The Cholesterol campaign under attack

February 2015

Again and again scientists have documented that there is no evidence behind the idea that a high intake of saturated fat causes atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. I have given several examples myself in my previous newsletters, in my books, in a review published in 1998 and in an updated review published in 2010. In spite of that the authors of the dietary recommendations aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease are still warning us against saturated fat.

To make a change Zoê Harcombe one of our members, got a brilliant idea. To claim that certain foods are dangerous to our health and to warn us against such food demands solid experimental evidence. Together with six coworkers she therefore performed an analysis of the six dietary trials that had been published before the dietary recommendations were introduced in 1977 and 1983.

Not unexpectedly, none of them was in support. In fact, in three of them more had died among those who had lowered their intake of fat and cholesterol.

Their result, published in OpenHeart BMJ has gained much attention. Hitherto it has been commented in Daily Mail, Express, Time, The Telegraph and The Guardian and in many more. As she told us: ”I did 17 interviews in total yesterday – dieticians over here were in meltdown”. One of the interviews was aired on BBC Radio 2 and is available on Youtube.

And there is more about this issue. In my December 2014 Newsletter I mentioned Nina Teicholz´ new book The Big Fat Surprise. On Medscape Internal Medicine you will find a long interview with her.

A relevant question is why the dietary authorities continue with their dangerous recommendations. I call them dangerous because the advice to exchange saturated fat with carbohydrates has been followed by worldwide epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. You can find the answer in an investigation performed by British Medical Journal: How Sweet It Is to Be Funded by Big Sugar

Hopefully the dietary “authorities” have the guts to admit their mistake and change their recommendations.

The cholesterol guidelines are attacked as well

As you know from my May 2014 (part 2) newsletters, Rory Collins. one of the main actors osf the British cholesterol campaign, has assured us that adverse effects from statin treatment are rare. However, more and more researchers have realized that they are both much more serious and much more common than we have been told by the drug companies and the trial directors. By this reason many researchers now demand access to the original trial data which hitherto has been denied. According to an article in Express Rory Collins did not know that (?). He also admits that he had not seen the full data on side effect, but now he wants to examine this problem.

Even without these data there is much evidence that the benefit from statin treatment is wildly overstated. In fact, there is evidence that statin treatment may worsen the degree of atherosclerosis and also lead to heart failure. You can read more about that in a recent paper by our members Harumi Okuyama and Peter Langsjoen together with four coworkers.

In a recent paper we (Professor David Diamond at the University of South Florida and myself) have shown the many ways the drug companies have used to mislead us by exaggerating the outcome of the statin trias. (If you want to read the full paper, just send me a request).

 

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