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Five worrying questions about statins

11 by / on 18 Jul 2014, / in statins

So several million more people are going to be prescribed statins but the vigorous campaign to inject some sanity into statin use has bought into sharp focus the conflict of interests at the heart of our health system.

One is whether the risks of these drugs when taken by healthy people actually outweigh the benefit? What we do know is that the only data on this comes from the manufacturers themselves. Think banks being the sole source of information about payment protection insurance or relying entirely on energy company data to choose the best tariff. (Read More…)

Tackling Alzheimer’s: who benefits from current spending?

11 by / on 7 Jul 2014, / in dementia

Is putting all our eggs in the drug basket really the best way to beat Alzheimer’s? Just as we can’t rely on drug companies alone to beat antibiotic resistance, so we can’t rely on a pharmaceutical silver bullet for Alzheimer’s. Tackling antibiotic resistance needs heavy investment in drugs that will be used sparingly for a short time. The pharma model prefers drugs for as many people as possible for as long as possible. (Read More…)

Calories in = calories out: the zombie theory that won’t die

18 by / on 17 Jun 2014, / in low fat diet

Medical and other health professionals dealing with diet and nutrition are keen to stress that their advice is firmly evidence based, backed up by properly conducted research. It’s the thinking behind the proposal to make Weight Watchers available on the NHS.

But an investigation by one of our contributors Zoe Harcombe has discovered that there is no evidence supporting the most fundamental principle behind the advice they have been giving for decades about weight loss… (Read More…)

The statins wars: Another round and maybe some clarity

6 by / on 11 Jun 2014, / in statins

Don’t prescribe statins to any more people. That’s the clear message from a strongly worded open letter to the head of NICE and to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt published today. If you groan at the prospect of yet more confusion over statins, this post might bring a bit of clarity. Please read on.

It’s the latest volley in long running battle about whether cholesterol lowering statins are a good way of cutting the risk of heart attack and death in virtually the entire population with vanishingly small number of effects or whether they don’t actually benefit most people and are quite likely to cause side effects that range from the unpleasant to the deadly.(Read more…)

Eminence based medicine defends the status quo on statins

27 by / on 22 May 2014, / in statins

Last week I was called by a friend who opened the conversation by saying: “So you were wrong about statins.” He was referring to the correction that the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has had to make in two papers that claimed statins have a high level of side effects. But I certainly haven’t recanted and started popping those pills.
Given the huge amount of attention this has attracted, the actual point being “corrected” is remarkably small. It is the kind of thing that would normally be dealt with by publishing a response to the article in the journal. I’ll come to the specifics in a moment but first a bit of context…. (Read more…)

Myths about Alzheimer’s cures and what you can try instead

5 by / on 13 Apr 2014, / in dementia

Have you had one of those nasty moments recently when it is clear that your memory is failing? Confidently rushing up stairs to get something then realising you have no idea what it was; meeting someone you know perfectly well and being unable to remember their name. A few of these moments and a name that none of us forgets comes all too easily to mind: Alzheimer’s…. (Read more…)

Statin advice from the Wizard of Oz

9 by / on 25 Mar 2014, / in statins

There is a whiff of the Wizard of Oz about the advice on statins that we’ve been getting for years. It comes in the form of ringing pronouncements from behind a curtain that all is well… (Read more…)

Why Very Low Calorie Diets (VLCD) won’t solve the diabetes crisis

45 by / on 12 Mar 2014, / in low carb diet

What’s the best way to eat if you want to stay a healthy weight and lower your risk of various chronic disorders? That’s the big question behind the long running diet war between an embattled low fat establishment and those in my gang – the low carb/high fat rebels. (Read more…)

SOS: Sanity over Statins – CTT the house of statin secrets

7 by / on 4 Mar 2014, / in statins

Should a professional body, however eminent, be allowed to keep information about the safety of products they are supplying to public hidden so no one else can run tests on them? (Read more…)

SOS: Sanity over Statins – Sssssh Side effects, pharma’s fingers and a cunning plan

0 by / on 4 Mar 2014, / in statins

HealthInsightUK has a number of contributors who are experts in statins. Here three of them – Dr John Briffa, Zoë Harcombe and Aidan Goggins respond to the CTT investigation. They explain why side-effect data is unreliable and disagree about whether it is in the drug companies interest that the risk of side-effects is downplayed or is that part of cunning plan? (Read more…)

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