Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick M.D. looks at Cholesterol

In Dr Graveline's Newsletter dated May 12, 2009 There is an eye opening article titled "Dr. Malcolm Kendrick M.D. looks at Cholesterol". I have read a number of articles by Dr Kendrick published at The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS). They are definately suggested reading. I am going to quote some parts of Dr Kendrick's article but I really recommend you read the full article here.

Quotes from "Dr. Malcolm Kendrick M.D. looks at Cholesterol".

re: Facts that are not true.

  • So, the soon to be Professor, Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe looked at the French, and their diet, and came to the conclusion that the French were protected against heart disease by their high consumption of garlic, red-wine and lightly cooked vegetables (full of anti-oxidants, don't you know). Very soon after this, it became a ‘fact' that these three factors were protective against heart disease.
    One slight problem is that there never was, and still is not, the slightest evidence that any of these three factors provides any protection. I write this in the certain knowledge that many of you are absolutely convinced that garlic, red-wine and anti-oxidants truly are protective, and that many studies have proved it. To which I would say..... ‘show me the studies'.
  • I have since discovered that the entire field of heart disease research is packed full of facts that do not (when you start looking properly) exist. Female sex hormones protect against heart disease. For many years this 'fact' was just known to be true. One slight problem. There never was any evidence to support it. Unlike most ‘facts' in heart disease, it was spectacularly disproved.
  • To give another example of facts that aren't true. Namely, that saturated fat intake raises cholesterol levels. The Framingham study, the longest lasting, most respected study into the causes of heart disease (started in 1948) reported that ‘In Framingham, Massachusetts, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower people's serum cholesterol.' Dr William Castelli - director of the Framingham study at the time - 1992.
  • a major eight year long interventional study on fifty thousand women (the Woman's Health Intervention) found that a 25% reduction in saturated fat intake had no effect on LDL ‘bad cholesterol' levels, or heart disease rates.
  • The cholesterol hypothesis is, perhaps, the greatest ever example of a medical hypothesis that has become too powerful to die. Too many vested interests are intertwined with it. World famous experts would look incredibly stupid if the hypothesis were to be accepted to be wrong.
  • here is another quote from the Framingham study on the impact of cholesterol levels themselves. There is a direct association between falling cholesterol levels over the first 14 years of the study and mortality over the following 18 years. 11% overall and 14% CVD death rate increase per 1mg/dl per year drop in cholesterol levels In short, once your cholesterol level starts to fall, you are much more likely to die from heart disease. A 150% increase in relative risk for every 10 % fall, approximately.
  • Add this to another very big study of the elderly, published in the Lancet: Our data accord with previous findings of increased mortality in elderly people with low serum cholesterol levels, and show that long term persistence of low cholesterol concentration actually increases the risk of death. Thus, the earlier that patients start to have lower cholesterol concentrations the greater the risk of death.
  • Even though the ‘experts' have been made aware of it many times, they care not that this particular emperor has no clothes. Or, to be more accurate, they cannot and will not allow themselves to accept that it might be true. For to accept this would be far too humiliating for the great and the good.

Thank You Dr. Malcolm Kendrick

Again, I highly recommend you read the complete article along with other essays.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Disagreements about 'Ugly Facts"

A web site I land on frequently has a home page that starts out this way...

"The great tragedy of Science-the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact." (Thomas Huxley, 1825-1895)

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" (Karl R. Popper, 1902-1994)

For decades, enormous human and financial resources have been wasted on the cholesterol campaign, more promising research areas have been neglected, producers and manufacturers of animal food all over the world have suffered economically, and millions of healthy people have been frightened and badgered into eating a tedious and flavorless diet or into taking potentially dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives. As the scientific evidence in support of the cholesterol campaign is non-existent, we consider it important to stop it as soon as possible. The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS) is a steadily growing group of scientists, physicians, other academicians and science writers from various countries. Members of this group represent different views about the causation of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, some of them are in conflict with others, but this is a normal part of science. What we all oppose is that animal fat and high cholesterol play a role. The aim with this website is to inform our colleagues and the public that this idea is not supported by scientific evidence; in fact, for many years a huge number of scientific studies have directly contradicted it.

I appologize for stealing that text - but it is a good statement which I think is also applicable to other sciences, particularly the science (or whatever you call it) of anthropogenic climate change, that which is caused or produced by humans. I am still looking, open-mindedly I hope, for 'growth of knowledge' based on good honest disagreement, well thought out hypotheses and maybe 'ugly facts'.

Are some 'Ugly Facts' being swept under the rug? Here's one view and maybe Winston Churchill was correct when he said "that Americans always do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else,” and Arthur B. Robinson, president and professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine speaking about consensus said “Maybe that’s what we’re going to do this time. But there will be a lot of suffering.” See article here.