Statin Nation – The Documentary

Film Synopsis:

We are told that cholesterol is a major cause of heart disease. At least 40 million people are currently taking cholesterol-lowering medications, known as statins, and millions more people are avoiding foods that contain saturated fat and cholesterol.

The basic idea is that dietary saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, and these two substances somehow clog-up our arteries, causing a heart attack. This idea is often referred to as the diet-heart hypothesis.

However, a numbers of doctors and researchers have been challenging this hypothesis for decades, and the latest heart disease statistics reveal some alarming facts. Such as:

● People with high cholesterol tend to live longer
● People with heart disease tend to have low levels of cholesterol
● Cholesterol-lowering of a population does not reduce the rate of heart disease

In addition, despite their widespread use, and description as “wonder drugs” statin medications do not extend life for the majority of people who take them.

Cholesterol-lowering has become a huge global industry, generating at least $29 billion each year. Have the facts about heart disease, cholesterol and cholesterol medications been distorted by pharmaceutical companies  and food manufacturers keen to increase their profits?

If the focus on cholesterol has been a mistake, then the greatest cost is associated with the lost opportunity to tackle heart disease.

For more information about the film please visit the website:

49 thoughts on “Statin Nation – The Documentary

  1. maigrir sans effort ventre

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be interesting to read through content from other writers and practice something from their sites.

  2. John Collis

    It isn’t only the pharmaceutical companies that are making money out of statins but insurance companies are as well; although their logic eludes me.
    As someone with Type 2 Diabetes I am prescribed statins as standard. Because I am on statins then I am considered a higher risk than someone not taking statins hence I have to pay more for travel insurance; however if statins do the job they are supposed to do and raised cholesterol is a risk factor in heart disease/stroke as presumed then surely my risk should be reduced not increased as I am on preventative medication (not treatment).
    If NICE get their way then everyone over the age of 50 will also pay more for their insurance premia as they will also be on statins and hence be considered to have a higher risk of heart disease/stroke, despite the fact that this year those same people are considered to be normal risk.
    Have SIGN (Scottish Inter-collegiate Guidance Network) made any equivalent recommendation for statins for 50+?

    1. gardengnome

      As someone who takes medication for high blood pressure exactly the same ‘logic’ applies. When it comes to a Qrisk assessment you are apparently more likely in % terms to die of heart disease/stroke than if you don’t take the pills! Drs have to offer statins if you have a Qrisk over 10%, lowered from 20%. I refused them and at 74 my Qrisk is 18%: each birthday it rises !!

    2. dearieme

      ” if … raised cholesterol is a risk factor in heart disease/stroke”

      (i) “Risk factor” doesn’t mean “cause”. If they had proof that it’s a cause they’d say so. It simply means that they claim it is a positive correlate – much as in the old days having yellow fingers was a positive correlate with having lung cancer.

      (ii) But the Good Doctor devotes much of his book (The Great Cholesterol Con) to showing that it isn’t even a positive correlate. The claim that it is a positive correlate is certainly bogus and very possibly dishonest.

  3. Robert Carter

    Is there any “good”reason that most articles on the internet lack a date? If it was not for the fact that all the reader’s comments were dated, no one would know when this artickle was written. I find that quite irritating.

  4. Eric Blennerhassett

    I have done in vestigations on the effects statins on human physiology as a social scientist when they were patented in the mid 80’s.

    Post facto research by a Danish medical scientist on thousands of patients who had taken statins prior to death their showed their deleterious effects on human physiology.

    I have incidentally knowledge of the interpretation and use of statistics and the effect of diet, drugs, environment etc. on human physiology, phyical and mental health etc.

    The said scientist was duly awarded a Doctor of `Science for his ground breaking research by a well known University with which I am familiar. I tried to contact the same University but the said scientist has been deleted from their Honorary Degrees List. I leave it to you to draw your own conclusion.
    My hypothesis is that much university Medical research is beholden to the finances of big drug companies etc.

