastatin arm, and 12.1% in the placebo arm

Whilst it can be understood that a different formulation of statin could cause a different rate of myalgia, it is difficult to see how the placebo could, in one study, cause a rate of myalgia of 0.6%, and 12.1% in another. This is a twenty-fold difference in a trial lasting less than half as long*.

Furthermore, the rate of adverse effects in the statin and placebo arms of all the trials has been almost identical. Exact comparison between trials is not possible, due to lack of complete data, and various measures of adverse effects are used, in different ways.

However, here is a short selection of major statins studies.

AFCAPS/TEXCAPS: Total adverse effects lovastatin 13.6%: Placebo 13.8%

4S: Total adverse effects simvastatin 6%: Placebo 6%

CARDS: Total adverse effects atorvastatin 25%: Placebo 24%

HPS: Discontinuation rates simvastatin 4.5%: Placebo 5.1%

METEOR: Total adverse effects rosuvastatin 83.3%: Placebo 80.4%

LIPID: Total adverse effects 3.2% Pravastatin: Placebo 2.7%

JUPITER: Discontinuation rate of drug 25% Rosuvastatin 25% placebo. Serious Adverse events 15 % Rosuvastatin 15.5% placebo

WOSCOPS: Total adverse effects. Pravastatin 7.8%: Placebo 7.0%

Curiously, the adverse effect rate of the statin is always very similar to that of placebo. However, placebo adverse effect rates range from 2.7% to 80.4%, a thirty-fold difference.

How can the adverse effects of placebo range from 2.7% to 80.4%? Yes, there can be differences in the way that adverse effects are recorded, and that could explain, perhaps a five-fold difference – being extremely generous. But a thirty-fold difference?

Also, how can it be possible that the adverse effects of the placebo, and the statin, are always, almost exactly the same, in all trails – no matter the absolute figure. I believe that this could not possibly occur unless:

  • The placebos in each trial were carefully formulated to cause adverse effects at the same rate as the statin
  • The statistics on adverse effects were manipulated

Neither possibility should fill anyone with joy, nor confidence in the regulatory systems.

I have raised this issue with a number of different people, but they all seem determinedly disinterested. I suppose that if either of my two statements are true, it means that the entire database of randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trials can no longer be trusted. This is not a nettle to be grasped. It is a fifty-thousand-volt power line with a sign reading ‘Danger of Death!’ attached.

I can well understand the reluctance to investigate. However, I do not believe that we can possibly allow the formulation of placebos to remain a well-kept secret in future, current, or past trials.

If my suspicions about placebos are wrong, then can someone please prove me wrong.

*in the letter I had calculated this figure wrongly. It was not 0.06%, it was 0.6%. So, I have changed the text in the blog to reflect that.

1: https://www.crossfit.com/health/sometimes-a-placebo-is-not-a-placebo

2: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/placebo-pills-work-no-medication-know-even-treatment-study-harvard-basel-a7969716.html

3: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326505#Problems-with-placebos

4: https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f2865/rr-7

5: https://www.nice.org.uk/Media/Default/News/NICE-statin-letter.pdf

357 thoughts on “The Great Placebo scandal

    1. jennyp36

      Another great article Dr Kendrick. One point:
      “In short, you get the placebo effect whether you know, or don’t know, that you are receiving a placebo.” That’s if you believe it’s going to work.
      There is also the ‘nocebo’ effect, if you believe it will do harm, then it will.
      See the ‘nocebo’ trial with cancer patients, where they were all told of the side effects, a large number of those given saline solution as the placebo were sick and lost their hair – the positive/negative power of the mind!

      Reply
  1. dearieme

    A crackerjack, Dr K. The ability to keep the formulation of a placebo secret is an invitation to crookedness. Alas, much that is passed off as science seems to be crooked. Less so, I think – or hope – in my youth. As a young adult I did come across a scientific crook (he invented data to bulk out his genuine measurements) but shrugged it off as an individual case. Now it’s endemic.

    In the context of crooks and their crookedness, why is everyone beginning to worry about the Wuhan plague when we are promised that we’ll all drown in a decade anyway? Cos of the Global Warming innit.

    I wonder whether the answer is that the Wuhan plague seems to be perfectly real while many people must still suspect that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is just another scientific scam.

    Reply
      1. LA_Bob

        “Koch brothers and other corporate polluters” (and maybe non-corporate polluters) may be grateful for Jnetti’s thoughts, but that in no way invalidates those thoughts.

        My own opinion is that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis. That it is Settled Science is the scam.

        Reply
      2. David Bailey

        Mark Sanders,

        I am sure you mean what you write, but I would urge you to look at some of the reasons why people say that. Otherwise you are simply making a statement equivalent to “Stop finding fault with statins, otherwise countless people will die of unnecessary heart attacks.”

        This is an atrocious way to approach a scientific question, but sadly that style of thinking about scientific issues has spread and spread in recent years.

        Here is what Freeman Dyson had to say about this issue a few years back:

        https://mailchi.mp/38748805d7b1/freeman-dyson-world-renowned-physicist-gwpf-founding-member-has-died-aged-96?e=63dcba451c

        Sure, this has been published by an organisation that is very sceptical of Global Warming, but Freeman Dyson was an amazing theoretical physicist who worked alongside Richard Feynman, and after he retired he made a special study of Global Warming.

        OK, you might claim that Dyson received money from the Koch brothers (pretty unlikely), but isn’t science about more than just assessing arguments based on where people get funding?

        Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      dearieme, the Wuhan plague? Placebo? A question asked here https://youtu.be/qVizW1OgQZQ, after about 1h10m or 1hr20 appears to be “Was the corona virus, covid19, caused by a metamorphosis as a result of previous MANDATORY vaccinations against the SARS virus?” (Watch, and understand my words are not a literal quote). The recommendation, at the time, was not too use the SARS vaccine, as adverse effects had been observed. Well, it was used regardless, and though cases of improvement in the patient’s condition might be seen, when subsequently challenged by the virus, the outcomes were dire.

      There is plenty early in the video about the non-placebo trials pretending to be placebo controlled.

      Reply
  2. Sue Richardson

    Are the ‘determinedly disinterested’ at all likely to be benefiting financially? Even a person of Very Little Brain can surely see an illogicality in the drug and the placebo side effects being almost the same. Something very Dodgy going on here. No one, it seems, can be trusted – even those who are supposed to be ‘taking care’ of us. It will all be down to £s of course. Thank goodness there are Watchmen on the Walls.

    Reply
  3. masca ridens

    “…but they all seem determinedly disinterested”.
    Forgive my nit-picking but I suggest the last thing they were was disinterested. I think you mean uninterested.

    Reply
  4. Martin Back

    “The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) — one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — was established to transform the translational process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster”https://ncats.nih.gov/about

    “Participating companies provide clinical supplies of drugs and matched placebos to funded investigators at no charge. These companies also provide documentation so that funded investigators can file an Investigational New Drug application with the Food and Drug Administration”https://ncats.nih.gov/ntu/assets [my bold]

    I assumed this meant companies supplied placebos that were similar in packaging, appearance, and taste to the drugs being tested, but an unethical company could formulate the placebos to deliver certain pre-planned side-effects as well.

    The only way around it I can see is to mandate that placebos come from a trusted third party.

    Reply
  5. Solomon

    So is it my fault that I’ve become cynical towards the medical establishment? How can you engage in any meaningful debate when the foundation of the ‘Science’ has been rigged from the very beginning?

    Reply
    1. annielaurie98524

      Hence, the assessments of modern clinical trials by Marcia Angell (former editor of NEJM) and Richard Horton (former editor of Lancet), two folks in an excellent position to be aware of the shenanigans of clinical trials reports. Dr. K could do an entire second volume of “Doctoring Data” with more recent examples thereof.

      Reply
  6. helieo

    I wonder : how can placebos be effective in double blind trials if they do not reproduce to a certain extent the secondary effets of the treatment molecule. As soon as the patient suspects he is in the placebo group, it’s over !!!

    Reply
    1. chris c

      Search on “active placebo” – some psychiatric drug trials used a “placebo” that caused side effects like jitteriness to convince the subjects they were on the active drug.

      Similar but different – someone I knew tolerated a brand name drug with no problems. He was switched to a generic and developed explosive diarrhoea and other symptoms. Turns out the active ingredient was the same but the “inactive” ingredients included lactose – which is distinctly not inactive if you are lactose intolerant. Oops!

      Reply
      1. Göran Sjöberg

        Yes! For instance they kicked Prof Peter C. Gøtzsche and had him fired from the Danish hospital for criticizing the corruption that was building in the Cochrane organization.

        Reply
  7. andy

    Now I understand. The benefit from a real placebo/sugar pill could be effect on the mind experiencing positive thoughts. A drug could also have a placebo effect. A sham placebo pill used in medical research containing harmful ingredients should be called a nocebo pill since it is designed to produce a nocebo effect, nothing to do with the mind. The actual benefit of a statin has to be expressed as a relative risk reduction otherwise effect could be confused with genuine placebo effect.

    Reply
  8. Göran Sjöberg

    So well disclosed!

    To me all these are acts of criminality!

    Depends of what you mean by criminality but if you deliberately hide facts which involves the causing physical harm to people in order to increase your profits what other name could one use. Prof Peter Gøtzsche didn’t hesitate to use the name criminality for this activity, though he payed a high prize for his openness.

    Reply
  9. Gretchen

    Following not related to statins, but it’s why I believe in placebo effect, at least in me.

    Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I got a painful earache while visiting a classmate. I had been controlling the pain with aspirin, but it was getting worse. Her mother took me to their doctor, who gave me some pills without telling me what they were. I assumed they were antibiotics, took them, and the pain went away.

    Then I awoke in the night with pain, but in order to get aspirin I had to go through the parents’ bedroom, which I didn’t want to do. So I wondered if the mystery pills would help. They didn’t.

    A day or so later, we went back to the doctor, and I asked what was in the pills. He said, “Oh, they’re aspirin plus codeine.”

    Once I knew that, the plain aspirin no longer controlled the pain. I needed the codeine ones.

    I concluded that I’m susceptible to placebo effect and I try to find out what’s in anything I take so my brain can work along with the medication.

    Reply
    1. Vanessa Windust

      Great. Isn’t this why many doctors, if you ask them the side effects of the pill they want to offer you, do not go into detail about the true possible side effects, because if they tell you, they know you are then likely to have these side effects yourself?

      Reply
  10. Jan Dawe

    Thanks, Malcolm, I am glad you mentioned vaccines. I don’t think any of the vaccines being trialed have any true placebos, plus there is no incentive to as to the safety of said vaccines because the Pharma companies have been absolved of any liability in regards to adverse reactions or even deaths. If they were so safe then they should be open to debate and held accountable for their products. Same goes for Statins, another poison in my book. Big Pharma and agriculture and industry make us sick with their products and pollution and then come up with said treatment, all for their gain and prosperity, of course. And they blame us for being sick!

    Reply
    1. The Wizard

      Vaccines are not tested for safety, no liability for the product, so no incentive. They “test” for efficacy using existing vaccines (which were themselves similarly “tested” ) and even then, the patient follow up is only a few days!
      Then they tell everybody that vaccines are “safe and effective” .

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        I don’t think they test for efficacy, to wit the flu vaccine, reported by Cochrane to be far less effective that the manufacturers claims would indicate. I think they test to check it doesn’t cause any more harm than the last harmful product. That way they can blame it all on the patients for being genetic defects (or any other effect the patient can be blamed for)

        Reply
    2. Craig E

      On the subject of flu vaccines, I’ve never had one, nor have I got the flu. But there are those I know who are so terrified of getting the flu they faithfully get the shot every year, many because it’s “free”. It may not cost them directly but it costs the taxpayer.

      The argument run is that the savings to the health system outweigh the cost of providing the vaccine….ho hum. Never mind that flu shots are best guesses and would only be effective for at most 4 months, I am wondering how this cost/benefit is determined?

      I tried to get some data from the Health Department where I live. I wanted to get 5 year data that compared (reported) flu rates for those who had the flu shot vs those who hadn’t. That was a couple of months ago….crickets. I must follow-up but I suspect I will hear…..crickets. Every year we hear our authorities espousing the virtues of getting the flu vaccine but they only ever report the total number that got the flu, not the breakdowns. I know lots of people that have the flu shot and still get the flu.

      What a great way to make money – make something that is not very effective (but hyped to be), and not long lasting and get the people lining up each year to get their shot.

      Finally, some professions are making it mandatory for the flu shot….no choice. Oh dear!

      Reply
      1. K J Evans

        And how many people “said” to have flu are actually tested, swabbed or whatever to see what virus they have? I suspect many cases of flu are bad colds.

        Reply
      2. Carole Simpson

        Also parents are now taking children to have a shot….why? Wonder if they are the same parents who prefer not to give their babies mmr based on similar media hype??

        Reply
      3. Don

        They will succeed only in creating a black market for fake vaccines and vaccination records. Whatever one man can lock another man can unlock.

        Reply
    3. anglosvizzera

      As I understand it, the ‘efficacy’ is gauged by whether antibodies are produced and not whether they have any effect on preventing the actual disease once out in the ‘field’. There are many cases of vaccinated individuals who had ‘high’ antibody levels but still succumbed to the disease. I’ve seen some vaccine inserts actually say that they don’t know if they work to prevent the disease, or words to that effect!

      Reply
  11. The Wizard

    Excellent post Dr K. This has been an almost open secret in the industry. Can we really rely on any of the published studies?
    With respect to Gardasil, the situation is even worse than you have cited. Merck not only used its proprietary adjuvant AAHS (highly reactogenic) in the placebo cohort, but curiously had a third cohort (deliberately a very small group indeed) who were given a true placebo. Of course, the vaccine group and AAHS groups suffered the same outcomes and no surprise, the true placebo recipients demonstrated no significant side effects.
    But, when Merck presented the trial data to the regulator (FDA) they bundled the AAHS & true placebo results into one outcome percentage! In one fell swoop, they eliminated the horrendous side effects of their blockbuster vaccine.

    Reply
  12. Anthony Poole

    Sorry, Dearieme, you are way off track with your irrational prejudice about climate change/global warming. If you are not scared by the obvious reality of the possibility of dire things to come then you may well have a defence mechanism in place, the ostrich and sand come to mind.

    It is a pity that in an essentially contrarian blog, ALL contrariness seems to be attracted to it. Dr K is trying his very best to base his arguments on rationality – perhaps we should follow his lead?

    Reply
    1. Don

      “Obvious reality of the possibility”?! Anything is possible, so fear of what is to come is irrational at best, it would seem to me. And any solution to as yet unrealized possibilities that require turning over all freedom to a central government is a non-starter. Been to the DMV lately?

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        On the subject of freedom and DMV: wasn’t it Ronald Reagan who once said that requiring car manufacturers to install seat belts would interfere with Americans’ freedom?

        Reply
      2. Don

        To Sasha. Possibly, I don’t know. I’m not sure if I follow your point. Seat belts are an intrusion on freedom, but one Americans have deemed acceptable. My point was about the inefficiency of most government institutions and the folly of turning over control of nearly everything to them, which most global warming “solutions” entail.

        Reply
    2. David Bailey

      Anthony,

      Think for a moment about some of the red flags regarding Climate change’:

      1) Do you know of any other scientific prediction which is so vague? It is a prediction that was almost designed to be come true.

      2) The Climate Change idea evolved from the former idea of Global Warming. That at least did make a prediction, although the very slight warming was already known and attributed to the rebound from the last ice age. This warming was not supposed to be in any way dangerous.

      3) We are supposed to suffer a catastrophe if global temperatures rise (on average) by 2 degrees, yet temperatures have never been that steady from year to year in Britain – probably anywhere.

      4) Since this scare began, many climate scientists have received grants to research all kinds of aspects of the subject. Scientific institutions only get grants because CC is supposed to be dangerous – unfortunately they need to get grants to stay afloat…..

      5 There are many scientific sceptics of CC, but climate scientists label them as ‘climate deniers’ and refuse to debate with them.

      Reply
    3. dearieme

      As it happens, moosh, I am well qualified scientifically to judge – and judge I did by reading many papers in the 1990s. The Science Is Settled so I obviously have little need to read more recent effusions.

      Reply
      1. AnnaM

        Sorry Dearieme, but that is a bit silly. You may have the qualifications, but so do thousands of other science degree holders, and they do not all agree with one another. It’s nice to be qualified, but it doesn’t mean you are correct.

        To say I have a degree and The science is settled are two forms of logical fallacy, appeal to authority. Using various dodge tactics wins you no points.

        Reply
  13. Agg

    A great post, thank you again, very thought provoking.
    I have never given much thought to what placebo can be made of, after all we all know it is just “a sugar pill”, right? Well, it seems more like a huge can of worms.

    Reply
  14. Ari

    Great article, as usual! The other HPV vaccine, Cervarix, used Hepatitis A vaccine as ‘placebo’. I know one person, who’s both knees swell to the size of a football right after Hep.A vaccine. Quite a placebo.

    Reply
    1. The Wizard

      Indeed. I find it very irritating when ministers, particularly the “Health” Minister of the day, make facile statements such as “I will be driven by the science”. As if ” the science” is a living, breathing, thinking body incarnate. As Dr K has eloquently demonstrated, the science can be whatever “they” want it to be.

      Reply
      1. a

        It’s gotten to where I consider that phrase, “the science” as an indication that I am probably in the presence of an idiot.

        Reply
  15. Michael W. Perry, medical writer

    Here’s a followup question. Where in the training of scientists—and particularly physician-scientists—is research ethics taught? The issues you raise do seem self-evident, but perhaps they aren’t to many people if they haven’t been drummed into their heads.

