The Great Cholesterol Con:
The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It
by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
The Great Cholesterol Con sticks its hand in the air and yells 'The Cholesterol Hypothesis is not wearing any clothes.' Then runs like mad, whilst the great and the good, the powerful, the pharmaceutical companies the opinion leaders in cardiology give chase. For they all have much to lose.
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Dr Kendrick takes the reader through the history of the cholesterol hypothesis, or diet-heart hypothesis and explains how it came to be. He then takes it apart piece by piece, showing that cholesterol and/or saturated fat does not (indeed cannot) raise cholesterol levels, and that raised cholesterol levels cannot, and do not, cause heart disease.
He then moves on to explain how statins work - not by lowering cholesterol levels - before looking at the real data on statins. He makes it clear that statistical manipulation has massively overestimated their benefits.
The reality is that, for the vast majority of people they provide no benefits whatsoever. In a significant minority they cause horribly unpleasant and often debilitating side-effects. But with a fifty billion dollar industry resting on them, they are aggressively marketed and pushed relentlessly.
Dr Kendrick contends that the bottom line with statins is this: If you are a man who is already suffering from heart disease, statins can increase your life expectancy. Not by much, but they do work. For everyone else, statins do not increase life expectancy by one, single, day. So there is absolutely no point in taking them, at all.
The main message of this book. Stop worrying about your cholesterol level. A high level is much healthier than a low level, and if you have a high cholesterol level you will live longer.
Dr Malcolm Kendrick (MbChB MRCGP) MD qualified in Aberdeen Scotland. He has worked in family practice for almost twenty years, and learned that treating patients is not like treating textbooks. He has specialized in heart disease and set up the on-line educational website for the European Society of Cardiology.
He is a peer-reviewer for the British Medical Journal, and has written articles on a wide range of subjects from Multiple Sclerosis to Stress and Heart Disease and the health benefits of sunshine. He is a member of the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (thincs) as he does not believe that a high cholesterol level causes heart disease.