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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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by Paul Fassa
Health Impact News
As has been reported numerous times here at Health Impact News for the past 6 years or so, the pharmaceutical industry has been desperate to find an Alzheimer’s drug to market to an aging baby boomer population with ever increasing numbers of Alzheimer’s Disease cases.
And yet, billions of dollars have been invested in potential drugs only to see these drugs never make it out of the trial phase and come to market, because they do not significantly help Alzheimer’s patients.
Biogen and their partner Eisai are the latest pharmaceutical companies to throw in the towel regarding their Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab, which has failed to make it out of phase 3 trials.
Many drug researchers have now abandoned the theory of amyloid plaque accumulation in the brain as the causative factor of Alzheimer’s. Could aducanumab’s failure be the last nail in the coffin for this theory, as natural approaches to Alzheimer’s such as coconut oil and the ketogenic diet see more positive results?
Biogen Endures the Latest Pharmaceutical Failure with Solving Alzheimer’s Disease
An independent risk assessment during Biogen’s early phase 3 trials signaled the end of their efforts to develop a “blockbuster drug” based on aducanumab for Alzheimer’s.
Aducanumab is a solution of synthetically-derived antibodies based on human cells that have been specifically arranged to attack amyloid beta (AB) antigens. Amyloid beta plaques are considered the stuff of Alzheimer’s disease. Bioengineering antibodies is one aspect of immunotherapy.
Phase 3 trials are near the end of clinical trials involving humans with the largest numbers, 300 to 3,000 humans with the disease the drug is intended for. Before clinical trials begin, there must be satisfactory in vitro and in vivo (lab animal) results that suggest possible medical merits.
Phase 3 trials are considered pivotal towards the final marketing license granted by the FDA upon receiving two apparently positive clinical trial reports from the pharmaceutical company. There’s a phase 4, which is the post-market gathering of adverse side effects. (Source)
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen and its partner for these trials, Tokyo, Japan-based Eisai wound up sending 3,200 early-phase Alzheimer’s patients to their international homes with a “sorry” and “thanks.“
The independent risk assessment that predicted there would be no successful efficacious outcome on any significant level was convincing enough to drop the risk of losing more money and failing their stockholders.
The expected outcome was increased memory and mental acuity of most patients with minimal severe side effects for their phase 3 participants with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
If there were no adverse events or safety issues among the participants, as Biogen officially stated, then they were not getting enough restored memories, cognitive improvement, and improved dispositions to continue throwing money at the project.
If the earlier in vitro tests (lab culture experiments) had shown strong evidence of getting rid of amyloid beta plaque, why wasn’t it working to at least marginally improve enough human trial participants to continue the phase 3 trials?
University College of London’s John Hardy’s answer was:
This tells us that removal of amyloid in people with the disease is too late. Amyloid is a disease trigger. Once the neurodegenerative disease process is up and running, it is up and running. (Source)
David Holtzman, Washington University, St. Louis, added:
Even though this trial was in the early symptomatic phase of AD [Alzheimer’s disease], it is still in the phase when Aβ [amyoid beta] is no longer likely to be the driving process but where *tau and inflammation probably are. (Source)
Ron Petersen, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota wrote regarding this recent failure to medically solve mainstream medicine’s AD riddle:
I think this solidifies the opinion that amyloid-targeted therapies do not have a clinical effect at the symptomatic stages of the disease process.
We clearly need other targets, and *tau is the leading candidate for now. (Source)
*Tau refers to the protein in brain cells that normally facilitates brain cell communication. It’s hypothesized that damaged or distorted tau proteins in brain cells may be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease that leads to the formation of amyloid beta plaque. (Source)
These three medical academics seem to be saying it’s possible all the pharmaceutical whizzes so far have been targeting the end result of Alzheimer’s disease instead of the potential source.
Maybe that’s why, prior to Biogen-Eisai’s failure, Eli Lilly’s AD (Alzheimer’s disease) drug failed during phase 3 trials. Other failures with developing a marketable AD drug include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Roche.
Thus far, the pharmaceutical industry has struck out each time at bat against AD. (Source)
Natural Options That Have Demonstrated Dramatic Improvements for AD Symptoms
Virgin Coconut Oil
An easier, less expensive, and more accessible alternative natural option for Alzheimer’s and other associated neurological disorders would be coconut oil.
Health experts and medical practitioners not under Big Pharma’s thumb have realized that Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders are symptoms of type 2 diabetes of the brain.
Insulin resistance inhibits glucose from entering into cells for energy. It is the hallmark of diabetes 2.
Because of cellular insulin resistance, glucose is not making it into brain cells to energize them. Insulin is needed to carry glucose into cells for the energy required for proper metabolism. Some are calling this insulin resistance in the brain diabetes type 3.
But medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides (MCTs) provide ketones that are energy sources not dependent on insulin to carry them into brain cells. MCTs are not stored as fatty tissue triglycerides for future energy use.
The liver processes MCTs to produce ketones that are available for immediate energy use in brain cells without the need for insulin. That’s why so many have turned to virgin coconut oil to reduce and even reverse symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders.
Not only are the results without adverse side effects, coconut oil offers other health benefits.
Depending on the severity of one’s neurological disorder, two to four tablespoons daily is usually sufficient for improving Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s conditions as well as performing as a natural antibiotic, anti-fungal, and antiviral agent.
Using cannabis for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease and other related brain and nervous system disorders usually requires full spectrum cannabis with THC.
It has even been laboratory tested for what it can do for Alzheimer’s disease by the Salk Institute and the University of California, both in La Jolla, California.
Their findings were published in 2016 as Amyloid proteotoxicity initiates an inflammatory response blocked by cannabinoids with the following conclusion:
Cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] stimulate the removal of intraneuronal Aβ, block the inflammatory response, and are protective. Altogether these data show that there is a complex and likely autocatalytic inflammatory response within nerve cells caused by the accumulation of intracellular Aβ, and that this early form of proteotoxicity can be blocked by the activation of cannabinoid receptors. (Study text)
This means that using cannabis with THC for any reason prevents amyloid beta formations and brain cell inflammation significantly, greatly reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative diseases by eliminating the root cause before any symptoms arise, or stated simply, nipping it in the bud.
Study: Cannabis More Effective Than Pharmaceutical Drugs for Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases Like Alzheimer’s
Cannabis has opened up dramatically for medical use in over half of America’s states. But not all states have medical cannabis arrangements, and some of those that do may not allow full spectrum cannabis with THC for Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
A cannabis doctor or cannabis dispensary consultant can be helpful with advising what condition other than Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease a patient can use that’s allowable under his or her state’s guidelines.
This cannabis medical allowances state by state guide might be helpful.
Comment on this article at HealthImpactNews.com.