    I bring that up because I studied medical ethics at the University of Washington medical school in the mid-1980s in a department that blended medical ethics with medical history. The department head was still recovering from a brutal battle to keep his department alive. With so much science to teach, many in the medical school saw no need for what his department taught. In medical school, class time is a scarce resource.

    I just checked to see the current status of that training. The medical school has “an educational resource designed for clinicians in training” offered by the Department of Bioethics & Humanities.
    .
    https://depts.washington.edu/bhdept/ethics-medicine

    Here’s what students are presented with when they click on “Research Ethics”—a single article. Take note that article only covers one topic, obtaining proper informed consent from research subjects.

    https://depts.washington.edu/bhdept/ethics-medicine/bioethics-topics/detail/77

    I’m not saying that this excuses the use of a fake placebo, particularly not one design to mimic the bad side effects of the tested drug. It doesn’t. But it does make in more likely that, not having been taught otherwise, a researcher wouldn’t protest research techniques that his ‘gut’ is telling him are dubious or worse. And matters get even more dicey if a drug company funding the study is insisting on the use of a particular placebo.

    Reply
    1. Neil Upton

      Michael
      With teaching you will increase knowledge. Without an honest attitude no matter what has been learnt frauds like this will occur. E.G. Harold Shipman.
      One thing to note all the trials Malcolm highlighted were pharmaceutical company initiated.

      Reply
  16. Charles Gale

    At the risk of sounding like Jeremy Clarkson (UK TV presenter) – how hard can it be to set up independent, regulatory bodies to police these sorts of issues?

    There are plenty of watchdogs in other industries such as financial services.

    Getting cynical, I suppose even if they did set up something for this, there wouldn’t be the resources (i.e. money or staff) to check things out but the politician would look good for introducing changes.

    As a parallel/example, I had an issue with a neighbour’s dog and was aware of various bits of legislation over the years about registration and chipping and so on. As indicated above, it all fell down when I contacted the local council to be told they had no staff and no dog warden anyway. All very impressive but there was no one to either check or enforce anything.

    Reply
    1. LA_Bob

      “At the risk of sounding like Jeremy Clarkson (UK TV presenter) – how hard can it be to set up independent, regulatory bodies to police these sorts of issues?”

      No offense intended, Charles Gale, but that is one heck of a guffawer, thigh-slapper, and belly-buster rolled into one.

      I once worked for a CPA, and a well-trained CPA, who was also a very religious man. He told me, “Everyone has a price”.

      That’s all you need to know about how hard it can be to set up independent, regulatory bodies.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        I agree 100%. I think that’s the main reason it’s so hard to establish a proper regulatory body to police these things.

        Reply
  17. Abd Ul-Rahman Lomax

    Ho hum, another brilliant post from Dr. Kendrick.

    It’s obvious that simply declaring an administered drug or procedure a “placebo” is only declaring assumptions, not fact. I’m pretty well convinced that the *theory* of homeopathy is complete bullocks, except in one way. Homeopathy may be manipulating and amplifying mental effects, and, if so, it would fail double-blind tests, since effects of the mind would be suppressed. Yet it may show clinical effectiveness (which I think is true for homeopathy.).

    What controlled tests show is correlation and independence, which can be useful information, if the information is complete and the tests are fully replicable.

    However, full double-blind may not be possible, and there easily can be “leakage.” The study of parapsychology shows that leakage can occur in ways that get awfully close to telepathy — or telepathy is real.

    Can minds communicate with minds? Of course they can! The question is *how,* what are the boundaries of possibility, and the field is called parapsychology because it’s the study of the paranormal, which literally means what is not known and understood.

    And, yes, there are vested interests involve that do not want and will not support the transparency that real science requires. The ultimate responsibility lies with us, because we don’t collaborate and cooperate to fund genuine science, but moan about those who are doing poor science, as if our moaning will make them straighten up and fly right.

    Taubes had the right idea. Has he been adequately supported, or is it all up to him?

    Reply
    1. AnnaM

      You should be careful of being so sure that homeopathy is nonsense that you cannot accept real data. Homeopathy does show positive effects with animals and babies.

      Reply
  18. JDPatten

    A perfect placebo.
    I underwent an experiment in which the placebo was totally inert 65+ years ago, when I was dying of a massive opportunistic infection complicating the measles. My parents “treated” me by studying Science And Health With Key To The Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Yes, faith healing – the placebo. There was no physical intervention, only the studies. As a matter of fact, they avoided my bedroom and its deathly smell for fear of undermining their commitment to the studying.
    I am here now only because of my 9 year-old big sister’s horrified insistence on calling a doctor. Penicillin then did its remarkable work fairly quickly. I lost only a good bit of my hearing.

    Now for statins. The better part of ten years ago, well before I started reading this blog, I took Atorvastatin as prescribed. Being an innocent, I had no preconceived notion as to specific effects or side effects. I started feeling ill. It was like a moderate flu but with no fever. Only after three months (!) did it dawn on me that the “illness” coincided in time with the statin. I quit for a couple of weeks, felt much better, re-challenged myself with the statin, just-to-be-sure, and felt ill all over again. Never again.
    There’s a newly coined “medical” term called nocebo that says if you know there could be negative side effects, you will experience them – explaining away statin side-effects in particular.
    Well, in cases such as mine –– no.

    Reply
  19. Harry de Boer

    What a coincidence. Just today I heard Christopher Exley telling this story about the amorphous aluminium hydroxyphosphate adjuvant being used as ‘placebo’…

    Reply
  20. Jonathan Christie

    Shocking – an unimagined level of depravity, more egregious by far than just miscassifying side-effects to make bad meds look benign. Rather, a systematic deception to pervert the course of science. Good one Dr K!

    Reply
  21. Chad S

    Placebos allow drug companies to engineer good results for mediocre products. In all cases where there is a viable treatment alternative, new drugs should be forced to compete against existing drugs. Then we could get an accurate gauge of the effectiveness as well as the risk.

    Reply
  22. Drifter

    I’ve also wondered about this related to “sham” surgeries used to test the efficacy of things like knee repairs. They have often shown that the surgery doesn’t “work” however the sham surgery could be creating the same sort of beneficial response seen with prolotherapy or dry needling. In this case it could understate the benefit of the surgery or suggest that prolotherapy and/or dry needling should be more widely used.

    Reply
  23. Jane Jewell

    And all to prove that statins are just fine, in order to make money.

    Making money is all that matters, not the health of the patient.

    Reply
    1. Jerome Savage

      Yes indeed Andy – Amazing Amazon
      but then every idiot product has a market.
      Blurb as follows, (you can look it up)
      “Honest Placebo Pills Designed to Help You Create a Safe Experience on Your Path to Well-Being” – & theres more of this nonsense.
      Which brings me to 2 legendary rock groups, the Cure & Placebo – it’s a known fact that 50 % of people who go to watch the cure, actually end up watching Placebo- and enjoy them just as much ! Theres little to distinguish this nonsense & todays medical marketing madness – driven by pursuit of Market share & profit.

      Reply
      1. andy

        Jerome, a person may not benefit from Zeebo if they have a negative frame of mind. Best results might be obtained if a caring doctor prescribes Zeebo together with a healthy diet, sunshine, exercise, and a support group. This will treat the body and the mind with minimum harm. People with gastro/intestinal problems could replace PPI’s with Zeebo with better outcomes. I am not a doctor, this is just a hypothesis generating exercise.

        Reply
      2. Jerome Savage

        Just wondering – would pretending to administer a placebo have a beneficial effect ? A placebo placebo ? With a sort of ceremonial action CW flowing robes & pointy hat – a new religion !! (Christian ceremonies and the administration of wafer that has gone through a sanctioned sanctimonious process may have parallels)
        Which brings us right back to homeopathy (and acupuncture?) and personal one to one treatments that shareholder medicine dismisses.
        Relaxation & distressing anyone ?

        Reply
        1. Sasha

          Acupuncture isn’t placebo. Talk to physicists to whom the principles of yinyang and 5 phases have been explained. They will be able to tell you

          Reply
      3. Jerome Savage

        Sasha, I dont disagree. Its obvious that certain treatments, that dont involve pills and potions, have health benefits. Acupuncture is definitely other than p & p’s. The mechanics of it, I dont understand but like massage, homeopathy, meditation etc it involves personal attention, close physical contact, naturally resulting in empathy, relaxation and fostering a sense of security. I’m reluctant to add religion but it appears that believers live longer than non believers, do the ceremonies provide comfort? Obviously there’s something else to acupuncture, (a huge slice of the world’s population, availing of this “different treatment” is not wasting its time. Something else is going on here that we dont really understand. My point is that western medicine sees no value in non pharmaceutical applications. And traditional treatments don’t add capital/commercial value to the big movers and shakers of the stock market so traditional treatments fade in the face of mega marketing. They don’t really see the light of day – advertisers & PR agents see to that.
        Can the placebo hav a similar affect ?
        I am reminded of a study carried out on work practices & productivity where those carrying out the study noticed an increase in productivity during their attendance in the work space. It was seen that the affect of people checking on and showing an interest in the work practices of other people, had in itself a beneficial affect on the worker and his or her output. So we are intrinsically social. And isolation can accompany pills and pharmaceuticals. Not good for the heart – surely never mind what toxins might exist therein.

        Reply
        1. anglosvizzera

          Just a comment on homeopathy because it doesn’t always involve a lengthy consultation which will engender empathy etc etc – and if used acutely it works just as well. Plus, consider small infants, comatose individuals and animals who are not necessarily taking part in such a consultation. Also, how about the success of the farmers who follow the “Homeopathy at Wellie Level” group and put the remedies in their cattle’s drinking water to treat (and prevent, it seems) mastitis amongst other conditions?

          Reply
        2. Sasha

          Yes, there’s an element of placebo that goes with acupuncture treatments but the same goes for any other medical treatment. However, that is only a part of what’s going on in acupuncture treatments.

          Reply
      4. Martin Back

        Jerome, you are referring to the Hawthorne Effect. They increased the lighting at the Hawthorne Works and found that production went up as expected. Then they decreased the lighting and production went up still further instead of going back down as expected. They put this down to the workers trying harder because people with clipboards were showing an interest in what they were doing. When the researchers left, production returned to normal.

        It makes one wonder if the amount of time in contact with a therapist is an important factor in healing. Consultation times vary widely, as do the number of visits to a medical professional annually, so it’s rather difficult to tell.

        The results showed that average consultation length varied widely, from 48 seconds in Bangladesh, to 22.5 minutes in Sweden. In 15 countries, which represent around half of the world’s population, the appointment lasted less than 5 minutes. And it lasted under 10 minutes in a further 25. [US = 20 min, UK = 10 min]https://blogs.bmj.com/bmjopen/2017/11/08/primary-care-consultations-last-less-than-5-minutes-for-half-the-worlds-population/

        In 2015, the number of doctor consultations per person ranged from less than 3 in Mexico and Sweden, to almost 13 and 16 in Japan and Korea respectively (Figure 9.1). The OECD average was 6.9 consultations per person per year, with most countries reporting between four and eight consultations. Consultations with doctors (See also the two graphs.)

        Reply
        1. Sasha

          Time with a therapist is a very important factor in healing, in my opinion. UNLESS, you really know what you are doing as it pertains to your art. The best acupuncturists are known to treat 50 and more people per day.
          My teacher was once asked how to find a good TCM practitioner. He said that a good practitioner will listen to your pulse and look at your tongue and he will not have to ask any questions.
          As you get better at what you do, you only need sometimes as little as 30 seconds with a person’s pulse and you know what needs to be done. I know it from personal experience.

          Reply
      5. Jerome Savage

        Yes Martin, thanks it’s all coming back to me. “It makes one wonder if the amount of time in contact with a therapist is an important factor in healing” I expect it does especially if you are satisfied that the therapist, the doctor, the consultant, or whoever, is listening and understands your concerns. The other extreme is if the “expert” makes poor eye contact, mumbles, doesn’t appear to be listening and gives out about not taking your statins and just scribbles a prescription on pharma sponsored paper with a pharma sponsored pen, how comfortable are you gonna be with that whole experience ?
        On the other hand, a reflexologist, acupuncturist or one of the other hands-on practitioners shows an interest, is physically close and in the process develops a rapport, the social animals that we are, we will find solace, comfort snd a level of de-stressing in that connection. Dr K has already touched on stress as a factor in the development of heart disease.
        Those other treatments that require an analysis of the person’s make up by all sorts of weird and wonderful methods, may be less to do with whatever is prescribed and more to do with getting attention. A sort of Hawthorne experiment on the human body with the positive outcomes being better health.

        Reply
  24. Kevin Frechette

    I have an engineer friend at work that repairs 25 year old scrapped cars and attempts to keep a daily driver going despite continual and massive failures of engines and transmissions. On top of this he thinks he can keep a wreck running for less than oil changes on a new car. So we have a completely unreasonable belief system at work here.

    I keep telling him that the automobile is a multi generational design since the 1920’s that should be perfected by now but the reality is that the automobile manufactures have de-engineered their products to meet the minimum warranty requirements and are guaranteed to fail immediately afterward to generate profits. And the spare parts are even lower quality than the originals.

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that the trials are scammed with a nocebo. You would think with all the medical research that the doctors could give a warranty on their work and medicine would actually cure something.

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Kevin, the comparison with motor vehicles is not valid in my opinion. I run a 22 year old vehicle. It is a lot cheaper to keep running than one of the new fangled over sophisticated machines that are so reliable the only safe way to run them is with a Personal Credit Plan, as the costs after just a few years can be eye watering.

      Reply
      1. Kevin Frechette

        Hi AhNotepad

        My point is that the Auto Industry can make a highly reliable car that can last a lifetime or one that falls apart within seconds of the warranty expiration by DESIGN. There is no difference between low quality medication and a lemon because at some point they are designed to fail.

        I got a lot of good information using the LemonAid Car Buyers Guide on several car purchases. The guide identifies the Lemon cars that should be avoided by a careful consumer.

        I think the average person needs a LemonAid guide to medical procedures, medication and Doctors. Obviously, in the Auto Industry, they can push low quality products into the marketplace until the consumers start pushing back. Right now, I don’t trust a Dr. anymore that Ford or GM.

        Kevin

        Reply
    2. Sasha

      Kevin, in my opinion, we should trust an average doctor much less than we trust a Ford or GM. It is unfortunate that I say this but I believe it to be true. Car manufacturers are required to make their mistakes public. Hospitals, at least in the US, aren’t. If I am not mistaken, there’s a law in the US that prevents consumers from forcing hospitals to release their statistics.

      Reply
  25. thebreadkiln

    I wonder if instead of being given the cream and told it was a placebo (or not) the participants were asked to pick their cream (either marked placebo or not) whether their feedback would provide useful data…

    Giving/receiving would seem to be different to taking or choosing.

    Reply
  26. fizzylill

    Well said indeed! I have a high suspicion of data manipulation from any statins research which has been
    funded by the drug companies with a vested interest. My PhD research was into the placebo affect however my trial was using auricular acupuncture, and my placebo needle fully documented. I agree that we need transparency with placebo ingredients to make any double blind placebo controlled trial believable! Dr F.

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      fizzylill, I would be interested in reading that research regarding auricular acupuncture, if it’s publicly available. Thank you

      Reply
  27. Frederica Huxley

    The makeup of placebos should be part of the AllTrials campaign!
    Without looking at the appalling anomalies you have referenced, I’ve often wondered about ‘sugar pills’ as placebo for diabetic drug trials.

    Reply
  28. Gary Ogden

    Thank you once again, Dr. Kendrick. This is an issue to which I never gave a thought. But a really, really big deal. Proprietary placebos! How can any controlled trial ever again be trusted? As for Gardasil and AAHS, this is highly likely to be the culprit in the astonishingly high rate of adverse events (such as a 17-fold higher mortality rate for the age group) in the trials, which had such stringent exclusion criteria, that the trial participants were the healthiest of the healthy. No form of Al has ever been safety tested in use as a vaccine adjuvant. All forms were grandfathered into the GRAS list when it was established. In other words, its safety status is based upon its longevity in use (now nearly 80 years), although AAHS is rather newish.

    Reply
  29. LA_Bob

    Regardless of the very grim message in this post, we should be thankful that Maryanne Demasi and Malcolm Kendrick can at least get the word out.

    There just might be some hope.

    Reply
  30. Vanessa Windust

    I have read in a scientific book that regardless of opinion, when subjects who have improved as a result of taking placebos, have had their body cell samples put under the microscope. It has repeatedly been seen and witnessed that the cells had undergone remedial changes that could not be explained in any other way; no other type of treatment had been given.
    It could be the way Jesus was said to work when he always insisted that faith had made the patient whole, and other faith type healing.

    Reply
  31. Chris Leathart

    Consider the AIM HIGH Trial –
    This was a trial to assess “whether extended-release niacin added to simvastatin to raise low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is superior to simvastatin alone in reducing such residual risk.

    METHODS
    We randomly assigned eligible patients to receive extended-release niacin, 1500 to 2000 mg per day, or matching placebo….”

    However it is stated at the end of the paper:
    “the patients in the placebo group received a small dose (50 mg) of immediate-release niacin in each placebo tablet to mask the identity of the blinded treatment to patients and study personnel”

    So they actually admitted that the placebo contained active medication!
    This may have diluted the effect of the study medication and the results of this study basically killed Niacin as a prophylactic intervention for CAD

    Reply
  32. Joel

    Malcolm

    The numbers for the METEOR study seam odd, so I tried to look up the study. This is what I found:

    “Overall, rosuvastatin was well tolerated with infrequent serious adverse cardiovascular events (6 participants [0.86%] had 8 events [1.1%] over 2 years”

    Please, comment.