  5. Augustine

    I was sent to see a Consultant here in North Wale because my cholesterol was 8.2( I have Mediterranean grandma so this may effect it). Having read Dr Kendrick and also Prof Uffe Ravstau? I asked her if she knew about the trial in Paris university done over several years on 3-4,000 women aged 55-74 which is the category I fall into. They discovered to their amazement that the women with highest cholesterol survived acute heart attacks but those with lower levels of cholesterol didn’t survive. She agreed it was interesting and that the science behind it was good . But when I pointed out I was a woman in that age group so would it be wise to lower my cholesterol with drugs, she looked as if she’d swallowed a wasp and told her assistant not to give me another appointment because I was impossible and then flounced out of the room! I wonder why?

    1. dearieme

      And to think, Gussie, that you could just have taken her statins and flushed them down the loo. Not that I recommend it: it might upset the fishes’ cholesterol.

  6. bfhu

    Dear Dr. Kendrick,
    My sister-in-law was asking me about statins b/c she had just received a prescription for them. I was looking at for information to send her and saw that they were offering a free viewing of $tatin Nation. So I sent her and several others a link to watch the documentary. I received this astounding reply from a friend.

    On Jul 31, 2018, at 17:21, Pam Forrester wrote:

    “I just watched the whole thing. I totally believe every bit of it too. Years ago my doctor told me my cholesterol was high but he never wanted me to take anything. When he retired, I went to a new guy and the first thing he did was put me on statins. Fortunately I had a nurse friend who told me they were bad so I stopped after just a few weeks. When I happened to talk to my retired doctor I told him what happened and he said that was one of the reasons he retired. He said the drug companies were always pushing doctors to prescribe more and giving them cash incentives to do so and the medical organization supported the drug companies. He said doctors were being punished for not getting their patient’s levels down so he quit cuz he didn’t have the freedom to treat his patients the way he wanted to. I am not surprised by any of this and it’s no wonder so many people are turning to homeopathic remedies. They just don’t trust doctors anymore. It’s all very unfortunate.
    Thanks for sharing this. I hope everybody watches it.”

    1. bfhu

      Can you take my name Pam Forrester out of the “pam forrester wrote” It was sent to me by someone else I took her name out and should also have removed my name but did not

  7. David

    I’d been taking statins for a year or so (only side effect noticeable was increased weariness) when I was transferred to a new GP. She asked me if I was happy to be taking statins, I said I was uneasy because if I was healthy why should I have to take medication? She told me that she “wasn’t allowed” to tell me not to take statins, but I could decide for myself, and to assist my decision she recommended The Great Cholesterol Con book. Since then I’ve stopped the meds, gone back to butter and “proper” food, eat whatever I want except junk, and, mainly, stopped worrying. Several years on I am active, feel great, don’t give a **** about HDL/LDL and enjoy life. Of course, I’ll die of something, but my body has, I suppose, less toxins and unwelcome substances than those who continue statins for years. I do get angry about the hold Big Pharma has on society, though.

  8. Graham Murray

    To quote Taubes on the reason for doctors following this pathway;
    …the conflicts of traditional scientific education; professorial authoritarianism; established career path dogma; addiction to grant support; the limits imposed by establishment peer review; the medical publishing business; need for and love of medical money and colegial esteem; opportunities for vast commercialization; invidious government power and political “scientific” positions; mass production and marketing of professional and consumer products; plus advocacy groups and influence.
    Big Public Health. Big Farming. Big Agriculture. Big Government. Big Academia. Big Industry. Big Marketing. Big Advertising. Big Advocacy. Big Medicine. Big Publishing.

  9. robertddyson

    This has just come out in Nature. Safety and efficacy of statin therapy –
    What is fascinating is that this is a literature survey, Medline, PubMed and Embase. So they get very little evidence of bad side effects – who’d a thought? This is like a survey of Iraqi newspapers during the Saddam era, looking for negative comments about him. Again the positives are all relative risk.

    1. Jonathan Rolfsen

      robertddyson – That Nature article came from consultants for 2 pharmaceutical companies that just released statin drugs recently (one of them in 2019) – So, yes 🙂 it’s no surprise it happens to be a very biased piece. Good observations on how Meta-studies can be so easily manipulated!

