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Massive statin trial that aims to silence all the critics. The iron fist in an evidence-based glove.

22 by / on 13 Sep 2016, / in statins

Last week a massive piece of research extolling the benefits of statins was published in the Lancet. Its headline message was that the benefits of statins are hugely underestimated and far outweigh any harm. It had found that only 2 people per hundred suffer side effects while 15 people per hundred avoid strokes and heart attacks.

It came garlanded with the full majesty of the medical profession. Thirty pages long with 28 authors, 300 references and a declaration of interests that filled 44 lines of small type and mentioned more than 20 of the largest pharmaceutical companies. This juggernaut was designed to bury the widely publicised doubts about the effectiveness and safety of these drugs already prescribed to 6 million people.

Why are menopausal women still getting a form of HRT that’s clearly linked to cancer? There is an alternative

3 by / on 2 Sep 2016, / in evidence based medicine

So, women who take HRT to help with symptoms of the menopause have a three times greater risk of developing breast cancer, according to a paper in the British Journal of Cancer published a couple of weeks ago. That’s certainly alarming news if you are approaching or going through menopause but it should really not come as a great surprise. The issue of HRT and cancer has been rumbling away for over a decade.

Radical doctors throw away rule book to beat diabetes and obesity

11 by / on 22 Aug 2016, / in evidence based medicine

A small but remarkable trial of the effects that a change of lifestyle can have on diabetes and obesity has just been published in the relatively obscure SAMJ (South African Medical Journal).

The results are impressive and the implications ground breaking. The starting point is that the official ‘evidence based’, low fat, calories-in equals calories-out approach isn’t working.

Got cancer? Want to explore other options? This is all you need to start

12 by / on 20 Jul 2016, / in cancer

Twelve years ago Robin Daly’s 23-year-old daughter Bryony was dying of cancer when he set up a charity called Yes to Life to provide information about unconventional treatments such as changes in diet, supplements, vitamin C infusions, oxygen therapy and the like. At the time, although popular all such complementary options were sternly rejected as ineffective and possibly dangerous by conventional oncologists.

How senior medics use strong arm tactics to close down the debate on statin side effects

11 by / on 12 Jul 2016, / in statins

One of the alarming and intriguing things about the cholesterol lowering drugs statins is the vigour and ferocity with which supporters defend them. It’s alarming because it makes it almost impossible for both doctors and patients to get accurate information about their risks and benefits. Intriguing because it is so unscientific.

Doctors can only tackle chronic disease with the right tools. Teach them nutrition

5 by / on 16 Jun 2016, / in evidence based medicine

Here’s a really bad idea. Send a dozen nutritionists to work alongside regular doctors in a Medecins Sans Frontières team providing emergency treatment to the wounded in a war zone. It’s a bad idea because they would lack any relevant skills. They might help speed up recovery but in the operating theatre they’d be be worse than useless as the wounded come in.

Low carb revolt: start of a brave new medical future?

40 by / on 6 Jun 2016, / in low carb diet

Last week the front page of The Times carried a story that was an opening shot in a revolution. I’m sure that the editors didn’t intend it as that and that the readers didn’t see it that way either. It was a story about shifting from the long recommended low fat diet to one that cut back on carbohydrates instead. Standard fare for the cuddly lifestyle pages, hardly material for social upheaval.

Cancer U-turn on the way? Diet and supplements moving up the prevention agenda

12 by / on 15 May 2016, / in cancer

I’m not given to melodrama but I think I have just spotted that the cancer establishment is getting ready to perform a massive, unthinkable, screeching U-turn. Impossibly expensive new drugs are out and diet, exercise and supplement (yes you read it right) are in.

Meet a doctor who thinks for herself and wants you to as well

18 by / on 29 Apr 2016, / in evidence based medicine

The complicated and confusing debate about statins – are they worth taking or not; are they safe or do they have nasty side effect? – has suddenly plunged into anarchic and uncharted territory by the claims of a new rival drug.

Companies clash over statin side effects. Which is lying?

17 by / on 4 Apr 2016, / in statins

The complicated and confusing debate about statins – are they worth taking or not; are they safe or do they have nasty side effect? – has suddenly plunged into anarchic and uncharted territory by the claims of a new rival drug.

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