    Reply
      1. Joel

        Thanks, Malcolm. You are right, I mixed it up. Only the serious adverse events were reported in the abstract. But I found the full text and there I saw the numbers you claimed. Lesson learned: reading only the abstract is not sufficient.

        Reply
  33. Martin Back

    FDA Approves Non-Statin Drug That Lowers Cholesterol
    In company-funded studies, common Nexletol side effects included high blood pressure and muscle and joint pain. Serious side effects include tendon rupture. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not take Nexletol because of possible harm to the baby, the FDA said.

    In one study of more than 2,200 patients, there were several more deaths from heart problems in the Nexletol group than among those given placebo pills. Patel* said that’s likely just a random imbalance, not a big concern. [my bold]
    *Patel = Duke Heart Center co-director Dr. Manesh Patel, who was not involved in the research

    When all else fails, and you cannot massage the results any further, just deny that they are important!

    Reply
    1. Craig E

      …and didn’t one of Dr K’s previous posts mention the Fourier trial for the PCKS9 inhibitor Repatha showed that there were more deaths in the treatment arm of the trial than the control? But…but…look over here…cholesterol was lowered massively in the treatment group…the fact that more people died is irrelevant? I laugh at the use of relative risk and secondary endpoints to justify a position.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        It’s like Alice in Wonderland.

        Dr. Your cholesterol’s a bit high. Take this medication.
        Pt. But I’ll have a greater risk of a heart attack.
        Dr. That’s unfortunate. But we have to get your cholesterol down.
        Pt. Why must I get my cholesterol down?
        Dr. To lower your risk of a heart attack.
        Pt. But if I take this medication I’ll have a greater risk of a heart attack.
        Dr. That’s unfortunate. But we have to get your cholesterol down.
        Pt. Why must I get my cholesterol down?
        Dr. To lower your risk …
        etc etc

        Repeat until patient goes mad.

        Reply
  34. Soul

    Nice article. Troubling of course, and little surprises me anymore about the medical field.

    I saw an interesting commercial this morning. Typically I get to see commercials about selling HIV drugs. This morning was different. I saw a commercial from an attorneys group looking to sue drug makers of HIV drugs for damages caused. The commercial said pharmaceutical HIV makers knew their medications causes bone issues and sometimes kidney failure and death yet did not warn patients. They made hundreds of billions of dollars on the medications. The companies waited till their patents ran out before introducing new products that are safer.

    I have no idea if the court case claims are true of not. It would not surprise me if they were though. I imagine it to be a tough court case to win and if victorious winnings are likely to be a faction of what sales have been.

    Reply
  35. David Bailey

    Wow Malcolm,

    I think you have discovered a smoking gun here – but finding a smoking gun can be dangerous, so *please* take extra care when crossing the road etc.

    I know you didn’t want to concentrate on the question as to whether the placebo effect is real, but placebos are supposed to work by mental effects. There is, I think, reasonably strong evidence that some people can learn to control their bodies to an extraordinary degree – see for example:

    http://thescienceexplorer.com/brain-and-body/iceman-controls-his-body-temperature-and-immune-system-his-mind

    Doesn’t this make the traditional explanation of the placebo effect seem a bit more plausible?

    Reply
    1. Jean Humphreys

      Mind over matter is a proven fact in this house. I take my BP every day (Dr’s advice) and I frequently get a really bad one from the faff of getting the cuff nicely seated. I do best of three. I have been told that I need to leave 10 minutes for things to stabilise – rubbish! I do three straight off and if I don’t like the first I just take thought and can pull the systolic down by more that twenty points. Diastolic rarely varies by more than a couple of points, and is never above the seventies.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        I had recently seen some rise in my BP measured at home. I was taking care to choose a quiet time to measure my BP, and I waited the right amount of time etc etc. My BP was still high, so I returned to what I used to do – I’d be working at my computer and just grab the monitor and take a reading without giving it much thought – sure enough this gave a significantly lower reading!

        Just thinking too much about BP raises my BP, which is why I get a higher reading still at the surgery!

        Reply
      2. Göran Sjöberg

        Jean, Reminds me of my (last?) meeting with a very arrogant cardiologist 5 years ago (well he knew my attitude beforehand and was prepared and alert). While he was working on the ultrasonic examination of my heart, which he to his own surprise found to be in a fine shape he at the same time insulted me while taking the BP measurements. Then he has able to rise the pressure to just 140 and was very happy with that to motivate his prescription of BP medication which he though knew I would never take. I terminated our relation through another letter but that didn’t refrain him from giving me a call to check if I had taken the five prescriptions he had made. What a guy!

        He was not the least interested in the letter I had sent to the hospital where I reported me repeated BP measurements at home at rest showing constantly around 110/70.

        Reply
  36. Chris J

    This is getting further convoluted (based on my understanding) now that statins have to be administered to both treatment and placebo groups for many PCSK9 studies (for ethical reasons).

    this leads to some pretty bizarre results, for example in the paper “Alirocumab and Cardiovascular Outcomes after Acute Coronary Syndrome” NEJM, Nov29, 2018
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1801174

    “Adverse event that led to death” has the same number of deaths (222) in table 3 as “Death from coronary heart disease” in Table 2 (222), both in the placebo column.
    Is there is some overlap between these two subsets where some CHD deaths were attributed to adverse events, and some other reporting technicalities?

    Or is it just plain saying that placebo killed as many people as CHD itself?
    And wouldn’t having no treatment resulted in having 0 in the “adverse event leading to deaths” row?
    This needs some explanation from PTB, otherwise the study feels pretty absurd just based on these two 222 numbers …

    My attention was first drawn to this from https://www.drbrownstein.com/new-cholesterol-lowering-medications-associated-with-25-severe-adverse-effects/

    Reply
  37. Angstrom Phlogistan

    And lo, in the scientific flock there was great consternation and gnashing of statin formulations.

    The Nissen Credo: “If we all just BELIEVE hard enough, the bad Dr. Kendrick will drift away and we can return to our intellectual slumber.”

    It really doesn’t inspire confidence in pharmacology, does it?

    Reply
  38. Shaun Clark

    I think Derren Brown could give you a few clear ‘understandings’ as to what is going on with placebos. Of course, many folk are more vulnerable to the irrational than to the rational as they often want to be spellbound. Also, there is more often an associated cross-fertilization from religious faith going on. As such, there are seemingly more ‘opportunities’ for some in error’s than there ever could be in truths. The truth by definition illuminates and eliminates itself. That’s what science does.

    Enron (see ‘The Smartest Guys in the Room’) is probably the best example of an error gone wildly wrong. The US housing bubble (see ‘The Big Short’) is another stellar example, but all frauds will most probably be eclipsed by statins. Of course, the historical absurdity is that not a single matter in any religious tome would hold up in a secular country in a Court of Law, and yet that is the foundation for the law of the land? Eh? The precedents are all around. As for the weather (and Global Warming), it has often been said that our obsession with it is just part of some folks innate desire to commune with God, but I personally think it’s nowt but a desperate attempt to reformulate the tax system. Anyway, in the end, all of the great civilizations in history got turned-over by the weather. Maybe it’s due?

    Reply
  39. Craig E

    So let me get this straight. Many trials have a run-in period where they determine whether people tolerate the drug BEFORE they are enrolled in the trial…so you already get rid of most of the people that would suffer serious adverse events (and then avoid having to report on it). But just to be sure that we can’t attribute SEAs to the drug being trialled, we’ll given the placebo arm the same sinister substances to get the drug approved and trivialise the potential problems.

    Apologies for the crass humour but…

    [me]: I have a drug that will lower heart rate in 100% of those that take it
    [FDA]: How does it work?
    [me]: It kills everyone who takes it
    [FDA]: Well as it lowers heart rate as claimed…APPROVED

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      I think they also have run-in periods in which they eliminate non-responders. But I might be wrong, I read it long time ago and details are fuzzy.

      Reply
      1. mmec7

        Sasha – try this search criteria for an answer to yr question = Yes ! non-responders eliminated in run-in drugs trials…!!

        Reply
        1. Sasha

          Yeah, pretty crazy, I think. They eliminate non-responders to hype up the drug effects or they eliminate hyper-responders to claim that adverse effects are less than what they really are…

          Reply
  40. Mark Heneghan

    I find it a bit staggering to think that the authors of the meteor trial (or at least, their paymasters) were willing to say, in effect, ‘over 4 out of 5 patients taking rosuvastatin got adverse effects, but, what do you know, over 4 out of 5 patients taking placebo got side effects too! So they are as safe as each other!’
    Talk about spin. A more honest assessment would be that they are as dangerous as each other. Plus, even if the numbers reporting side effects were the same, were they of the same quality? Were they comparing cancer with cancer, rhabdomyolisis with rhabdomyolisis, or cancer with indigestion, for example? You’d almost think that they had done other, unpublished research, and then chose a placebo to match the side effects, but drug companies would never do anything unethical like that, would they?

    Reply
  41. Göran Sjöberg

    When you see this so clearly, what is then left of the Big Pharmas pharmaceuticals?

    When I yesterday was taking care of the wet heavy snowfall outside my house I, as usual, met with people walking their dogs and then as often I strike an extended conversation about health and the benefits of exercise for your CVD. The man I talked with yesterday was fully aware of the corruption of Big Pharma but still seemed to trust NHS.

    I wonder why?

    Reply
    1. Tish

      We are told that children worldwide are not, to date, suffering or dying from the coronavirus. I think this will be in part because they are not alarmed, rather than it simply being because they do not have diseases of old age. I suspect the doom and gloom reports are not getting to them and so they are not expecting to catch something they could die from. I’ve written to the BBC to tell them what I think and await their silence.

      Reply
      1. JDPatten

        Tish,
        Sure, there’s the mind – body connection, but that will take you only so far and only under certain circumstances. Magical thinking is that seductive and dangerous step too far. Far more productive would be putting energy into discovering the physical reason(s) kids don’t get so sick . . . if, indeed, that is the case. There are still so many unknowns.

        Reply
      2. Tish

        JDPatten
        Well-nourished youngsters could be expected to have more responsive immune systems than us older people and we need to be warned not to congregate in health centres when we have symptoms and all take certain measures, but getting stressed when infected is only going to aggravate an infection. An appropriate balance would be good.

        Reply
        1. JDPatten

          Tish,
          Agree . . . mostly. Don’t you wonder though, how many of the surviving children were not optimally well nourished? I just don’t think this is a time to rely on what you would wish to be true.

          Reply
      3. JDPatten

        Tish,
        PPS
        My well-nourished and well loved eighteen year-old granddaughter is a very happy little person. Of course she gets fevers and colds and such – which make her miserable. It’s clearly the bug causing the stress, not the other way ’round. She’ll happily play through the tears in the lulls between fever spikes or coughing fits.
        It’s true of her. Just sayin’.

        Reply
          1. AhNotepad

            You can see people a lot older than teenagers having hissy fits, every Wednesday during Prime Minister’s questions in the UK.

          2. JDPatten

            ?? Sounds like you think a teen hissy-fit is unusual. Hmm. 🙂
            No hissy from my precious little granddaughter – just a normal response to the miseries of a nasty cold and cheeriness showing through.

  42. Frederica Huxley

    Dr John Campbell’s daily podcasts are a common sense, no nonsense approach to the questions surrounding coronavirus. He reminds me of Dr Kendrick.

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Frederica, Thanks for this very accurate information on the Corona virus.

      Funny though that not a word is spoken about how improve your immune system by vitamin C. Probably this is because this is a taboo subject within the medical community in the west while in China vitamin C treatment seems to be part of their successful containment of virus.

      Reply
      1. andy

        Göran, Big Pharma is working on a vaccine that will become mandatory for every person on this planet. The psychopaths have already figured this one out.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          It won’t be mandatory for me. I will not be injected with toxic substances! So that’s No. to be injected = (WORLD POPULATION) -1. Anyone else doesn’t want it?

          Reply
          1. mmec7

            Now minus 2 persons – they can go take a very short hike off a very tall high cliff top. NO. End of. 🙂

      2. Frederica Huxley

        Vitamin C is a forbidden subject. This evening I gently suggested to my son that he look into Vitamins C & D, given that his wife is type 1 diabetic, and a daughter is asthmatic. Got that ‘mother is woo-woo’ look and he said we all drink orange juice!

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Fortunately my son, my daughter-in-law and both their children have been having vitamin C since the first one was born. The children have had no needles or antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. They all suffer fewer ailments than their associates. I’d rather be woo-woo than sick, especially as I have the choice with vitamin C.

          Reply
        2. Angstrom Phlogistan

          You may be interested in this paper in JAMA and the video presentation given by the study’s author.

          October 1, 2019
          Effect of Vitamin C Infusion on Organ Failure and Biomarkers of Inflammation and Vascular Injury in Patients With Sepsis and Severe Acute Respiratory Failure
          The CITRIS-ALI Randomized Clinical Trial
          Alpha A. Fowler III et al.
          JAMA. 2019;322(13):1261-1270. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.11825

          Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          Frederica, Orthomolecular News’ latest newsletter is about the denial from MSM that it is effective. I think they are wrong of course. However, I have seen a 50% price inncrease in ascorbic acid since December, so actions speak louder tahn words perhaps.

          Reply
          1. AhNotepad

            mmec7, thanks for the links. The one by the FDA 🙄. They really have got a cheek. The research was done decades ago, and if they wanted something more recent, as you probably know, Fowler et al did a study in 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3937164/. The FDA doesn’t expect any results until September 2020. What’s the betting they will use too small doses, then say the trial was not conclusive but this nice guy, Bill Gates, has a super-duper vaccine that will save the world for a pretty penny. And reduce the population growth as required by 15% https://thefreedomarticles.com/bill-gates-vaccines-reduce-population-growth/

          2. AhNotepad

            Just noticed, the FDA seem to be careless with their words. Glibly talking about vitamin C being ascorbic acid, then talking about injecting vitamin C. My understanding is it has to be a buffered solution so as not to damage the tissues, this would be something like sodium ascorbate.

      3. James DownUnder

        The Chinese have REGISTERED trials of vitamin C, and that in Wuhan.
        One can only suspect they know more than they’re admitting !
        Don’t forget, around 90 % of vitamin C is made I. China.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          The ascorbic acid that was shipped to Wuhan last week was made by DSM (Dutch State Mines) They have a plant in Scotland. I had 40kg delivered today (and plenty of sodium ascorbate). Should last a few weeks.

          Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          I think it was not picked up by MSM because Greenmedinfo is blacklisted for spreading misinformation, unlike the MSM.

          Reply
          1. Frederica Huxley

            Even worse, greenmedinfo was republishing the original Orthomolecular Medicine article. OM is an excellent site that is seriously maligned by MSM as deeply fake.

      4. Martin Back

        Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia
        https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533

        “In a controlled but non-randomized trial, 85% of the 252 students treated experienced a reduction in symptoms in the high-dose vitamin C group (1g / h at the beginning of symptoms for 6h, followed by 3 * 1g / day). Among patients with sepsis and ARDS [Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome], patients in the high-dose vitamin group did not show a better prognosis and other clinical outcomes. “

        So much for vitamin C being the wonder medication. It makes you feel better (“a reduction in symptoms”) but does not improve your chance of recovery.

        Reply
      5. Martin Back

        Jonathan, from your Orthomolecular Cathcart link:

        “At the slightest hint of a threatening viral disease, doses are increased in frequency and to bowel tolerance.

        “In many patients viral infections still occur despite high ascorbic acid intake, although the symptoms of the disease will be mostly ameliorated. Vitamin A 25,000 iu to 50,000 iu per day should be taken if high doses of ascorbic acid are maintained for more than several months. Supplements of all essential minerals should also be taken along with long-run maintenance doses of ascorbate.

        “Avoidance of sugar and processed foods will prove valuable if a patient’s goal is almost complete prevention of viral diseases.”

        So even though they are taking the maximum amount of vitamin C their body can tolerate i.e. to bowel tolerance, many patients still get viral infections. Once again, vitamin C does not appear to be a miracle drug. Plus they are also recommended to take vitamin A and mineral supplements. So is it the vitamin A, the vitamin C,or the mineral supplements that combat the virus?

        “Avoid sugar and processed foods” — now that’s advice I 100% agree with.

        Reply
      6. Martin Back

        Another thing regarding vitamin C — how does it work in practice? I can understand someone self-medicating and experimenting until they figure out how much they can safely take, but what about someone lying in hospital — how does a doctor work out the dose?

        “Okay, we’re increasing vitamin C to determine bowel tolerance. Nurse, stand by with the bedpan.”

        From the Cathcart link: “This titration method is absolutely necessary to obtain excellent results. Studies of lesser amounts are almost useless.”

        I don’t think doctors have time for all that. They need to know what large doses are safe if they are to administer large doses. And some authority needs to do the necessary dosage tests to the same standards as other medications, and publish the results.

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          As I understand it, in hospital vitamin C dose would be given by intravenous infusion. This is a long slow process, and so a fairly large amount can be given over a protracted period. Since we know 200g a day has been given in the past to adults, it seems reasonable that between 100g and 200g a day should not cause any problems. If the patient remains sick, increase the dose, if the patient gets better, reduce the dose. You also need to read Tom Levy to understant there could be a toxic episode if the patient is unwell, gets a load of vitamin C then deteriorates because of the toxins dumped into the blood stream. That bit is well beyond my knowledge level.

          Reply
  43. Stuart

    Whilst we are the subject of placebos and therefore nocebos, Heidi Larson of the Vaccine Confidence Project really deserves a mention here. Her theory that adverse reactions to Gardasil is that “its not the vaccine but the vaccination experience” and that the adverse reactions are actually due to mass psychogenic illness. She does concede that these are “real symptoms” but they are psychosomatic in origin. Yes obvious really and must be the reason behind 2.3% of the participants in the safety study receiving Gardasil and the ‘placebo’ getting an autoimmune condition. Good to know that WHO are on top of the subject with the brightest scientific minds looking after our interests.
    Her presentation to the WHO Global Vaccine Safety Summit is a must watch! https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2019/12/02/default-calendar/global-vaccine-safety-summit
    She’s the last speaker and you can click on her presentation description to see the full presentation.

    Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      Stuart, though Heidi Larson may have a point, I have a rather more mechanical outlook and find Chris Exley’s work far more convincing. As well as that there are the Spanish sheep incidents, where the sheep exhibited behavioural changes following vaccination. Surprisingly Chris Exley has difficulty getting funding, and there is a move to deny/hide/reject the Spanish stories. I wonder why that might be.

      Reply
    2. Tish

      I also think that parents and others who are around asthmatic children should be very careful not to react with panic when a child has an attack. It could certainly worsen the situation.

      Reply
    3. Tish

      AhNotepad
      World population -2

      But hey, they’d probably isolate the dissenters by imprisoning them somewhere – a big desert island? – where we would be around like-minded (albeit angry) people and free of the sheep-like majority (apologies to sheep). Every cloud…..

      Reply
  44. Samir M Barahj

    I don’t think it’s a surprise any cream that isn’t toxic will soothe light burns.

    But your placebo vs statin side effects list is gobsmacking.

    Why does it make me think of this recurrent quote :

    “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
    Holmes S, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier

    Reply
  45. Kevin Frechette

    Hi Malcolm,

    Dr. William Davis (Wheat Belly) has released a new video pointing out the drawbacks of a CAC scan. You should have had him with you on the three way conversation with Ivor.

    1. CAC scans are loss leaders for more expensive followup procedures
    2. High scores are followed up with Statins
    3. Optimal Medical Therapy including Statins, Low Fat Diet, Aspirins and Beta Blockers are standard followup treatment which does nothing to reduce a 25% yearly score increase.

    Reply
  46. sjglaze3

    Absolutely brilliant, Dr Kendrick. I have now purchased 3 copies of your book Doctoring Data and will add this column as a must read for my college-age children. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. andy

      fizzylill: re needles in ear to reduce waist circumference
      They have discovered the ear/gut axis, everything is connected.

      Reply
  47. Martin Back

    I know many commenters here are fans of Dr. Suzanne Humphries. I was interested in her take on Covid-19, since she seems to think that clean water and good sanitation are adequate defenses against a virus.

    Unfortunately she is on Facebook which I am not a member of so I couldn’t see much. I found no comment on Covid-19. I did learn she is wearing earthing shoes with metal inserts. Maybe she has lost her spark ;o)

    She did post a link to this article Lipinski 2015, Ebola and Selenium: How not to catch the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

    The only people that can be infected by the 2019-n Coronavirus have less than 98.7 µg/L of Selenium in plasma or serum. Those who have enough Selenium are immune to this and all other enveloped viruses. Selenium can be obtained from Brazil nuts, Selenium pills or Astragalus tea.

    This is why only some people get the flu and why others get it infrequently or never at all.

    We only found this out in 2015 when Lipinski @ Harvard figured out why some people were immune to Ebola, a fact well documented in medical archives.

    Two Brazil nuts a day will do it. An Asia astragalus tea is the primary source of selenium.

    Reply
  48. AhNotepad

    Martin, the link you referred has been referred to in several other posts. Your post looked to me like you were drawing a conclusion in your last paragraph.The wording in the paper is careless as it mentions ascorbic acid as vitamin C, then mentions infusing vitamin C. I understand the vitamin c infusions are usually buffered, A conclusion cannot be drawn yet as the study is estimated to be complete in September 2020, so a while to go yet.

    Reply
    1. andy

      Ah Notepad: re conspiracy theory
      “While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16 percent of cases. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.””

      The conspiracy appears to be that a vaccine is required to stop COVID-19. There is an epidemic of diabetes, sick people, and old people. Currently there is no official cure for diabetes, you have to find your own cure.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        Here’s the data from South Korea:

        https://www.businessinsider.com/south-korea-coronavirus-testing-death-rate-2020-3?fbclid=IwAR1SPTcI0lAJzCyBYa2Cslj4GVDf5ZKiaWDRqbyM9VTfXICGzuSepOd7Tbk

        As they’re testing tens of thousands of people, mild cases are being reported. It seems the real death rate is around 0.6%. Maybe even less as some people who are exposed are asymptomatic. Thus, the rate of 3-5% that we keep hearing is artificially elevated. It doesn’t reflect the real rate. More media hype it seems.

        Reply
  49. Charles Gale

    Martin Back – Dr Suzanne Humphries – “maybe she has lost her spark ;o)”

    Surely not!

    Thanks for letting us know she’s on Facebook – I am too and I’ve been browsing her Facebook today.

    A few thoughts.

    It’s very busy and she has quite a following – over 90,000 followers.

    The earthing shoes arose from bad feet/arches and legs – it’s an advocation of a more natural lifestyle and ideally going bare foot for foot strength and health. For those interested in freeing their feet, going natural and paleo here’s a link to a footwear supplier:

    https://www.earthrunners.com/pages/earthing-adventure-sandals-3?utm_expid=.arKsPyS4R8GOclfEbTguWg.3&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

    With reference to coronavirus, here are a few extracts:

    On selenium levels: “I don’t give supplement advice on a public Facebook page. This is easy enough to research. If you’re unsure, check a blood level. Selenium deficiency in past epidemics with different viruses was also known to coincide with viral cardiomyopathy. Just saying…”

    and in response to a question about whether or not vitamin C helped, the answer was “yes”.

    But for those interested in vaccination, the topic/issue not surprisingly dominates (as Martin points out in his comment, Dr Humphries has many fans here arising from her work on vaccination and also vitamin C).

    It might be worth getting set up on Facebook.

    Reply
    1. anglosvizzera

      Regarding ‘earthing’ shoes, it reminded me of a couple of Dr John Briffa’s blog posts regarding the importance of earthing (or grounding) to balance our electrostatic state, which is essential to good health (our modern society causes us to build up the wrong sort of charge):

      http://www.drbriffa.com/2012/04/18/earthing-important-discovery-or-mumbo-jumbo/

      and:

      http://www.drbriffa.com/2013/05/03/new-study-on-earthing-finds-potential-benefits-for-the-circulation/

      Reply
  50. Soul

    With all the frightening news articles about the latest corona virus thought to mention some information I have in a book. I don’t know how helpful this is but thought to mention it. A book I have written by a German physician wrote about the out break of a corona virus in 2003/04.

    He said the medical Journal the Lancet wrote that most patients in hospitals for the Corona virus were treated with high doses of steroids and the anti-viral ribavirin. He described Ribaverin as being harsh on the body similar to chemotherapy. It was noted by the Lancet that no studies had been done on the use of steroids and Ribaverin to fight a corona virus. It was simply guess work that the treatment was helpful. As was pointed out, the drug combination might be causing harm.

    The Lancet pointed out that patients not treated with high does of steroids and ribaverin tended to slowly recover on their own.

    Don’t know if current hospital treatments for a corona virus have remained the same or changed.

    Reply
  51. Unsolicited Advisor

    Talking here so openly here about vitamin C may get Dr Kendrick site yanked. Censorship is real in our totally non-comunist West. I humbly suggest to be more cryptic about it. Let’s call it “that Valuable and Compendious cofactor known for boosting the immune system”.
    And do not just say that it cures viral infections and helps in the recovery of individuals with lung damage. Simply state that it may be beneficial to the renovation of living tissues, as it is necessary for the production of human collagen fibers.
    Now, I realise this is plain silly and it is less than heroic. But we are dealing with highly neurotic censors, who are very biased against anything that is not under their control. They will censor the truth even if it hurts them personally, because they are fanatics who refuse to doubt and question.
    We have to find ways to use their algorithms and their AI against them, for the sake of life saving truth.
    Bless you all!

    Reply
    1. Stephen Rhodes

      Fortunately for progress, the Chinese medical establishment is actively pursuing the application of vitamin C both as prophylactic and treatment/cure for this viral infection. And it isn’t as if there is nothing being done outside China, hospitals in the US are successfully treating sepsis, and the corona virus may well give a sufficient impetus to the use of treatments that are out of the control of the gatekeepers of our health.
      There does, however, need to be a two-pronged attack. Although I have previously come across most of the mis-selling evidence around the vaccine issue, I recently purchased Vaxxed 2 (from vaxxed2.com) to see whether I had missed anything. I am still absorbing, but it is becoming ‘bleeding obvious’ that we are systematically destroying our ability to fight disease without a life-long program of ‘booster’ vaccines that need to be given more and more frequently over time as their protective effect lessens more rapidly over time. Not only this, but there is observational evidence (yes I know) that the seasonal flu vaccine suffers from the same waning effect and that it also exposes patients to worse outcomes from Covid 19. Apart from this, CDC’s own figures show that the efficacy of seasonal flu vaccines varies from poor to extremely poor most years.
      More publicity needs to be given to the knock-on downsides of all vaccines. One particular shocker is that immunoglobulin to treat immunity compromised patients who contract measles cannot be obtained from the blood of donors who have only vaccine immunity, and producers are relying on old guys like me who had natural wild measles as a child to provide vital supplies.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        I think this process is similar to pumping the soil with chemicals and seeing poorer and poorer returns in harvest as time goes by. I believe we are digging a big hole for ourselves both in terms of our immune systems and our food.

        Reply
      2. Anna M

        Not only that but women who have only vaccine immunity to measles cannot pass the immunity to their unborn, which usually lasts some 8 months or so and prevents tiny infants getting measles. In addition, such women are unable to protect their babies via their breast milk.

        Reply
  52. Stephen Rhodes

    I am disheartened by the failure of the wider medical establishments to recommend that the public ensure that they have adequate levels of D3 since Covid 19 as other coronaviruses use ACE2 to enter cells, and D3 blocks this (studies have shown that a characteristic of patients succumbing to coronaviruses and some colds and flu have low D3 levels). They might also advise ensuring adequate supplies of vitamin C – as the Chinese have – to ensure a useful response to an acute coronavirus attack (this has been shown to be effective in minimising tissue damage and thus shortening the period of illness, and to cure sepsis in significant numbers of patients as part of an intravenous treatment regime along with B1 and hydrocortisone).
    As well as selenium (mentioned above – see also the effect of statins to reduce production of selenoproteins that are part of the innate immune response) adequate zinc levels are important to control and prevent the runaway immune response that killed healthy young people during SARS (if I recollect correctly).

    Waiting for a vaccine is not the answer, not least if it is the case as reported from Japan and Italy that the disease is both biphasic and has already mutated. Strengthening the human immune system as much as possible is likely to be far more effective at stopping the spread in the short term – which is all the time some vulnerable patients will have.

    At the moment we are in a vehicle that is about to crash, and steadfastly refusing to put our collective foot on the existing brake(s)!

    Reply
    1. Soul

      Just to mention my personal experience with vitamin D verses sunshine exposure, a health web sight I used to frequent asked followers to take large amounts of vitamin D and to test their vitamin D levels after a few months. Most did. What I saw is that many followers of the sight still developed colds or the flu in winter time.

      What I’ve done to avoid developing a cold/flu for over a decade is to sunbathe during winter time. I live in S. Florida now, so that is easy for me to do. When I lived in the frigid midwest I used a UVB vitamin D sunlamp during winter. I’d sit in front of the lamp for 10 minutes once or twice a week. The artificial sunlight would make me feel more upbeat and warm for two to three days afterwards.

      I’ve read mentions of small studies done with artificial sunlight and cold/flu prevention. The studies were positive for the use of artificial light for preventing colds. I forget the exact prevention rate but between the two groups tested, those that received artificial sun light exposure verses that did not, the flu/cold prevention difference was significant between the two groups.

      It might be out there. I haven’t looked but I haven’t run across a study that examined the differences between those that take vitamin D and those that do not, to see if there is a difference in cold/flu rates.

      Reply
  53. Lucy

    I don’t know if anyone will read this. With this SARS2 going around, I think STATINS might be doing damage. Vitamin D prevents corona viruses. Cholesterol is the precursor to Vitamin D. Maybe all these people over 60 are being effected because of the cholesterol lowering drugs and lack of sun. I think all statins should be stopped ASAP.

    Reply
    1. Stephen Rhodes

      For so many reasons. Our immune system relies, in part, on selenoproteins manufactured on the same mevalonate pathway as CoQ10 that is restricted by statins. [Studies in Africa indicate that these proteins are important is preventing the progression of HIV to AIDS, countries with high soil (food) levels of Selenium have similar HIV levels in the population, but lower AIDS levels – the HIV ‘sequesters’ selenium reducing its availability to the immune system.] Anything that weakens our immune system leaves us at greater risk of disease.

      Reply
  54. Kevin Frechette

    Hi Malcolm,

    I’ve had a low key running fight with my hard core Catholic parents over the years. I went to an all boys high school that both the Principal and Vice Principle are convicted serial pedophiles that have been shuffled around by the Bishops and they have obstructed justice using every trick in the lawbook to hide these criminal offenders. Every parish in my city and the all girls high school has the same problem. It seems that the priests when they break their vows are allowed to carry on without consequence and are aided and abbetted by the church hierarchy who are quite likely to be equally guilty in committing the same crimes as their underlings. I have made a peace with my parents by telling them that I have renounced my faith and my belief system is essentially Buddihst and I cannot ethically belong to a criminal organization that molests children and obstructs justice.

    I thank you for opening my eyes to the predatory nature of the medical profession and the lack of ethics in it. There is no difference in my eyes between a priest and a doctor that have broken their vows. There is no difference in my eyes between a priest that abuses a child or a doctor that injects a child with harmful drugs that maim or kill for a profit. I’m deeply saddened by to know that your profession uses every marketing method to promote themselves and every sleazy lawer trick to hide behind while profitting from the poor, weak and sick. Shame on all of you.

    I hope that you can change from within but please stop the abuse of our most vulnerable.

    Kind Regards,

    Kevin Frechette

    Reply
  55. Soul

    For the first time I got to watch the movie “Sister Kenny” today. Yesterday while searching through movie choices on HULU to my surprise I saw Sister Kenny was listed. I watched the first 30 minutes of the movie and then stopped. I needed to do other things, and planned to watch the rest of the movie today.

    To my surprise looking for Sister Kenny on HULU this afternoon I found it had been deleted. It wasn’t listed in my History of movies watched section. And it wasn’t listed on movies that could be watched either. It’s a conspiracy I joked. Someone higher up didn’t want the movie to be seen.

    I did a search on Youtube and found a good quality download of Sister Kenny there. I had looked for the movie on You Tube in the past and hadn’t seen it. Was glad to see someone had uploaded it since I had last looked.

    If not familiar, the movie Sister Kenny is a biographical film from the 1940s about Sister Elizabeth Kenny a nurse from Australia of Scottish ancestry, if I remember correctly, that was successfully treating polio patients but using physical therapy.

    At the time Kenny’s work was very controversial. It went against medical orthodoxy. Back then it was believed that paralyzed limbs needed rest and to be placed into braces. Exercise was not helpful according to the medical establishment.

    The movie was fascinating and sad in how many doctors and the medical establishment did what they could to discredit Elizabeth Kenny’s work. As the movie highlighted, if her clinic was successful in treating a patient, a patient that had been seen a doctor previously, the doctor would simply declare that the patient never polio after all. (In some senses reminds me of some instances seen today.)

    While Kenny never received credit from the medical establishment in her time, she was popular in her day with the public. Today she is best remembered as the founder of physical therapy.

    Reply
    1. Jeffrey Dun

      Sister Kenny was truly a remarkable women. Her reception by the medical establishment was rather interesting. She battled the Australian and British establishments but was very well received in the USA where many doctors adopted her methods. As a consequence she is probably best remembered there than in her country of birth.

      I’m not sure where the the claim to Scottish ancestry comes in. According to Wikipedia, her mother was Australian born and her father was Irish.

      Reply
    1. AhNotepad

      A scam indeed. Just to amplify the HPV part of the scam, here is a quote from the Mercola link:

      HPV Vaccine Responsible for Massive Rise in Cervical Cancer?

      An article2 by Robert F. Kennedy, chairman of the Children’s Health Defense, wonders whether Gerberding’s stock dump might have anything to do with recent red flags being raised about Merck’s HPV vaccine Gardasil. He writes:3

      “Last month, Cancer Research UK announced4,5,6 an alarming 54% rise in cervical cancer among 24-29-year-olds, the first generation to receive the HPV jabs.

      The following day, the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine published7 a withering critique of Gardasil’s crooked clinical trials, ‘It is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome.’

      As Gerberding knows, those trials8 revealed that Gardasil dramatically RAISES (by +44.6%) the risk of cervical cancer among women with a current infection or those previously exposed to HPV.

      That may explain the cancer explosions in England and other nations with high inoculation rates in young girls up to age 18; Australia, Spain, Sweden and Norway. A 2019 study9 of Alabama girls found the highest cervical cancer rates in the state’s most heavily vaccinated counties.”.

      I am tired of the BBC and all the other lies outlets that are quoting the mis-informers who are telling us, and hoping we believe it, that HPV is saving millions of lives.

      Reply
    2. Jerome Savage

      Nothing immetiately coming up on Google for
      Peter Goetsche & the HPV vaccine except on an Amazon site – & reference to his book (heavy duty title suggesting a link between organised crime & vaccines!!!)
      Another reason to check out Duckduckgo (I kno – funny name) and other less, (should we use the word ?) “censored” engines.
      I note your use of chainsaws. My recent use of one of these left me with a distinctly nasty taste in my mouth. Think I used too much mix in the petrol. I hope an hour or so exposure wont have too much of an adverse affect.

