One of the most cited papers in support of the official dietary guidelines is “Seven Countries” by Ancel Keys. Those of you who have read my books know, that Keys was a cheat. For instance, in his paper from 1953, the one that started the war against fat, he excluded data from sixteen out of twenty-two countries, data that did not fit with his idea.
The results in “Seven Countries” study did not support his conclusions. For instance, heart mortality was 16-17 times higher on Corfu than on Crete, although they ate the same amount of saturated fat on the two islands. To say that he cheated in that study is perhaps to go too far, because the figures were given in the tables.
But in a recent review our member Zoë Harcombe has made a deeper analysis of Seven Countries and of other arguments used by the creators of the dietary advices. Did you know for instance that in the Seven Countries study as well as in the NICE guidelines biscuits, ice-cream, cakes, pastries and savoury snacks are classified as saturated fats? And there is much more.
According to the directors of the cholesterol campaign one of the strongest arguments is that people with inherited high cholesterol, so called familial hypercholesterolemia die from a heart attack at a young age. There are some very curious facts about this disorder. Did you know for instance, that the numbers who die from a heart attack is trivial; these people´s average life span is the same as for other people; more die from a heart attack, but fewer die from cancer. It isn´t the high cholesterol that causes the early death; many studies have shown that cholesterol of those who die from a heart attack is not higher than the cholesterol of those who do not. The risk factors are instead inherited high levels of prothrombin, factor VIII and fibrinogen, substances that participate in the coagulation processes.
You can read more about that in a letter I sent to British Medical Journal . Obviously my view on this issue is too controversial to become published in the paper version of the journal; therefore it is only available on the web as a “Rapid Response”, and few read these letters
A few days ago I got an email from Robert Bramel, who has familial hypercholesterolemia. Here is what he wrote:
I have FH myself so I joined a discussion group at theFHFoundation.org. I asked the group why no one seems to understand why it is some FHers have significant disease and some have none. That was met only with “danger, danger, danger. Start taking statins”. I then offered Sijbrands study that FH isn’t all that hazardous and reported my personal negative experience with statins and how much better life is without it.Today I was told I had been dropped from the discussion group with this message:
“The FH Foundation is made up of committed individuals who have FH and National thought leaders in the field of lipidology. It is our mission to raise awareness of Familial Hypercholeaterolemia and encourage proactive treatment of this life-threatening genetic disorder. Your understanding of the scientific data does not match that of our 11 renown physicians or respected public health organizations such as the CDC. We respectfully ask that you find another venue for your thoughts”
For some people, keeping a monolithic story is much more important than getting it right. I looked up the funding for these doctors. According to propublica.org, five of ten received $250,000 pharma funding (total) over two years.”(end of letter)
I participate myself in CardioExchange, a discussion group of cardiologists in the hands of New England Journal of Medicine. A few months ago I received the following letter:
Dear Dr. Ravnskov,
I am writing on behalf of the editors of CardioExchange. As you know, we encourage a free discussion of ideas about cardiology on the website, but we also reserve the right to shape or curtail that discussion when necessary to maintain an atmosphere that welcomes contributions from all of our members.
Although we appreciate your contributions to the site, we are writing to request that you refrain from the constant repetition of the same points (ie, rejection of the lipid hypothesis). Please feel free to contribute comments to the site, but, to be clear, every mention of lipids, cholesterol, or statins on the site should not be used as an occasion to educate other members about the shortcomings of this field. Constant repetition around such points only serves to drive members away, which doesn’t serve anyone\’s interest.
Director, Product Development, NEJM Group”
Our member Malcolm Kendrick has started a blog
Hundreds of videos about statin treatment are available on Youtube; most of them are warning against such treatment. There are also some who recommend it because of “the great benefit”. Do not believe them!
If you do, please listen to the interview with the whistleblower Gwen Olsen, who has worked in several drug industries for many years .
Here is a sad story about the effect of statin treatment, and this is not a rare case; I have received many letters with similar stories