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by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News
There’s a media war going on in the UK involving the issue of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
The British Daily Mail’s health editor, Barney Calman, labeled two medical doctors and a PhD nutritionist as “statin deniers” for their efforts in educating the public and debunking the cholesterol-heart disease causation dogma while exposing statin drug dangers.
The two doctors are Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and Dr. Aseem Malhotra. The nutritionist is Zoe Harcombe, PhD.
The Daily Mail article is blaming their “propaganda” as convincing people to stop taking cholesterol-lowering drugs which they claim are leading more people to suffer heart attacks as a result.
Since this is another example of corporate-sponsored “mainstream” media presenting only the pharmaceutical position on their own products and seeking to censor anyone who opposes them, we are publishing the responses from those accused of murder for exposing the dangers of statin drugs, as well as questioning the “science” used for the most widely prescribed class of drugs in the world.
Dr. Kendrick’s Response
Dr. Kendrick describes himself as a “Scottish doctor, author, speaker, sceptic” on his blog.
His published books include The Great Cholesterol Con and A Statin Nation: Damaging Millions in a Brave Post-health World among others.
The latter tome extends beyond statins to include many of the drugs prescribed as solutions to health issues that worsen the more they’re prescribed.
Calman emailed Dr. Kendrick with a warning that his piece was going to be published in The Sunday Mail. It was filled with the usual promotion of statin drugs’ success at saving lives and proven safe after countless trials, confirmed as true by current mainstream medical authorities.
Dr. Kendrick argues the content of the hit piece statement by statement on his own blog.
Here’s an example of one where Calman challenges Dr. Kendrick’s use of the word “con” to describe the cholesterol-statin dogma of heart disease.
To which Kendrick replied:
Yes, I believe that people are being conned, and I believe the public are being deliberately misled. That is why I called my first book The Great Cholesterol Con.
I would point out that there has been one major placebo controlled double-blind statin study done. ALLHAT-LLT, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health in the US. The conclusions of the study, published in 2002, were that:
Pravastatin [a statin drug] did not reduce either all-cause mortality or CHD significantly when compared with usual care in older participants with well-controlled hypertension and moderately elevated LDL-C. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12479764
All of the industry-funded studies were positive. This is either a remarkable coincidence – or something else. A con perhaps?
In other words, something’s wrong with all those positive industry-funded studies when an independent government agency funded study decisively provides a contradictory result.
Calman made this accusation against Dr. Kendrick in his email to him:
Your stance on statins and the link between cholesterol and heart disease amounts to misinformation.
Dr. Kendrick replied:
Perhaps you would like to read this paper (which I co-authored) ‘LDL-C does not cause cardiovascular disease: a comprehensive review of the current literature.’ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/17512433.2018.1519391?needAccess=true Which was THE most downloaded paper published by Taylor and Francis in the last year.
Or this paper ‘Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review.’ Published in the BMJ open in 2016
‘High LDL-C is inversely associated with mortality in most people over 60 years. This finding is inconsistent with the cholesterol hypothesis (ie, that cholesterol, particularly LDL-C, is inherently atherogenic). Since elderly people with high LDL-C live as long or longer than those with low LDL-C, our analysis provides reason to question the validity of the cholesterol hypothesis. Moreover, our study provides the rationale for a re-evaluation of guidelines recommending pharmacological reduction of LDL-C in the elderly as a component of cardiovascular disease prevention strategies.’
Which was the most read paper in the journal for five months in a row.
All I see from your e-mail are ad-hominem attacks on me. I see no facts at all. I hope that I have given you sufficient information
Calman concluded his email to Dr. Kendrick by stating his doubt that Kendrick was even a doctor.
There is no evidence you work in NHS practice, or as a GP in private practice.
Dr. Kendrick replied that this was libel and that he would take action against Calman and The Daily Mail:
First, I do work for the NHS [National Health Service] as a GP [General Practitioner], and if anyone wishes to claim that I do not – then that would be direct libel.
I am employed by two NHS trusts East Cheshire and CCICP (Central Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership).
Feel free to check with either trust, or look me up on the GMC [General Medical Council] website. But if anyone states that I am not employed in the NHS then I will most certainly sue. And I will win, so I would recommend caution on this point.
You can read Dr. Kendrick’s complete commentary on the Daily Mail matter by visiting his blog here.
Responses From Dr. Aseem Malhotra and Zoe Harcombe, PhD
Dr. Aseem Malhotra responded on a radio talk-show by first pointing out instances of shoddy journalism with the Daily Mail hit piece and letting the listening audience know he was filing to have the “defamatory” article “majorly fixed or retracted.”
Here’s that short talk radio clip:
Just after the Sunday hit piece was published, PhD nutritionist Zoe Harcombe tweeted:
I don’t think statin pushers have any idea how unpopular these drugs are. Some peoples lives have been ruined by muscle pain/damage, cognitive impairment, gastric disorders – all the things warned about starting on page four of the patient leaflet.
It’s obvious that statin information wars may continue at least until the old guard retires completely or passes on.
But at least statins are not being mandated yet like vaccinations are. We still have a choice despite the efforts of “statin pushers.”
Summarizing Calman’s Sunday Mail Hit Piece
The Calman editorial hit piece was published in The Sunday Mail edition on the second of March this year, 2019. Here a few key lines printed under each photo of the “deniers” in the article:
Zoe Harcomb … a prolific denier … recently blogged: “High cholesterol is not even associated with high heart disease, let alone a cause.”
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, a GP from Cheshire [seems Kendrick’s lawsuit threat worked], warns … “People are being conned. The way to avoid heart disease … has nothing to do with lowering cholesterol.”
Dr. Aseem Malhotra … claimed … “Side effects of these drugs have not been properly investigated. Patients are guinea pigs and they don’t even know it.”
Calman’s article goes on to assert that 8 million Brits taking statins daily to prevent early death from heart attacks, because statins reduce heart attack risks, is an “indisputable fact.” Later the article admits the saturated fat theory of heart disease causation has fallen apart.
The article also states that claiming high cholesterol is harmless is “fake news” and statin denier claims that statistics of statin adverse side effects are under-reported are groundless fear tactics that confuse statin users into quitting even before they start having rare “easily manageable side-effects.”
Then the article claims that information on statins not reducing the risk of death from heart attack is also “fake news.” Calman blames the fact that many thousands quit taking their prescribed statins is because of all this “fake news” from statin deniers.
Calman’s editorial considered the statin deniers most incendiary accusations against statin researchers and doctors involved financial connections with the pharmaceutical industry.
Many of us know the problem of industry-funded drug research is not a conspiracy theory. It is actually business as usual.
Calman’s hit piece may have inadvertently tipped some fence-sitting readers into finding more truth about heart disease, cholesterol, and statin drugs.
If you’re new to the controversy with cholesterol and statin drugs, there’s plenty of archived information you can access from the links below.
Below are two videos that were originally aired on ABC Australia but subsequently banned, which clearly shows that not all doctors have bought into the saturated-fat-cholesterol theory of heart disease. See:
Comment on this article at HealthImpactNews.com.
The Great Cholesterol Con
The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It
by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
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