      Reply
      1. Göran Sjöberg

        Jerome

        Talking chainsaws 🙂

        Of course you should avoid inhaling exhaust fumes as much as possible, not least by keeping track of the wind direction. Also the type of fuel may be important where the synthetic ones are claimed to be less “poisonous”.

        When I am close to my house I am always using my powerful electric one but still there is the chain saw oil to care about and here the organic type based on vegetable oils is to be preferred.

        Take as much care as possible! Avoid poisons and pharmaceuticals of all kinds!

        The heavy exercise, as involved in the use of chain saws, is very beneficial for your health longevity as I now read in the great book by Linus Pauling: How to live longer and feel better. You certainly learn a lot of alternative (orthomelcular) treatments and especially of the general benefits of large amounts of vitamin C. My daily dose is that of Linus Pauling, 15 grams.

        Reply
      2. Jerome Savage

        anglosvizzera
        I’m sure it’s there if I look hard enough. The point was made on a previous blog that some companies can prioritize their business with the big engines by effectively paying for such, thereby pushing others down the list, almost out of sight. Others will insinuate that the free thinkers of the medical world can be and are shut out by the big players ( players?) to a greater or large extent.
        I just found it curious that he came up immediately on DDgo but not on Google.
        Thanks for the links

        Reply
      3. Jerome Savage

        Goran – thanks for the advice. Its fumes from the 2 stroke oil mixed in petrol. I only take it out every few months or so – not like the exposure linked to city living – (I hope) . Statins, blood thinners and beta blockers are off for me. Just not brave enough to drop the others. AI diagnosed 6 year ago (some evidence that AI has a connection with statin use) but what makes me feel good is exercise and avoiding junk food & carbo as much as possible. I value a good nights sleep and rest, something supported by being active . Vit C appears to be very well favoured in these pages which I act on.
        Knowing my luck I’d touch the cord with the saw blade if I went electric !!

        Reply
    3. Alan Hughes

      thanks Goran; I must say: just because a doctor has made $US20million from stock in Merck; having transferred straight from the CDC; overseeing vaccine safety; then to Merck to sell vaccines; and cash in the rather lucrative Merck stock;

      ordinary folks tend to jump to conclusions; that doctors could be venal; or keen on money;

      don’t people realise that doctors are way above such things; they float in ethereal clouds of moral purity; so they can be on statin guidelines committees; receiving multiple remunerations; from multiple drug companies all at the same time;lots of useful cash; but such things in no way influence their judgement; they soar supreme above such petty distractions;

      such are those god-like figures, eminence-based doctors.

      Reply
  56. anglosvizzera

    Here’s the latest video from Del Bigtree about the ‘studies’ that the CDC rely on to inform the world that vaccines have no influence on the rising numbers of autism diagnoses.

    Del Bigtree and ICAN (Informed Consent Action Network) made a Freedom of Information request to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asking for the studies on which they base their assurances that “Vaccines do not cause Autism”.

    Specifically they wanted the studies regarding the following vaccines in the US infant schedule:
    DTaP, Engerix B, Recombivax HB, Prevenar 13, Hib vaccines, Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) and also that the cumulative exposure from multiple vaccines before the age of 6 months is safe and does not cause autism.

    Initially the CDC refused the request, directing ICAN to their website, deflecting the request. So ICAN took them to federal court. They were then ordered to provide the information.

    The result?

    A short list of only 20 studies and reviews (despite the fact that, in a clip in the video, Dr Paul Offit claims there is “a mountain of scientific evidence”!)

    Most of the studies were to do with the MMR (which ICAN hadn’t even asked about) or Thimerosal/Thiomersal (the mercury preservative that has been removed from nearly all vaccines, although apparently ‘trace amounts’ remain…) and only numbers 2 and 20 referred to anything they had requested, in that case the DTaP vaccine.

    The others were effectively irrelevant!

    Study 20 merely compares children getting larger numbers of antigens from vaccines with those getting lower numbers of antigens and found no difference in autism rates – but the study was not comparing any number of antigens with NO antigens, so in no way can it be used as a true comparison! In any case, the suspected vaccine ingredients that may cause harm aren’t considered to be the antigens, they are the other things like adjuvants, preservatives and so on.

    Study 2, actually a review of another study, said there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the DTaP was either causal or not of autism. Also, the reviewers said that study they reviewed was not valid in any case because there was no unvaccinated control group to compare it with!

    So there we are. The CDC (and therefore most likely the NHS and PHE too) have NO studies that prove that those other childhood vaccines in the FOIA request don’t cause autism…

    Reply
    1. anglosvizzera

      The bit I’m talking about starts at 26 minutes into the video – but you can watch the whole thing if you’re interested!

      Reply
      1. mmec7

        Re Vaccines – Bigtree – Oh Boy. That video needs to be way out there. Jeeps. The poor families, the children. The horrors of corruption and greed. (I sure wish one could put this in front of that newsreader from Ch4 : Cathy Newman. She really does do a number on my blood pressure…!)

        Reply
      2. David Bailey

        Do you think these campaigners will be able to force more information out of the CDC – either some more relevant studies or an explicit admission that that is all the data they have?

        Reply
      3. anglosvizzera

        One can only hope that this is the beginning of the exposure of the misinformation put out by the CDC…I have high hopes for Bigtree and co!

        Reply
  57. mmec7

    Superb. The ‘**Easiest respiratory disease to cure…’
    A ‘non event’ – yes. Just what I have been saying – and I have COPD; MS – and a few other health problems. ‘Am I bovered’ ? No. Take yr Vit-C; D3; Magnesium; K2… etc etc. You’ll be right.

    Reply
  58. Anna M

    Martin Back,

    Regarding the IV vitamin C, I was given doses of 50 grams IV at the clinic in Mexico last summer and I did not get diarrhea. They do it by weight so I think some people got 75 grams. At home, taking it orally, I got diarrhea between 3 and 4 grams.
    Of course, my infection was cancer, not an acute viral infection.

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      Anna, that’s interesting. I would have thought that intravenous vitamin C would give your body a bigger jolt than oral vitamin C. Maybe it’s got something to do with how fast it is administered?

      However administered, I hope it was effective in your case.

      Reply
  59. Charles Gale

    More on the vitamin D thread and it’s role in health and the immune system

    Here are some links on this topic, both from excellent sources. The 1st is from Dr Mary Dan Eades from the Protein Power website, which she shares with Dr Mike Eades:

    https://proteinpower.com/sunshine-vitamin-d-and-immune-health/#comments

    and I remember Ivor Cummins tackling vitamin D sometime in the past. Here’s a link to a presentation:

    It’s a “one stop shop” place to go on vitamin D. It’s about 1 hr 20 mins and I’ll point out 2 places which seem specific to some of the comments posted:

    – at about 40 mins he covers vit D and influenza and seasonal triggering and other diseases/infections and
    – at about 1hr 12 mins the Q&A is under way and blood tests for 25(OH)D status is covered. There is a slide showing the ranges for low, optimum and high 25(OH)D levels.

    I quoted a comment from Dr Suzanne Humphries in a previous comment of mine – if you are not sure then get tested.

    The good news is that it’s March 8 and we’re now getting longer days and stronger natural rays from the sun. I’m in Hampshire, (south) England and I’ve been out with my UVB meter taking readings.

    On a clear sunny day I’m getting approx 90 to 100 microwatts/cm2. To put that into context:

    On the shortest day of the year 21 Dec you might expect a reading of 10 on a clear sunny day.
    On the longest day of the year 21 June you might expect a reading in excess of 300 on a clear sunny day.

    So, it might be cold but if it’s sunny it’s worth soaking some up.

    Can anyone in the UK recommend where to go for vitamin D (i.e. 25(OH)D) testing. I’ve used Medichecks before and there test is £39.00?

    Reply
    1. Eric

      What does that UV-B meter measure? Do you have a link to the product or its sensitivity spectrum?

      According to Dr. Holick, who is probably the leading advocate of vitamin D, you cannot make any at the latitude of Boston until April, and even then only at high noon. He was using silica test slides with human skin cells.

      Reply
      1. Frederica Huxley

        There is an app, dminder, that will give you accurate times of UVB light at your latitude. Basically, the UVB rays only get through the atmosphere when the sun is over the azimuth – spring to autumn – in the UK. The longest exposure time is on the 21st June, centred around noon GMT in the U K.

        Reply
  60. Tish

    Many of us in the UK had a virus (which tended to subside and recur a bit, though at a lesser intensity) around the Christmas period. The symptoms were as for the coronavirus. Nobody, to my understanding, was tested for the then undreamt of coronavirus. Does anyone question whether it was in fact the coronavirus, and we are only discovering it now because we are testing for it?

    Reply
      1. anglosvizzera

        Even so, who knows if people who have been suffering with ‘flu-like illnesses’ or colds have actually got Covid19 being as most people aren’t tested. It’s only now people are being tested that there is a panic. Those cases who seem to have had no known contact with China or Italy may be people who had whatever has been going round already – which may be Covid19? I’m beginning to think that there is some kind of cover-up going on…

        Reply
        1. AhNotepad

          anglosvizzera, you and me both. I think it is being used as this year’s attempt to cause panic, as they did with ebola, zika, as they try every year with measles. Get people to fear, then comply, then accept needles, 🙌🏻BINGO🙌🏻. Gates gets his 15% world population cut. But it won’t be the virus wot dun it.

          Reply
      2. Jerome Savage

        Social & mainstream media feeds on this and magnifies the threat. It’s their lifeblood. So many practitioners in the meantime are pointing out that it doesn’t really have any consequences for the young or the healthy. It appears to be one of many conditions that can push the weak, the frail (usually but not always) the old, over the edge.
        One GP interviewed on Saturday said the real issue for many GPs is the unsupervised toddlers running around surgeries with mothers insisting on getting checked for the 19 Virus.

        Reply
      3. Tish

        When you consider the numbers of people who have tested positive for the virus but not really suffered and its relatively benign affect on children too, it doesn’t sound like something that should bring the world to its knees.
        How ridiculous humans make this world. It’s certainly no better than when Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels. Shame on our species and apologies to all other animals.

        Reply
        1. JDPatten

          Tish,
          The world is composed of discrete individuals – all the more discrete as each faces the prospect of death. I can understand how that collective might become overwrought. At least wrought. Is that being brought to knees?
          Might I presume that you yourself are not now in Italy?

          Reply
      4. Tish

        JDPatten
        Hello again. I am fully aware that many people following this blog will have serious heart conditions and are in their retirement years. Many of them will be prone to anxiety at the best of times since anxiety is known to provoke heart disease. I have been merely trying to suggest that being fearful is not going to help in the least and that treating the coronavirus as they would flu (from which they have in the past recovered) is, I believe, the safer option.

        Reply
        1. andy

          Tish: re old people
          The coronavirus epidemic is a good opportunity to study effect of “high bad cholesterol” and mortality due to the virus, and statin use and mortality of infected older persons. There are rumours that high dose statins could be part of the cure by reducing inflammation.

          Reply
          1. AhNotepad

            Oh dear. Do I understand we have moved on from the highly scientific observational meta studies to the loftier heights of “rumour”?

      5. Tish

        I expect there will be extra deaths from the coronavirus because of fear and panic but there will be no proof of this of course. The vaccinators will do very well out of it.

        Reply
        1. andy

          Tish: re statins as cure for coronavirus. This approach will be dropped if developing a vaccine will generate more revenue. Statins might benefit old sick people, vaccines will be for everyone on an annual basis.

          https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/43/2/199/333986
          Pandemic Influenza: A Potential Role for Statins in Treatment and Prophylaxis
          Abstract
          The next influenza pandemic may be imminent. Because antiviral agents and vaccines will be unavailable to people in most countries, we need to determine whether other agents could offer clinical benefits. Influenza is associated with an increase in acute cardiovascular diseases, and influenza viruses induce proinflammatory cytokines. Statins are cardioprotective and have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, and they thus might benefit patients with influenza. This hypothesis should be evaluated by using administrative databases to search for reduced rates of hospitalization and death due to influenza-related conditions among people taking statins. These studies should be followed by laboratory studies of statins in animal and cell-based models of influenza virus infection and, later, by clinical trials. Positive results from such studies would provide physicians in all countries with something to offer patients for treatment and prophylaxis of pandemic influenza. Generic statins will be widely distributed and inexpensive. They might be the only agents that could alter the course of a global pandemic.

          Reply
  61. Alan Wheatstone

    A friend of mine commented to me that many folks seem to believe that
    1) every vaccine is just like every other one in that
    2) they are all 100% effective
    3) they are without risk
    4) that they are effective for life
    5) that they are tested in the same way as drugs that are licensed
    6) that studies show that they reduce the incidence of a disease  ….. that this detail is essential for the vaccine to be licensed ……..
    7) that they contain only the virus, in an inactivated form ….

    I naturally believe everything I am told by those in authority; after all, they know best; but I must say, when I read his list, I felt maybe I should ruminate on this a little …

    Reply
    1. Göran Sjöberg

      Alan,

      I am just now reading, for the second time, the truly great book “Dissolving Illusions” (Disease, Vaccines and the Forgotten History) by Dr. Suzanne Humphries and Dr. Roman Bystrianyk.

      It is a reading that can convert the most hard believer in the current vaccination practice into a skeptic to say the least. Very scary and revealing reading, confirming my own conviction that the medical establishment has little if any concern abut the true health of their patients. It is all about “drug dealing”.

      Reply
      1. Alan Wheatstone

        I too found her book to be very good; (my friend suggested I read it); I was particularly impressed at a orthodoxly trained kidney doctor seeing things that were directly in front of her; and questioning the orthodoxy that all members were expected to recite with question; a lonely journey; and ending up deciding much was wrong; as others have done with the lipid hypothesis and other areas of “established science”; any area of “science” that talks of a “consensus” as Ancel Keys did; must be suspect; (my friend said); ……. note the presence of “con” in the word .. con-sensus …….

        Reply
      2. Sversut

        Disease medicine, unfortunately. Exception I think only in relation to acute problem, surgery, technology with exams, etc. except still some good doctors such as Dr Malcolm

        Reply
    2. mmec7

      I read your note rather too quickly – and ‘read’ “I felt maybe I should ‘urinate’ on this (list)…!!” Had to share my laugh

      Reply
  62. Alan Wheatstone

    thanks mmec7; one could never urinate on that list; after all, it reflects the “consensus” of established science: all are agreed, or maybe just 96% are, that it reflects their beliefs; to question it, would be to deny its truths. Verily, the word has been carried to us.

    Reply
  63. Soul

    i don’t know if it is a scandal or not, but of late I’ve been reading about the condition celiac. What is troubling is mentions that all to often those that test positive for celiac continue to have poor health and poor abilities to function in society even though wheat, barley, rye, oat gluten has been avoided from ones diet.

    Some write about other grains such as corn and rice being problems for those with celiac and sight studies showing that. Then some go on to say other foods can cause damage to the digestive system similar to what is seen with celiac. Other problematic foods can be dairy products, eggs, along with others.

    I know medical testing can be a contested area. With what i’ve read it does make me question current celiac testing values, if it is helpful for many or not.

    Reply
    1. anglosvizzera

      I wonder whether a lot of people actually have a problem with grains due to the use of glyphosate, rather than gluten etc. It’s sprayed onto crops like wheat as a pre-harvest desiccant as well as its use as weed control. Cutting out those foods often helps people with IBS, I’ve found.

      NFU love it – https://www.nfuonline.com/cross-sector/science-and-technology/crop-protection/crop-protection-key-content/glyphosate/

      Soil Association hates it – https://www.soilassociation.org/our-campaigns/not-in-our-bread/what-is-glyphosate/

      …as does this group – https://www.pan-uk.org/glyphosate/

      Reply
  64. mmec7

    The NFU sure do love it. Where I lived in the UK surrounded by 20,000 acres. Everything was sprayed to high heaven. Plus dumping in the verges with unused toxic chemicals. My lovely dogette ended up with galloping diabetes, could not stabilise her, plus a weird skin condition. Skin started to sort of rot. Vet said, ‘pesticides’ and that he was seeing a lot of it ! Horrible. A fave guinea pig ended up with cancer, and she was carrying young. The spray was everywhere. Bloody Big-Ag and unthinking farmers.

    Reply
  65. Soul

    Absolutely. I can see that possibly being an issue for some. In the books I read about the auto immune condition of being a celiac, one of the authors brought up that some believed glyphosate was responsible for the reaction some patients have with wheat and other grains. The author was skeptical of many areas of what is taught about celiac disease but she didn’t believe the idea that glyphosate was responsible though and made a case against the idea.

    Me, personally it seems like a possibility. There was a doctor Theron Randolph that reported many of his patients saw their health improve when avoiding grains, fruits and vegetables that had been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. If a celiac is unlucky to not see improvement in their health after removing grains from their diet, looking at other ideas seems reasonable. The testing methods for celiac seems to have flaws in it from what I can tell.

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      Joe is a recovering stutterer and it still occasionally presents a problem. Don’t support destructive rumors if you don’t have the facts.

      Reply
    2. andy

      Joe Biden is a healthy 77 year old, fit to be a president according to his doctor
      Medications: Apixaban (Eliquis) for anticoagulation; rosuvastatin (Crestor) for cholesterol; esomeprazole (Nexium) for acid reflux; fluticasone/azelastine (Dymista) and fexofenadine (Allegra) for seasonal allergies

      The most common side effects (crestor) may include:
      Headache, muscle aches and pains, abdominal pain, weakness, and nausea. Additional side effects that have been reported with CRESTOR include memory loss and confusion. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

      Reply
        1. andy

          Thanks Sasha: Re dementia, scary stuff for people who take meds and rely on standard of care. Pray for Joe.
          https://kresserinstitute.com/dangers-proton-pump-inhibitors/
          “PPIs also impair cognitive function. A 2016 study found that regular PPI users had a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with those not using the drugs (26). A different study published in 2015 that assessed cognitive function in PPI users versus controls found statistically significant impairment in visual memory, attention, executive function, and working and planning function among PPI users (27).”