  10. Patricia Robson

    I am 72 and because my colestrol was 9 was issued with atorstatin. Boy did I have muscle cramp. Then pravastatin and again more side affects. Going to the toilet many times a night. Now given fenofibrate and experienced for

    days severe stomach pain and couldn’t stand it any longer. Now what do I do? Am trying to get a doctors appointment.

    1. Jonathan Christie

      1) Read Malcolm Kendrick’s The Cholesterol Con – if you still feel the need to take a statin after that then, well, good luck.

      2) Get a CBT scan to discover your calcium score – mine was zero, meaning no atherosclerosis whatsoever. I’m Type I diabetic (i.e. a mandated statin Rx) but even my doc (who’s a total statin cuckoo) shut up about statins after that

  11. David

    You have confused the issue of dietary cholesterol and statin drugs. Mixing those stats makes you thesis very shaky

  12. Steve

    I have a stent in my aorta below my kidneys due to aneurysm 5.8 cm which has now shrunk to 4.0 cm. I got a CAC score of 675 last week. I’m 5’7″ and 148 lbs A1c 5.1, cholesterol 200 mg/dl
    I have said no to statins for a year – cardiologist is constantly bugging me to go on them.
    Was diagnosed 31/2 years ago with type 2 diabetes – have lost 73 lbs to get to 148 lbs.
    Wondering if there is a connection between the aneurysm and the CAC score.
    Have never felt this good in my life.

  13. John Conway

    As per your book: “Anything which improves NO synthesis will be highly beneficial and will reduce the risk of dying of CVD. I have found no contradictions to these statements, anywhere, in any study. Ever. Which takes us back to statins because the primary pleiotropic effect of statins is that they, too, increase NO synthesis in endothelial cells. As a direct result of this:
    They lower blood pressure
    They are an anticoagulant, similar in effect to aspirin
    They increase the production of cells in the bone marrow that protect the lining of the arteries.”
    Now, could you offer generic advice to someone who wants to come off daily statins due to adverse side-effects, in terms of what would be effective to take as a substitute to attain the positive effects cited above?

  14. Eva

    The link above to statin won’t open on my ipad browser safari which runs google. Can you please fix or give an alternate link. I have tried a number of times and it says server can’t be found. Thanks

  15. Michael Hunter

    Interesting video and I share a deep skepticism of the pharmaceutical industry. I feel I have to add though, that in my own personal experience, Statins DO seem to have worked (in combination with Aspirin and Beta Blockers) in relieving my Angina symptoms. My wider family has generally suffered from heart disease later in life – and I seem to have inherited relatively high cholestorol levels from my Mum’s side. In my own case, although not greatly overweight or unfit, I started experiencing Angina symptoms in my late 40s. Via an Angiogram procedure,I was found to have narrowing of all 4 major arteries around the heart – although not to a sufficient level to necessitate the use of stents or any other direct intervention. My Cholestorol levels were pretty high at around 7-8 and Statins, Aspirin and Beta Blockers were prescribed and – for me at least – it has worked very well. For the last 5 years I have experienced little to no Angina pains and this has corresponded directly with the lowering of my cholestorol level (from 7-8 down to 4-5). I am not asserting that they are a cure-all (in fact I have a friend who has reported serious side effects which he believes to result from Statins – something I have been fortunate to avoid), but in my particular case, Statins DO seem to have worked well in averting the need for direct interventions (which all come with their own risks) to relieve Angina and thereby reduce the risk of Heart Attack.

  16. L. Ross Pierce, MD

    The evidence From randomized placebo-controlled trials that statins reduce the incidence of heart attacks In people with moderately elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in their blood is overwhelming. I have reviewed several of these studies, each of which have involved thousands of patient subjects.

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Overwhelming? Of course, I have reviewed them all, including ALLHAT-LLP. Maybe you want to have a look at that one. The only large scale placebo controlled study using a statin (pravastatin), that was not funded by a pharmaceutical company. Result – no benefit on overall, or CVD, mortality. By golly, what a coincidence.

