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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 Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
A new study out of Japan and published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows how switching the dietary oil of chow fed to mice from soybean oil to coconut oil reduced skin inflammation.
The skin healing properties of coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil, applied topically to the skin have been known for a long time.
When we first started importing virgin coconut oil from the Philippines to the U.S. market in 2001, and had started an online discussion group, some of the most powerful testimonies we started receiving from people were how they were using virgin coconut oil for their skin conditions.
Even though coconut oil is sold as a dietary oil, people started applying it topically and seeing tremendous results for their skin conditions such as acne, eczema, keratosis polaris, psoriasis, rosacea, and fungal infections. Read some of these incredible testimonies here:
We have suspected for years that the reason people in tropical climates who eat their traditional diets which are high in the saturated fats of coconut oil had such beautiful skin, even though they are exposed to the sun to a greater degree than westerners, is because of the high amounts of coconut oil in their diet, which does not oxidize and cause free radical damage as polyunsaturated fats do.
Skin cancer, for example, is almost unheard of in tropical climates like the Philippines, but common in western nations, even in colder climates with far less exposure to the sun.
Researchers in Japan apparently wanted to test this theory of dietary coconut oil reducing allergic skin inflammation in the laboratory:
Coconut oil is used as a dietary oil worldwide, and its healthy effects are recognized by the fact that coconut oil is easy to digest, helps in weight management, increases healthy cholesterol and provides instant energy.
Although topical application of coconut oil is known to reduce skin infection and inflammation, whether dietary coconut oil has any role in decreasing skin inflammation is unknown.
In this study, we showed the impact of dietary coconut oil in allergic skin inflammation by using a mouse model of contact hypersensitivity (CHS).
So they replaced the soybean oil commonly used in mice chow with coconut oil.
Soybean oil has been the most common dietary oil in the western diet since World War II, when expeller-pressed seed technology allowed manufactures to extract oil from the soybean, one of the main cash crops in the U.S. and heavily subsidized to dominate the world market in dietary oils.
Soybean oil is high in Omega 6 fatty acids, and it is commonly known that most westerners have an unhealthy balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids leading to various health problems, as most westerners need more Omega 3 fatty acids and far less Omega 6 fatty acids in their diet.
This point was noted by the researchers:
A high n-6/n-3 FA ratio is linked to many chronic inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Coconut oil does not contain appreciable amounts of either of these classes (Omega 3 or Omega 6) of essential fatty acids.
Previous studies using dietary coconut oil have shown its health benefits toward hepatotoxicity, together with altered lipid profiles in the body.
Another unique feature of coconut oil is the low abundance of both n-3 and n-6 essential FAs.
Omega 3 fatty acids are linked to anti-inflammatory effects, and since coconut oil does not contain any appreciable amount of Omega 3s, they could not be attributed to lower allergic inflammation in the skin with the mice fed the coconut oil diet.
After 2 months of comparing the mice on the standard soybean oil chow and the ones with coconut oil, they found that there was:
Amelioration of skin allergic inflammation in mice maintained on dietary coconut oil.
Numerous studies have suggested the beneficial effects of coconut in the treatment of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease, through components including dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phenolic compounds.
Here, we show that FAs derived from coconut oil play important roles in the maintenance of health by controlling allergic inflammation in mice; this is consistent with previous reports that topical and dietary coconut oil is beneficial for the prevention and amelioration of dermatitis.
Since there are no essential fatty acids in coconut oil, what did the researchers attribute in the coconut oil as beneficial in reducing allergic skin inflammation?
In terms of FA composition, one of the unique characteristics of coconut oil is the large amount of MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids); these are easy to digest and could potentially contribute to prevention of obesity and diabetes and have demonstrated protective effects against intestinal inflammation and colitis.
Of the medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil, the most predominate one is lauric acid. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid, making up about 50% of coconut oil, with human breast milk being a distant second.
Apart from the low contents of n-3 and n-6 FAs, coconut oils uniquely are abundantly composed of lauric acid (Figure 2A). Consistently, lauric acid concentration was higher in coconut mice than in soybean mice (Figure 2C), prompting us to examine the probable roles of lauric acid in CHS.
The other component the researchers looked at was mead acid.
Mead acid, a metabolite of oleic acid, has known anti-inflammatory properties. Because mice maintained on coconut oil show EFAD (essential fatty acid deficiency) and body accumulation of mead acid, we compared the abundances of mead acid in the serum of coconut and soybean mice. Mead acid levels were substantially higher in coconut mice.
With the USDA and FDA currently condemning coconut oil as unhealthy due to its high saturated fat content, it is certainly no surprise that allergic skin inflammation diseases are becoming so common in the United States.
If you want healthier skin, cut down on polyunsaturated vegetable oils and switch to coconut oil as a more significant portion of your diet.
“Dietary coconut oil ameliorates skin contact hypersensitivity through mead acid production in mice” – European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – 06 March 2019 – Prabha Tiwari, Takahiro Nagatake, So‐ichiro Hirata, Kento Sawane, Azusa Saika, Yuki Shibata, Sakiko Morimoto, Tetsuya Honda, Jun Adachi, Yuichi Abe, Junko Isoyama, Takeshi Tomonaga, Hiroshi Kiyono, Kenji Kabashima, Jun Kunisawa. Abstract.
About the author: Unlike many people who write about coconut oil by simply reading about it, Brian Shilhavy actually lived in a coconut producing area of the Philippines for several years with his family, observing firsthand the differences between the diet and health of the younger generation and those of his wife’s parents’ generation still consuming a traditional diet. This led to years of studying Philippine nutrition and dietary patterns first hand while living in a rural farming community in the Philippines. Brian is the author of the best-selling book: Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours!
Read the Virgin Coconut Oil eBook on Your Mobile Device!