          Reply
  66. SteveR

    Well, he certainly appears to have had a review of whatever he was on, because if not he has a brain-double performing at his rallies.

    Reply
  67. dearieme

    My wife points out that it’s astonishing that we’ve not yet been told that statins are the answer to the Wuhan virus.

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      Prominent hobbyhorses (statins) aside, there is good indication that Angiotensin Converting Enzyme2 is the means by which COVID19 gets established.

      Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors (lisinopril) and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (losartan) are widely used to treat hypertension.

      They both markedly increase ACE2 activity.
      https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m810/rr-2

      So, what is one to do about this prospect??

      Reply
        1. JDPatten

          Anna,
          My understanding:
          ACE stands for angiotensin converting enzyme. It converts angiotensin-1 to angiotensin-2, the active form which “tenses” your vessels. Inhibiting that with lisinopril will reduce the tensing to lower blood pressure. ARBs, or angiotensin (2) receptor blockers allow the 2 to be formed but block it at vessel receptors where it would have been effective.
          I’d not heard of ACE2 before this, but I suspect it has to do with the body’s attempt to get around the artificial inhibition or blockage.

          Reply
          1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            This area is very complicated. Be very careful when playing around with the RAAS (Renin Aldosterone Angiotensin System). Clearly there is something going on with the coronavirus and RAAS, many patients with coronavirus end up with a very low potassium level (something also caused by ACE-inhibitors) and people are talking nonsense about using ACE-inhibitors to protect against infection. In my opinion, you could kill yourself doing this.

          2. JDPatten

            So, Dr. Malcolm, what are those of us who’ve been taking these ACEIs and ARBs to do now in the face of this world threat?

    2. mmec7

      Give them time. They will be working on it, indulging in a few ‘trials’, skew-whiffing the results to ‘fit the facts’ they wish to present. Give em a few months, statins will be pushed to the fore, probably for next season’s onslaught…Bah !
      Thousands will be pushed by ‘guidelines’ and bought media speak to take the blasted drug and then, end up hospitalised with heart attacks and comorbidities, let alone mebbe dying of the virus anyways, cause thy are elderly, with heart problems (exacerbated by statins), and with COPD, asthma, and no doubt many other health problems – statins will not be blamed. Just the virus – an excuse to carry out mandatory vaccinations !

      Reply
      1. Alan Wheatstone

        this article from the Onion suggests Pfizer are developing a “hyper-depressant drug” to help folks cope with prolonged confinement:
        https://www.theonion.com/pfizer-pours-all-resources-into-developing-new-hyper-de-1842361688

        ” the new hyper-depressant pill would help patients achieve a deep state of melancholy so they could better adjust to sitting around doing absolutely nothing”

        they must have forgotten that statins already do this job perfectly.

        Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        David S Fedson is an absolute cheerleader for statins. So my immediate thoughts are, who is financing him ? Andy’s article is from 2006. Following is 2018.
        https://academic.oup.com/emph/article/2018/1/260/5114447
        Mortality rates in influenza appear to have been shaped by evolution. During the 1918 pandemic, mortality rates were lower in children compared with adults. This mortality difference occurs in a wide variety of infectious diseases. It has been replicated in mice and might be due to greater tolerance of infection, not greater resistance. Importantly, combination treatment with inexpensive and widely available generic drugs (e.g. statins and angiotensin receptor blockers) might change the damaging host response in adults to a more tolerant response in children. These drugs might work by modifying endothelial dysfunction, mitochondrial biogenesis and immunometabolism. Treating the host response might be the only practical way to reduce global mortality during the next influenza pandemic. It might also help reduce mortality due to seasonal influenza and other forms of acute critical illness. To realize these benefits, we need laboratory and clinical studies of host response treatment before and after puberty.

        Reply
      2. Philip Thackray

        Jerome Savage,
        A recent article in the BMJ discussed the use of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) as a defense against the coronavirus. Note that other blood pressure medicines that affect the renin-angiotensin system at sites other than ARBs – beta-blockers, DRIs, ACE type drugs – may not have the anti-viral effect of ARBs.
        Philip Thackray

        Reply
      3. Jerome Savage

        Philip
        While other BP meds support Covid19 even nurture it per JDPatten on March 12, 2020 at 3:27 pm above, !!

        Reply
      4. Peggy Sue

        Philip Thackeray, I’ve been reading this was only a theoretical benefit at best and in fact patients that take ACE OR ARBs may, may, be more prone to pulmonary complications with Covid-19 (which could explain why hypertension is a key risk factor).
        There’s an article in the Daily Mail on this today – poor GPs must be inundated with worried over 50’s.
        Also, in the HDU/ICU setting I believe drugs affecting the RAAS system are generally stopped due to the risk of dehydration and kidney failure
        (I was told to stop my Candesartan if I ever have a fever, diarrhoea or vomiting).

        Reply
    3. SteveR

      Might be difficult as diabetes seems to result from chronic statinization. Diabetes leads to high blood glucose levels. High blood glucose levels compromise Glut1 receptors on RBCs reducing take up of Dehydroxyascorbate and conversion back to ascorbate (Vit C). Low vitamin C levels compromise ability to deal with free radicals from e.g. lysis. [Chinese research during Covid19 outbreak shows both oral and IV C to be useful in shortening recovery times and improving outcomes].
      Meanwhile Vitamin D is also involved with the ACE2 receptor in some way to block Covid19 access to cells.
      There seems to be a lot of potential out there for ‘natural’ immunity to be boosted against Covid19.

      Reply
      1. SteveR

        Further to the ACE2 receptor vitamin D link for Covid19, it appears that this might not be all the story. Researchers based in Munich have a draft of ‘Virological assessment of hospitalized cases of coronavirus disease 2019’ on medRxiv as a preprint [ https://do I.org/10.1101/2020.03.05.20030502. ]
        This study of 9 patients seems to show that the main route of infection and source of onward infection is the throat where the access to the cells doesn’t rely on the ACE2 route favoured by SARS coronaviruses. Once the virus reaches lung cells the ACE2 route is favoured.
        Tinfoil hat alert!
        SARS was a far more dangerous pathogen but a bit shit at infection, Covid19 is good at infection AND once it gets to lung tissue and if it then changes expression of the means of cell infection it becomes as dangerous as SARS. Was this engineered by someone, or was it just a fortuitous horizontal transmission of high infectivity to a dangerous pathogen with low infectivity.

        Reply
        1. andy

          SteveR: focusing on ACE2 receptors and reductionism
          Fundamentally the immune system has to deal with the coronavirus, how it does it is interesting to speculate but not important to an average person. Everyday dietary habits might be more important in avoiding bacterial/viral infections.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6691341/
          Diet-Microbe-Host Interactions That Affect Gut Mucosal Integrity and Infection Resistance
          “The gastrointestinal tract microbiome plays a critical role in regulating host innate and adaptive immune responses against pathogenic bacteria. Disease associated dysbiosis and environmental induced insults, such as antibiotic treatments can lead to increased susceptibility to infection, particularly in a hospital setting. Dietary intervention is the greatest tool available to modify the microbiome and support pathogen resistance.”

          Reply
      2. JDPatten

        SteveR,
        I read the full article from your (corrected) link and found no reference to vitamin D.
        Have you found a D and ACE2 and COVID-19 interaction elsewhere?

        I quit my losartan yesterday and want to find out if this is a stupid or a brilliant idea.

        Reply
        1. Gary Ogden

          JDPatten: Two thumbs up; possibly not brilliant, but I suspect a good idea. Get some Brazil nuts, too. I’ve been eating one or two most days for five or six years, and simply don’t get sick, to the point of wondering what all the fuss is about. Seleno-protiens very important! Don’t ask me for a treatise, though with flu.

          Reply
      3. SteveR

        JDPatten:
        The losartan ACE2 link was a speculation in a BMJ rapid response https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m810/rr-2 I have no confirmation that this is more than a possible explanation of observations.
        The German paper is an examination of the behaviour of the virus in 9 patients and I don’t think there was any intention to consider the effects of D on the progress of the infection, sorry if I gave that impression with my intro.

        Reply
      4. SteveR

        JDPatten,
        Thanks for the link.
        I am still struggling to find the link between vitamin D and the ACE2 receptor. This https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865875/ appears to show that D3 is beneficial in ALI but that it increases ACE2 expression to do so. Maybe the body dealing with an ALI utilising D3 creates an opportunity for SARS2-COV (and SARS before it) to enter cells.
        Not sure how this helps, but in the absence of a pre-existing ALI fewer ACE2 receptors would mean lower infectivity.
        Please check my interpretation.

        Reply
        1. JDPatten

          Steve,
          Is it any of these?
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=(vitamin%20D%5BTitle%2FAbstract%5D)%20AND%20ACE2%5BTitle%2FAbstract%5D
          I, myself, continue taking my usual 4,000 IU of cholecalciferol daily.
          Beyond that, dunno.
          What with the question of the effect of ACE2 on Covid-19 being unresolved – Bad? Some doing Rapid Research are convinced it’s good?? – I’m going back to my usual dose of losartan. They don’t know if hypertension is the detrimental factor, or if the treatment is.
          If ya don’t know, ya don’t know.
          Keep in touch.

          Reply
      5. SteveR

        JDPatten;
        A reply just disappeared sorry if this is a sort of duplicate.
        Thank you for the link.
        I am trying to see how vitamin D might be helpful against SARS2-COV, but this https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5865875/ appears to show that it actually up regulates ACE2 in alleviating ALI.
        Please confirm my reading of this as it suggests that D3 helps ALI, but if ALI pre-exists then upregulation of ACE2 will increase susceptibility of affected lung cells to invasion by the SARS2-COV virus.

        Reply
  68. David Bailey

    This video describes a very general phenomenon that acts to suppress disruptive ideas – such as the side effects and huge NNTs of statins – and puts the issue in a much larger context:

    Reply
  69. AhNotepad

    The UK government is apparently considering banning 0ver 70s from leaving home for up to four months. (This could just as easily be extended). The stress this will cause, it is after all home imprisonment, could easily increase heart attacks, as stress is known to do this. It is to “reduce the transmission of the corona virus”. How many people posting here will now be affected, despite their being healthy, and doing things to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Is this all part of the 2021 agenda?

    I just hope those who have the “ear of government” will try and explain the pointlessness (from a health point of view) of this “idea”.

    Reply
    1. KJE

      Pfft. Are there really enough police to stand outside homes 24 hours a day and prevent people leaving? Any attempt to use drones to monitor people will result in use of an airgun to stop it. Of course, it will useful for the govt if all these more expensive and vulnerable people die – and it’ll be the fault of the virus, not the govt.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        KJE, police will not be needed. A small reward offered will have all the neighbours prepared to report on people, or even make up stories.

        Reply
    2. Sylvia Brooke

      A H Notebook.
      I agree with every word of your comments A H Notepad.I wonder just how Boris Johnson is going to make this work. It almost makes me smile just to think about it. For years now the problems within the U.K. have been repeatedly blamed on various things including ‘an ageing population’. Every time I have heard that phrase over the last few years it has made my blood boil at the sheer injustice of it. If anyone ever knew how to take care of themselves, and others, then it is the older generation. Those of us in this age-group, and a little older, have lived through some very tough times but have come through them with flying colours and learned valuable lessons along the way. How dare they even contemplate herding us along these lines. Unless the government intend to deliver decent, cooked meals every day, along with a daily newspaper to keep up with the news, they can forget their idea so far as I am concerned.
      Like many people of my age I do not have a back-up of relatives to help out, and as older neighbours and friends have died along the way, I am surrounded by new neighbours who never speak. I used to introduce myself to new people who moved into the neighbourhood and try to be helpful in any way that I could, but I stopped doing that for various reasons. Actually, I would love four months of quarantine, I could get the garden back into some kind of order following two years of extreme weather of one kind or another!
      I hope everyone on this blog is managing to keep clear of the coronavirus 19 without too many problems.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        Sylvia, I would be very wary of hot meals supplied by the government. You never know what’s been put in them, and I doubt they are what many people on this blog would consider nutritious. It would be a selection from a few “one size fits all” offerings, from one of their favoured suppliers and possibly overseen by Crapita, well known for messing up just about every endeavour with which they have been associated. It is not easy to find favourable reviews of hospital food, and many people take in things to feed their relatives.

        I have seen plenty of people of “a certain age”. About my age and a bit older, who seem to believe what they are told by any outfit that trots out the authorised narrative, and end up taking plenty of pharma drugs that have an almost guaranteed effect of keeping them needing even more pharma drugs, eg flu jabs, statins, you know the list. So it is a minority who get outside the box to think.

        I’m not even sure the ones who used to grow their own vegetables were doing the best thing for the most part. Even in the 1950s and 1960s there were plenty of chemicals about to spray on or dust crops. Whether we need to worry about them I don’t know. I am happy to believe Tom Levy’s statement that vitamin C will destroy all toxins, so every time you come across something not good for you, have some more vitamin C. At worst it will do no harm. I did hear of a statement by oe hospital doctor who was treating someone for cellulitis, when asked about vitamin C, said that if more people took bigger doses of vitamin C there would be fewer people in hospital. So that’s a significant shift from the views of an orthopaedic surgeon I know of who could do with vitamin C himself, but said it wouldn’t have any effect.

        PS. I wonder if the certain person in a high government position could be suffering an STD as a result of numerous extramarital activities. Might explain the muddled thinking.

        Reply
      1. Anna M

        I was aware that GB or England had decided not to do the draconian cancellations of all public life as most other countries are doing and instead recommend the over-70 to stay home. But I did not think it would be completely mandatory. Is it?

        Reply
    3. andy

      AhNotepad: Old people cause coronavirus epidemics, indirectly, by being demented
      An older person more than likely is diabetic, has Alzheimers, CVD, and is on multiple medications such as statins, PPIs, ACE inhibitors, annual flu vaccines, etc. factors that are associated with dementia.
      According to experts, old people people with dementia will forget to wash their hands and accelerate the spread of coronavirus infections. This segment of the population is getting larger due to falling birth rates. Demented people are easier to stampede into a frenzy of preparing for doomsday by stockpiling food and toilet paper thereby accelerating mass hysteria forcing the closure of airports, schools, sporting events, etc.. The economy is on the brink of collapse, politicians have to do something to avert collapse of western civilization. Lock them all up and limit their access to news until things return to normal.

      https://www.beingpatient.com/coronavirus-dementia/
      People With Dementia Are at Higher Risk of Coronavirus: Here’s How to Prepare

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        andy, though I agree with things you say in other posts, I don’t agree with the statements you make in this one.

        ”Old people cause coronavirus epidemics, indirectly, by being demented”

        A statement which is scientifically unsound, and worthy of a pharma rep IMO.

        ”According to experts, old people people with dementia will forget to wash their hands and accelerate the spread of coronavirus infections.”

        Again, unsound. Experts? We hear a lot from “experts” in the World Health Organisation spouting totally unsubstantiated claims.

        According to “experts” 50% of men, and 30% of women do not was hands after going to the toilet. This I believe, but to level the accusation at demented people, may be true, but may not exacerbate the problem anyway. I believe antibacterial handwashes, or excessive washing is just as likely to cause a problem as it attacks the normal skin flora, and so removes the symbiotic protection which is normal.

        Reply
        1. andy

          AhNotepad, re old demented people and COVID-19
          Conclusion reached by deductive reasoning based on researching information gleaned from TV newscasts, politicians and other experts. I am old and some of my beliefs seem demented according to what is commonly regarded as normal behaviour. In the meantime I am working on other possibilities why this virus is spreading. How about glyphosate? This chemical can also cause dementia, but more importantly it also has a negative effect on the immune system. Pandemic exposure to glyphosate = pandemic susceptibility to COVID-19. Maybe old demented segment of society is just collateral damage.

          Reply
      2. KJE

        Yeah, right. So all the people stockpiling loo rolls in Home bargain today were not the 30 somethings as they appeared to be but actually very young looking elderly people with dementia. And even not washing hands is only an issue if you have actually been in contact with the virus – generally older people seem to have more of a clue about that than youngsters – just ask what happens in the gents loos!

        Reply
        1. andy

          KJE: re gents loo habits, maybe they should wash hands before and after. This should be mandated by government.
          Glyphosate and statins have created the perfect storm, now we also have demented young people.

          Reply
    4. mmec7

      AH Notebook – KJE – et al – As we now know, will not be like that. Will not be a ‘Chinese like lockdown’ nor yet an ‘Italy lock down; – not yet anyways ! Can go out, walk the dog, go for a bike ride, exercise yr horse etc etc. Just to keep a 2’. distance, keep away from shops and other areas where people might gather. Be especially careful if have underlying health issues, as hospitals are under equipped to deal…a paucity of ventilators and ALL the rest – could be even sicker if go to hospital !
      Be sensible and take care, is the take home message.

      Reply
      1. AhNotepad

        mmec7, as you say, forced quarantine is not coming this way, yet. The government seems to be getting a lot of flack as they have not shut schools and banned all gatherings. Personally I think that is unnecessary anyway. Panic has taken the place of reason with corona/covid 19, and when you look at the diseases which cause most deaths, covid-19 is still causing fewer than whooping cough. https://www.sott.net/image/s28/560257/full/illnesses.jpg. This was made on 9th of March, so the Covid deaths have risen since. However, why isn’t there widespread panic about tuberculosis? Or motor vehicles? (They’re rhetorical by the way). Since we know there are some simple fixes that anyone can do (unless you have a nut allergy to Brazil nuts), it is really cheap to stay healthy. Those with nut problems just need to find a different selenium source. A short video worth a look is https://youtu.be/gC4s6-8De_o. There is a longer one available. It lists a few simple steps to.lower the risks.