      You may also wish to look at the meta-analysis of PSCK9-inhibitors ‘The systematic review of randomized controlled trials of PCSK9 antibodies challenges their “efficacy breakthrough” and the “lower, the better” theory’

      Conclusions: The relationship between LDL-C lowering and cardiovascular events has not showed any significant association (and even a tendency toward harm), challenging the “lower the better” theory. A separate meta-analysis of trials recruiting familial hypercholesterolemia patients has showed a tendency to harm for all outcomes with PCSK9 antibodies. Therefore, at the moment, the data available from randomized trials does not clearly support the use of these antibodies.

    2. Graham HADFIELD

      Ross Pierce MD, LLC. Consultant to Drug & Biotech Industries, hardly unbiased are you? Did space constraints prevent you from mentioning your paymasters?

  17. Heather Wilson

    Thank you Dr Kendrick for everything you publish. The statisistical information you provided in connection with COVID, was outstanding

  18. Helena Gabriel-Bunn

    Hello Dr Kendrick
    I am seeking an information for my husband who following heart attack 12 yrs ago was put on statins and Metformin (appeared had also diabetes) and now after making drastic changes in his life style – diet, to keto with low carbs, loosing a lot of weight, stopped taking Metformin and statins. His sugar levels dramatically improving every day. Question and worries we have is in relation to supplements he is taking. Since about a month started to take ubiquinol Co Q10 100 mg daily, and vit D 3000,
    and K since few years. We have read that the person on blood thinners (clopidregel) should be careful in taking CoQ10 , vit K and even fish oil omega supplement. Is there any way we could seek your advice on this subject
    Thank you
    Helena Gabriel-Bunn

  19. Ludwig

    Yes I am on Statin now tell me why we all on Statin should believe you and not our doctors.More confusion

  20. Jean Brown

    I’ve enjoyed reading your previous books and attended a lecture in Harrogate a few years ago. My cholesterol has been raised but no one has ever suggested statins, so I never had to consider taking them. Now Ive had a TIA, am awaiting surgery for an 80% blocked carotid artery and I’m taking whatever I’m prescribed (including statins) to, hopefully, prevent a stroke.
    I know you can’t comment on individuals, but where did I go wrong? I’m leaning towards thinking it is the end result of a life eating the advised low fat/high sugar diet promoted by the health and diet industries.
    For about 12 months now I’ve been eating a low carbohydrate diet, but it’s probably too little too late!
    Now I need to read The Clot Thickens. Maybe there will be answers in there!

  21. William Henwood

    Interesting that a farmer who lived to 99.
    His breakfast was a pint of warm milk straight from the cow followed by porridge made with full cream milk and lashings of cream, this too is what I had while helping him on the farm during the school holidays and weekends.
    He told me more bunkum came from the medical industry than cures. (He did not buy the cholesterol argument).
    His point of view is as valid today as it was sixty years ago.

  22. Ben the Layabout

    I want to thank “A Midwestern Doctor” on Substack who recommended Kendrick. I’ve read his “Doctoring Data” and “Clot Thickens”. Of the two, I like “Doctoring” better. I was already somewhat trained in reading a drug study with a wary eye, but his analysis of several more were eye-openers. In my early 60s, I am fortunate to be in good health but with that borderline cholesterol and blood pressure, I’d been on statin, baby aspirin and a BP med. His writings, as well as much independent research on my own (especially Cochrane) convince me there is no merit in any of these for primary prevention. Even the secondary prevention studies don’t look all that spectacular, once one learns to discount the miraculous relative figures and instead look at absolute rates. In nearly any study I’ve examined, the all-cause mortality is usually nearly identical. I’m planning to give up these useless drugs. The medical guild can indeed treat many diseases, but I’ve learnt to be a bit suspicious of their claims, especially primary prevention of “high cholesterol” and “high” blood pressure.

  23. Tish

    Wonderful. If the world had been bombarded with videos like this there would have been more scepticism to deal with all the current shenanigans. We need MORE MORE MORE of this.


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