        Reply
        1. Gary Ogden

          AhNotepad: The panic, spread mainly by the media, about this coronavirus is in astonishing contrast to the dead silence from government and media about the real epidemic, whose annual cost, by 2025, will exceed that of the defense budget in the U.S. This is the epidemic of autism, which is rapidly closing in on three percent of our children (the eight-year-old cohort), a rate which has risen on average ten percent per year since about 1990. This will destroy nations, and do so sooner than we think. And it is clearly iatrogenic.

          Reply
      2. andy

        Gary Ogden: re autism epidemic
        My gut feeling is that a perturbed gut/brain axis is a root cause of many ailments including this one. Fecal transplants appear to be a quick fix.
        Roundup applied to soil destroys microorganisms and binds minerals resulting in plants with reduced vitality . Our gut microbiome can serve the same purpose to keep us healthy.

        Reply
    5. Alan Wheatstone

      Thanks AhNotepad; thinking of some very wealthy and high-profile elderly folks: who should be told to stay at home; confined to a rocking-chair: eg Mick Jagger; Keith Richards; Ronnie Woods, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Elton John;

      this shows you how infirm and disabled the over70s are: (the disability comes on rapidly at one’s 70th birthday party, within days apparently); better stay at home in a rocking chair, than be out there rocking. Be wrapped in cotton wool; be fearful of all; shiver and shake at a slight breeze; or a dog barking; take statins; stay indoors; live a happy and long life.

      Reply
  70. David Bailey

    After reading this blog for many years, I am now utterly cynical about anything I am told of a medical nature!
    I am curious as to what we may not be being told about this crisis, ‘because it is commercially in confidence, or for other spurious reasons.

    1) Does the COVID-19 test throw up false positives?

    2) Has the virus been around for much longer than claimed – occasionally causing pneumonia in people who might be expected to get pneumonia anyway?

    3) Are people admitted to hospital with pneumonia tested for COVID-19? If they are, I imagine that if they die, the death is attributed to COVID-19, even if they had enough wrong with them to explain their death anyway, and of course even if their test gave a false positive!

    Suggestions 2 and 3 would both operate to inflate the perceived risk of dying from this disease, which is typically fairly mild.

    My hunch is that the current panic is analogous to the panic in the 1980’s about AIDS (remember the tombstone Ads) and the mad cow disease (sorry Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) – can anyone offer some more informed comments?

    Reply
    1. andy

      David Bailey, anyone who has been following this blog for many years has little to fear from COVID-19. Biggest risk factor for elderly for dying is CVD, slightly accelerated by COVID-19 (10% mortality blamed on virus). CVD will result in 100% mortality eventually. How will a vaccine affect the numbers? WHO might require all travellers to get vaccinated to prevent spread of the virus (just a suggestion).

      https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

      “More than 10% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 who already had a cardiovascular disease, died as a result of the virus. Diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, hypertension, and cancer were all risk factors as well, as we see in the chart.
      The CFR was 0.9% for those without a preexisting health condition.
      Above we saw that the elderly are most at risk of dying from COVID-19. This might be partly explained by the fact that they are also most likely to have underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes; these health conditions make it more difficult to recover from the COVID-19 infection.”

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Andy said,

        “More than 10% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 who already had a cardiovascular disease, died as a result of the virus.”

        Yes, but this obviously only relates to people who were made sufficiently ill by the virus to visit a doctor. To really assess the danger of this virus you would need to be able to estimate the total number of people infected. If you assessed the danger from flu by looking at what happened to those admitted to hospital, you would obviously inflate the lethality of flu enormously.

        Reply
        1. andy

          David Bailey: why COVID-19 will not be contained, call it the glyphosate hypothesis
          Don’t blame the virus, our gut microbiome and immune system has been compromised.

          https://detoxproject.org/glyphosate/glyphosate-and-roundup-negatively-affect-gut-bacteria/
          Summary
          Studies show that glyphosate and Roundup negatively affect friendly gut bacteria and favour the growth of harmful bacteria. This raises the question as to whether glyphosate and Roundup’s negative impacts on gut bacteria could contribute to findings of other toxic effects seen in animal and human epidemiological studies on these substances. In humans, disturbed gut bacteria is found in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and malnutrition, as well as in a subset of autistic people. It may play a role in multisystem organ failure and colon cancer.

          Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      David Bailey: What I’m wondering is how is it possible for RT-PCR to clearly and unambiguously identify a specific virus in human tissue. If not, the “case” numbers are entirely guesswork.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Gary,

        Someone on the radio said there will be an antibody test available in few weeks – I guess that should tell us how much of this bug there really is about.

        Reply
        1. KJE

          But an antibody test just shows if you have been in contact with something,and quite possibly overcome it, not whether you are currently infected – so what’s the point? I’m sure I have measles antibodies, but i don’t have measles.

          Reply
      2. JDPatten

        KJE,
        You had the measles, right? So you’re not concerned about getting it again as an adult. That’s good knowledge to have personally. If you will have had COVID-19 sometime in the future but with only the symptoms of a cold, you couldn’t be sure you’d had it. Antibodies will tell you so that you needn’t be concerned about catching a severe case and possibly spreading it – – presuming COVID antibodies respond as with other viruses. Good personal knowledge to have.
        Widespread testing sometime during the world’s course of this thing will tell us if the population might have acquired the status of “herd immunity”, enabling us to relax isolation. Good knowledge all ’round!
        A lot remains to be seen, though!!

        Reply
        1. Sasha

          JD, this is incorrect as far as I know. Even if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19 and have antibodies, you can still get sick again upon exposure

          Reply
          1. JDPatten

            This is not known to be factual, or not. Yet.
            Consider how botched the testing has been. Consider the number of false negatives and false positives. Fog of war. This is all far too new.
            It’s quite universally accepted that once you’ve gotten measles, for example, you’re protected for life against another outright fulmination.
            This one? Just hoping for now.

          2. AhNotepad

            Sasha I think you are correct. Plenty pf people have antibodies for whooping cough, but still get whooping cough. How did they get the antibodies? Why, from the safe and effective vaccine.

          3. Sasha

            AH: I think JD is saying that naturally acquired immunity from Covid-19 is just like that of measles – for life. Unless the virus mutates. I have heard different but he may be correct… It does make sense to me what he’s saying. I will have to look it up to say more. I am not sure why I have heard what I’ve heard, it may be not true.

          4. KJE

            But how does anyone know that naturally acquired immunity to this virus is for life? I though that the usually “find it, inject it into a mouse or whatever, mouse gets ill or not, check that virus in mouse is same as what was injected” tests haven’t been done, so how does anyone know that thye are testing for the correct antibodies, let alone whether those antibodies mean lifelong immunity to this illness?

          5. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            They don’t. However, in general, unless the virus mutates, most people do appear to have a lifelong immunity to viral infections that they have caught, then fought off. I don’t know why this virus would be any different.

          6. AhNotepad

            KJE, because they know best, and after all, it is for the greater good.

            Evidence is not required, just believe the mantras.

          7. Gary Ogden

            AhNotepad: And microbes evolve, like everything else. Neither the Jeryl Lynn strain of the mumps vaccine nor the acellular pertussis vaccine are effective any more, in part due to this inconvenient fact.

  71. Soul

    David,

    If you wish to become even more skeptical you might pick up a copy of Dr. Claus Kohnlein’s books “Virus Mania”. He addresses your questions about a corona virus along with other viruses.

    https://www.amazon.com/Virus-Mania-Continually-Epidemics-Billion-Dollar/dp/1425114679/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=virus+mania&qid=1584350001&sr=8-4

    It is odd in some ways that here in America that the same scientist that was a big promoter of the AIDS story is now in charge of the corona virus response. His name is Anthony Fauci. He fought against investigating other theories for what was happening and won. Here of late he is shown on TV quite a bit.

    When my family owned a food processing company we came to learn that one of the most powerful people in the company was the person in charge of the quality control testing department. It was someone we came to reasonably fear. The reason being that testing result can vary greatly. Results can be interpreted. Basically, testing methods can be different resulting in various actions. Overall it was a geek area, an area that few were able to understand or wanted to understand. For the public or government regulators that doesn’t matter though. What ever the quality control officer said is what mattered.

    Reply
  72. Sylvia Brooke

    A H Notepad.
    Quite honestly, I was being just a little bit facetious when I suggested a hot meal and a newspaper be delivered daily, if we were ever forced to self-isolate. Your post was the first I had heard about this news, and I was still a bit flabbergasted when I replied. Your reply was not uncharitable in any way, just very sensible. Thank you.

    Reply
  73. dearieme

    Forgive me for not having read 308 replies, but just in case nobody has mentioned it yet: do you think they’ll collect data on how many of those killed by (or with) COVID-19 are taking statins?

    I suppose their CVD will get the blame whether or not statins do anything to make them more vulnerable.

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      Steve,
      This is the best, most detailed page I’ve been able to find. It’s updated regularly. It links to ongoing rapid RCTs.
      http://www.nephjc.com/news/covidace2
      Your link seems to be concerned about a common side-effect of ACEIs that effects those on ARBs less – cough. I was switched from lisinopril to losartan a few years ago because of cough. ACEI cough doesn’t seem like a good idea facing the prospect of COVID cough, but if it helps in the long run – as the RCTs are trying to determine – perhaps worth it. I’m guessing (!?) that an ARB like losartan would probably be better than an ACEI . . . if these things are good at all.
      No one seems to know quite yet.

      Reply
  74. Eric

    Intravenous Vitamin C for Coronavirus:

    Dr. Brownstein is promoting it, and he links this:
    https://www.worldhealth.net/news/official-statement-china-recommended-treatment-covid-19/

    I think it is very much plausible, but that linked “article” is anything but trust inspiring. They say “Shanghai has announced” but fail to link to an official announcment by any major institution. Their quotes seem self referential, and the expert teams in China seem self-appointed. They do link a Chinese announcment not in their sources but within the text. While I can’t read the Mandarin announcement, the sources again seem to link only within a select group of “orthomolecular” authors:
    http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n11-chi.shtml

    Is there any reputable work on this?

    Reply
    1. anglosvizzera

      Hi Eric, just tried to post the info from the university site in Wuhan that released the press release re vitamin C treatment. It wouldn’t post, maybe because I included the original link – but what I had done originally was search on the website of Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University (all in Chinese but I searched using the Google translation of “Vitamin C” in Chinese and found their press release. I translated it on Google Translate a couple of weeks ago which came out as:

      “On the afternoon of February 20, 2020, 4 patients with severe neo-coronary pneumonia recovered from the C10 West Ward of Tongji Hospital in the Tongji Hospital, which was taken over by the National Aid Hubei Medical Team of Xi’an Jiaotong University. The medical team was formally put into work10 In the past 8 patients have been discharged from hospital.

      “After 10 days of practical exploration by the medical team and repeated discussions by the expert group, the expert group proposed a specific plan for the combination of high-dose vitamin C to treat the new crown, and achieved good results in clinical applications.
      It is reported that the treatment plan is generally described as “early, adequate, short course, combined”.

      “Early stage: The so-called “early stage” refers to the timely application of high-dose vitamin C in the early stages of the disease course. The expert group believes that for patients with new coronary pneumonia and critically ill patients, vitamin C treatment should be started as soon as possible after admission. This is because no matter the past Keshan disease, SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or the current new pneumonia, the main cause of death of patients is cardiopulmonary failure caused by increased acute oxidative stress. When the virus causes increased oxidative stress in the body and increased capillary permeability, early application of large doses of vitamin C can have a strong antioxidant effect, reduce inflammatory responses, and improve endothelial function.

      “Adequate: Adequate refers to the large amount of vitamin C. Numerous studies have shown that the dose of vitamin C has a lot to do with the effect of treatment. Previous successful rescue experience of acute Keshan disease and current domestic and foreign studies show that high-dose vitamin C can not only improve antiviral levels, but more importantly, can prevent and treat acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress (ARDS).

      “Short-term: Short-term means that the medication time does not exceed 1 week. Short-term application of large doses of vitamin C in the critical period of disease progression can achieve twice the result with half the effort, and can significantly reduce the side effects such as kidney stones, hematuria and renal colic that should be brought in the long term, reduce nausea, vomiting, hypotension, tachycardia, etc. Adverse reactions to avoid the body’s dependence on exogenous vitamin C caused by long-term medication.

      “Combination: Combination refers to the combination of other treatment methods in the treatment process to develop individualized treatment plans. New crown pneumonia treatment is still without specific drugs. In the just-released “New Crown Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Program Sixth Edition”, it is recommended that active symptomatic treatment be based on early trials of antiviral therapy and oxygen therapy. Therefore, the clinical application of high-dose vitamin C must be combined with the patient’s situation and combined with other drugs and treatment methods, so that it is expected to improve the treatment of critically ill patients.
      In addition, when using this regimen, it should be noted that due to the high concentration, it may irritate the blood vessels and cause pain. It is recommended that isotonic fluids be given to flush the blood vessels quickly after administration to reduce the irritation of the blood vessels. In addition, intermittent and slow dosing will not only help In order to maintain the effective concentration of blood vitamin C, it can also reduce the local stimulation of blood vessels to the greatest extent. And because vitamin C may interfere with blood glucose monitoring results, patients with diabetes should avoid measuring blood glucose immediately after infusion.

      “Finally, based on the various pharmacological properties of vitamin C, this treatment should not be used in patients with the following clinical conditions: 1. Allergic to vitamin C; 2. Life expectancy less than 24h; 3. Pregnant and / or lactating women; 4 . Tracheotomy or history of home oxygen therapy; 5. History of interstitial lung disease, malignancy, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, diabetic ketoacidosis or active kidney stones
      WeChat image_20200221201235.png
      Source: Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University”

      Reply
    2. anglosvizzera

      @Eric – another interesting Facebook post I saw today was from the Onvit Hospital website, advising people how to boost their immune system, with a direct link to their website and a photograph of the information posted on the wall in the hospital. The translation of that, using Google Translate again (in Korean, of course) was:

      “Notice
      Prevention of Coronavirus Infection-19 suggested by Onvit Hospital
      Eat well, sleep well, rest well!
      Increase your immunity and overcome the virus.
      The infectious power of the new coronavirus scares the world.
      So far, there is no cure for new types of coronaviruses as well as viruses.
      Is there any countermeasure? Prevention is the first priority.
      Wear a mask, wash your hands after going out, and when coughing
      Call 1339 for respiratory symptoms such as fever or pneumonia
      After? It is also important to keep your daily life well.
      It increases the body’s immunity so that viruses cannot enter the body and act!
      In particular, immunity is important for adults, the elderly and children with weak immunity.
      There are many foods that increase immunity. Which of these works?
      1. Taking vitamin C
      The immediate and extensive use of high doses of vitamin C can significantly slow down or stop the virus.
      Adults to use 3g per day (content 3,000mg) and children to use proportionally according to weight.
      It is recommended to drink the powder in water by dividing it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a time (content of 1,000 mg) at a time.
      Tablets are oxidized during processing and so the content is reduced, and vitamin C is contained in other fruits and juices.
      Even if it is, the effect becomes less oxidized as the contact time with air increases.
      When storing powdered powder, care should be taken to reduce contact with air, but it has a great advantage over other products.
      ※ In order to improve the immunity of patients in the ward, when taking medicine, they are taken with ‘Vitamin C’ to prepare for infectious diseases.
      2. Eating foods containing garlic and garlic
      Allicine in garlic works to suppress the virus’s growth.
      Foods containing garlic, such as garlic pickles, black garlic, and kimchi, can be consumed in any form.
      3. Cheonggukjang intake
      In Cheonggukjang, a virus-killing substance called Surfactin is made from Bacillus sp.
      It is a substance that kills all viruses and bacteria that have shells.
      (NB There are recipes of various kinds for this online, some without ginseng, if it’s difficult to source…)
      You can buy Cheonggukjang, but we share the recipe for making ginseng cheonggukjang yourself.
      -Ingredients: Aduki beans, dried, 400g, ginseng 100g, sun salt 20g
      -Appliances: Blender, Cheonggukjang maker, jar in summer (June ~ September)
      1) Wash 400g of Aduki beans in running water.
      2) Soak the washed beans in water and soak them for 14 hours.
      3) Wash ginseng under running water.
      4) Remove brain (not sure what that is…) part and go to blender.
      5) Boil red beans for 4 hours.
      6) Mix 100g of boiled red beans and ginseng well. (It is better to ferment fresh ginseng)
      7) Fermentation at 40 ℃ for 48 hours (using Cheonggukjang manufacturing machine)
      ※ If there is no Cheonggukjang maker, put it in a jar in summer and leave it in a sunny place for 48 hours.
      8) Completed Cheonggukjang after fermentation for 48 hours
      9) Add 20g of sea salt to the finished Chungkukjang and chop it slightly with a knife.
      10) In the refrigerator compartment it can be stored for 3 months, and freezer compartment can be stored for 6 months
      ※ Similarly, in order to improve immunity, the hospital is preparing for new coronavirus infections through a healthy diet focused on Cheonggukjang.
      4. Red ginseng and bamboo salt also help increase immunity.
      Vitamin C, cheonggukjang, garlic, red ginseng, and bamboo salt are all readily available, so they are often eaten.
      It is true that we do not know whether it has such a great effect.
      In addition to the new coronavirus, if consumed frequently,
      Increases immunity and enables healthy daily life.
      We hope that everyone can improve their immunity to prevent infectious diseases and enjoy a healthy life.”

      Reply
    3. anglosvizzera

      This is the translation of the announcement from Shanghai. There is a link to the original website (in Chinese of course) in this article:

      …and this is what Google Translate came up with:

      “Vitamin C is administered at a dose of 50 to 100 mg / kg per day, and the continuous use time is aimed at a significant improvement in the oxygenation index.”
      —- whole page—
      Expert consensus on comprehensive treatment of coronavirus disease in Shanghai 2019
      Shanghai Medical Association Today
      [Editor’s note]
      On March 1st, the Chinese Journal of Infectious Diseases, which was hosted by the Shanghai Medical Association, pre-published the “Expert Consensus on Comprehensive Treatment of Coronavirus in Shanghai 2019” (http://rs.yiigle.com/m/yufabiao/1183266 .htm), which has attracted widespread attention in the industry. Shanghai TV also reported on the news last night. This consensus was reached by 30 experts representing the strongest medical force for the treatment of new-type coronavirus pneumonia in Shanghai. Through the study and summary of more than 300 clinical patients, and fully learning from the treatment experience of colleagues at home and abroad, the “Shanghai Plan” was finally formed. At the end of the article, the list of 30 subject experts (18 writing experts and 12 consulting experts) from various medical institutions in Shanghai is attached.
      Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province. COVID-19, as a respiratory infectious disease, has been included in the Class B infectious diseases stipulated in the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases and managed as a Class A infectious disease.
      With the deepening of understanding of the disease, COVID-19 has accumulated a certain amount of experience in the prevention and control of COVID-19. The Shanghai New Coronary Virus Disease Clinical Treatment Expert Group follows the National New Coronary Virus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Program and fully draws on the treatment experience of colleagues at home and abroad in order to improve the success rate of clinical treatment and reduce the patient mortality rate, prevent the progress of the disease, and gradually reduce the disease. The proportion of patients with severe disease improves their clinical prognosis. Based on the continuous optimization and refinement of the treatment plan, expert consensus has been formed on the relevant clinical diagnosis and treatment.
      I. Etiology and epidemiological characteristics
      2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new coronavirus belonging to the genus β. On February 11, 2020, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) named the virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Patients with COVID-19 and asymptomatic infection can transmit 2019-nCoV. Respiratory droplet transmission is the main route of transmission and can also be transmitted through contact. There is also the risk of aerosol transmission in confined enclosed spaces. COVID-19 patients can detect 2019-nCoV in stool, urine, and blood; some patients can still test positive for fecal pathogenic nucleic acid after the pathogenic nucleic acid test of respiratory specimens is negative. The crowd is generally susceptible. Children, infants, and young children also develop disease, but the condition is relatively mild.
      Clinical characteristics and diagnosis
      (A) clinical characteristics
      The incubation period is 1 to 14 d, mostly 3 to 7 d, with an average of 6.4 d. Main symptoms are fever, fatigue, and dry cough. May be accompanied by runny nose, sore throat, chest tightness, vomiting and diarrhea. Some patients have mild symptoms, and a few patients have no symptoms or pneumonia.
      The elderly and those suffering from basic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary atherosclerotic heart disease, and extreme obesity tend to develop severe illness after infection. Some patients develop symptoms such as dyspnea within one week after the onset of the disease. In severe cases, they can progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ dysfunction. The time to progression to severe illness was approximately 8.5 days. It is worth noting that in the course of severe and critically ill patients, there may be moderate to low fever, even without obvious fever. Most patients have a good prognosis, and deaths are more common in the elderly and those with chronic underlying disease.
      The early CT examination showed multiple small patches or ground glass shadows, and the internal texture of the CT scans was thickened in the form of grid cables, which was obvious in the outer lung zone. A few days later, the lesions increased and the scope expanded, showing extensive lungs, multiple ground glass shadows, or infiltrating lesions, some of which showed consolidation of the lungs, often with bronchial inflation signs, and pleural effusions were rare. A small number of patients progressed rapidly, with imaging changes reaching a peak on days 7 to 10 of the course. Typical “white lung” performance is rare. After entering the recovery period, the lesions are reduced, the scope is narrowed, the exudative lesions are absorbed, part of the fiber cable shadow appears, and some patients’ lesions can be completely absorbed.
      In the early stage of the disease, the total number of white blood cells in the peripheral blood was normal or decreased, and the lymphocyte count was reduced. Some patients may have abnormal liver function, and the levels of lactate dehydrogenase, muscle enzyme, and myoglobin may increase; troponin levels may be increased. Most patients had elevated CRP and ESR levels and normal procalcitonin levels. In severe cases, D-dimer levels are elevated, other coagulation indicators are abnormal, lactic acid levels are elevated, peripheral blood lymphocytes and CD4 + T lymphocytes are progressively reduced, and electrolyte disorders and acid-base imbalances are caused by metabolic alkalosis See more. Elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines (such as IL-6, IL-8, etc.) may occur during the disease progression stage.
      (Two) diagnostic criteria
      Suspected case: Combined with the following epidemiological history and clinical manifestations. Suspected cases were diagnosed as having any one of epidemiological history and meeting any two of the clinical manifestations, or having no clear epidemiological history but meeting three of the clinical manifestations. ① Epidemiological history: travel history or residence history of Wuhan City and surrounding areas, or other communities with case reports within 14 days before the onset; history of contact with 2019-nCoV infection (positive nucleic acid test) within 14 days before the onset ; Patients with fever or respiratory symptoms from Wuhan and surrounding areas or from communities with case reports within 14 days before the onset of the disease; cluster onset. ② Clinical manifestations: fever and / or respiratory symptoms; with the above-mentioned imaging features of the new coronavirus pneumonia; the total number of white blood cells is normal or decreased in the early stage of onset, and the lymphocyte count is reduced.
      Confirmed cases: Those with one of the following etiology evidence are diagnosed as confirmed cases. ① Real-time fluorescent reverse transcription PCR detected 2019-nCoV nucleic acid positive. ② Viral gene sequencing revealed high homology with the known 2019-nCoV. ③ Except for nasopharyngeal swabs, take sputum as much as possible. Patients undergoing tracheal intubation can collect lower respiratory tract secretions and send viral nucleic acid test positive.
      (Three) differential diagnosis
      It is mainly distinguished from other known viral pneumonias such as influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, etc. , Different from Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia. In addition, it must be distinguished from non-infectious diseases such as pulmonary interstitial lesions and organizing pneumonia caused by connective tissue diseases such as vasculitis and dermatomyositis.
      (Four) clinical classification
      Mild: The clinical symptoms are slight, and no pneumonia manifestations on imaging examination.
      Ordinary type: fever, respiratory tract symptoms, etc. Pneumonia manifestations on imaging examination.
      Early warning of severe cases of common patients should be strengthened. Based on current clinical studies, elderly (aged> 65 years) with underlying diseases, CD4 + T lymphocyte counts 50%, lactic dehydrogenase (LDH)> 2 times the upper limit of normal value, blood lactic acid ≥3 mmol / L, metabolic alkalosis, etc. are all early warning indicators of severe disease.
      3. Heavy: Any one of the following. ① Shortness of breath, respiratory rate ≥ 30 times / min; ② In resting state, arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) ≤ 93%; ③ arterial partial pressure of oxygen, PaO2) / fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) ≤300 mmHg (1 mmHg = 0.133 kPa). At high altitudes (above 1 000 m), PaO2 / FiO2 should be corrected according to the following formula: PaO2 / FiO2 × [Atmospheric Pressure (mmHg) / 760].
      Pulmonary imaging examination showed that the lesions progressed significantly within 24 to 48 hours, and those with more than 50% of the lesions were managed as severe.
      4. Dangerous: A person who meets any of the following conditions can be judged as critical. ① Respiratory failure occurs and requires mechanical ventilation; ② Shock occurs; ③ Combined with other organ failure, ICU monitoring and treatment is required.
      (5) Clinical monitoring
      The patient’s clinical manifestations, vital signs, fluid volume, gastrointestinal function and mental state are monitored daily.
      All patients were dynamically monitored for terminal blood oxygen saturation. For critically ill and critically ill patients, timely blood gas analysis is performed according to the changes in the condition; blood routine, electrolytes, CRP, procalcitonin, LDH, blood coagulation function indicators, blood lactic acid, etc. are tested at least once every 2 days; liver function, kidney function , ESR, IL-6, IL-8, lymphocyte subsets, at least once every 3 days; chest imaging examination, usually every 2 days. For patients with ARDS, routine ultrasound examination of the heart and lungs at the bedside is recommended to observe extravascular lung water and cardiac parameters. For monitoring of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) patients, refer to the implementation section of ECMO.
      Treatment plan
      (A) antiviral treatment
      You can try hydroxychloroquine sulfate or chloroquine phosphate, or Abidol for oral administration, interferon nebulization and inhalation, interferon κ is preferred, and interferon α recommended by the national scheme can also be applied. It is not recommended to use 3 or more antivirals at the same time. The viral nucleic acid should be stopped in time after it becomes negative. The efficacy of all antiviral drugs remains to be evaluated in further clinical studies.
      For patients with severe and critical viral nucleic acid positives, recovery patients can be tested for recovery plasma. For detailed operation and management of adverse reactions, please refer to the “Clinical Treatment Program for Recovery of New Coronary Pneumonia Patients During Recovery Period” (trial version 1). Infusion within 14 days of the onset may be more effective. If the viral nucleic acid is continuously detected at the later stage of the disease, the recovery period of plasma treatment can also be tried.
      (Two) treatment of light and ordinary patients
      Supportive treatment needs to be strengthened to ensure sufficient heat; pay attention to water and electrolyte balance to maintain internal environment stability; closely monitor patient vital signs and finger oxygen saturation. Give effective oxygen therapy in time. Antibacterials and glucocorticoids are not used in principle. The patient’s condition needs to be closely monitored. If the disease progresses significantly and there is a risk of turning into severe, it is recommended to take comprehensive measures to prevent the disease from progressing to severe. Low-dose short-course glucocorticoids can be used with caution (see the application section of glucocorticoids for specific protocols). ). Heparin anticoagulation and high-dose vitamin C are recommended. Low-molecular-weight heparin 1 to 2 per day, continued until the patient’s D-dimer level returned to normal. Once fibrinogen degradation product (FDP) ≥10 µg / mL and / or D-dimer ≥5 μg / mL, switch to unfractionated heparin. Vitamin C is administered at a dose of 50 to 100 mg / kg per day, and the continuous use time is aimed at a significant improvement in the oxygenation index. If lung lesions progress, it is recommended to apply a large-dose broad-spectrum protease inhibitor, ulinastatin, at 600 to 1 million units / day until the pulmonary imaging examination improves. In the event of a “cytokine storm”, intermittent short veno-venuous hemofiltration (ISVVH) is recommended.
      (III) Organ function supportive treatment for severe and critically ill patients
      Protection and maintenance of circulatory function: implement the principle of early active controlled fluid replacement. It is recommended to evaluate the effective volume and initiate fluid therapy as soon as possible after admission. Severe patients can choose intravenous or transcolonic fluid resuscitation depending on the conditions. The preferred supplement is lactated Ringer’s solution. Regarding vasoactive drugs, noradrenaline and dopamine are recommended to maintain vascular tone and increase cardiac output. For patients with shock, norepinephrine is the first choice. It is recommended to start low-dose vasoactive drugs at the same time as fluid resuscitation to maintain circulation stability and avoid excessive fluid infusion. Cardioprotective drugs are recommended for severe and critically ill patients, and sedative drugs that inhibit the heart are avoided as much as possible. For patients with sinus bradycardia, isoprenaline can be used. For patients with sinus rhythm, a heart rate of 300 mmHg can be reduced to 1 million units / d. Anticoagulation can be taken The treatment protects endothelial cells and reduces the release of cytokines. When FDP ≥10 µg / mL and / or D-dimer ≥5 μg / mL, heparin (3-15 IU / kg per hour) is given anticoagulation. Heparin is used for the first time The patient’s coagulation function and platelets must be re-examined 4 h later. ISVVH is used for 6 to 10 h every day.
      Sedation and artificial hibernation: Patients undergoing mechanical ventilation or receiving ECMO need to be sedated on the basis of analgesia. For patients with severe man-machine confrontation during the establishment of an artificial airway, short-term application of low-dose muscle relaxants is recommended. Hibernation therapy is recommended for severe patients with oxygenation index <200 mmHg. Artificial hibernation therapy can reduce the body's metabolism and oxygen consumption, while expanding the lungs"

      Reply
  75. Martin Back

    Covid-19: ibuprofen should not be used for managing symptoms, say doctors and scientists
    https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m1086
    Scientists and senior doctors have backed claims by France’s health minister that people showing symptoms of covid-19 should use paracetamol (acetaminophen) rather than ibuprofen, a drug they said might exacerbate the condition.

    The minister, Oliver Veran, tweeted on Saturday 14 March that people with suspected covid-19 should avoid anti-inflammatory drugs. “Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone . . .) could be an aggravating factor for the infection. If you have a fever, take paracetamol,” he said.

    His comments seem to have stemmed in part from remarks attributed to an infectious diseases doctor in south west France. She was reported to have cited four cases of young patients with covid-19 and no underlying health problems who went on to develop serious symptoms after using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the early stage of their symptoms. The hospital posted a comment saying that public discussion of individual cases was inappropriate.

    But Jean-Louis Montastruc, a professor of medical and clinical pharmacology at the Central University Hospital in Toulouse, said that such deleterious effects from NSAIDS would not be a surprise given that since 2019, on the advice of the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products, French health workers have been told not to treat fever or infections with ibuprofen.

    Someone said that anti-inflammatories have the effect of drying out lung tissue. Don’t know how true that is. Also, do statins qualify as anti-inflammatories to be avoided for Covid-19?

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      …but don’t stop taking anti-inflammatories if they have been prescribed for you. Read the article.

      Reply
  76. Charles Gale

    AhNotepad

    Thanks for the link you provided in your comment dated 16 March.

    For those who have not followed the link, it’s a 12 min presentation called “How to wipe out the corona virus”.

    I had to smile when he presented the best anti corona device at the end of the presentation at 12 mins and 12 secs.

    That’s exactly what I’ve been doing! Still hard to avoid it (scaremongering) completely though.

    Reply
  77. Soul

    I’ve been reading further about the health benefits of sun bathing. Helping to prevent colds and flu bugs has been a nice topic to read about in this time of the corona virus.

    Also came across mention that sun bathing is a good way to help remove toxic metals from the body. It was animals studies done, but the studies found that sunlight exposure would help remove lead, mercury, colbalt, cadmium, fluoride, pesticides, etc, 10 to 20 times faster compared to animals not receiving the sunlight treatment.

    The brief article adds that Russian coal miners used to (might still) be exposed daily to artificial UV sunlight with the purpose of removing coal pollution that will accumulate in the body.

    Reply
  78. steve479

    Kesia Lyng and Sesilje were two young Danish girls that participated in Merck’s Gardasil trials in 2002 – they lived only a few kilometres apart. Eventually, after the trials were completed they found out that one had the vaccine and one had the so-called placebo (they even had documents which stated that the placebo was just inactive saline!) They were told the safety study had already been done and their trial was NOT a side-effect study. They both had virtually identical side-effects involving chronic fatige/exhaustion, extreme long-term headaches. Doctors could not find a reason for their incessant pain and fatigue. Trial nurses insisted that they were not side-effects or related to the vaccine, but the symptoms got much worse after each dose! They found out that there were no trials with inactive placebo – it contained the active aluminium adjuvant and other ingredients of the vaccine, including polysorbate 80, sodium borate and L-histidine. They had to make FOIA requests to obtain information. Their stories are told in Mary Holland’s book ‘HPV Vaccine on Trial’.
    My own daughter had similar side effects to the HPV vaccine and had been seen by 28 doctors and health professionals before we were eventually told that we should raise a Yellow Card with the MHRA . Many said it might be the HPV vaccine but none would put it in writing.
    I now represent over 600 families in the UK who have a daughter with similar side effects but the MHRA totally deny their symproms are attributable to the vaccine. The WHO global database of adverse drug reactions at http://www.vigiaccess.org list 310,000 adverse reactions, including over 580 deaths. The MHRA use evidence from their own employees who did a statistical study which was based on totally wrong/false assumptions. Totally outrageous.

    Reply
  79. Bloke in Germany

    Placebo formulations have to be documented in clinical trial reports. They usually contain only the excipients as contained in the IMP. This can cause issues of taste (as you mentioned), though less frequently in the age of film-coated tablets, and bulk, both of which threaten blinding. It’s not unheard of, but not normal, to add (usually unpleasant) flavouring agents to the placebo, more commonly one (or all) of the excipients is present in greater absolute quantity so the tablets are indistinguishable in size and weight, to preserve the investigator blinding.

    There are many reasons AE rates can differ between trials. Where you conduct the trial is a big one (for example, AE incidence is always much higher in the USA than in Eastern Europe, certain pulmonary events are always reported more frequently in Japan because they are of enduring fascination to both doctors and regulators), how frequently and intensively you question patients, whether you target questioning (AEs of special interest). That latter one probably explains the difference between WOSCOPS and METEOR. Once myalgia is an established side effect you start asking about that specifically, and by asking specifically you get a far higher response, in both groups. It’s basically fruitless trying to compare AE rates from one trial to another.

    The AE incidences you provide for the LIPID trial are incorrect. You have cited the incidence of AEs considered related to the study medication. That categorisation is based solely on the investigator’s judgement, so is rather subjective, not taken particularly seriously in the clinical research world, and will only ever be a fraction of all AEs reported. If the trial had been conducted in Japan the “related AE” rate would have been much closer to the overall AE rate – another cultural influence on the data. You cannot compare AEs considered related to study medication in one trial with all AEs in another.

    Reply

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