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Statin wars: You thought it was about the evidence – Chief Scientific Advisor says you’re wrong

1 by / on 22 Oct 2014, / in evidence based medicine, statins

Regular readers of the “Statin Wars” soap that we’ve been following here for several months will be eager to know the result of the survey sent to members of the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) last month. (Read More…)

Statin wars: New episode. The Empire Strikes back

1 by / on 5 Oct 2014, / in statins

If you aren’t confused about what is going on with statins then you haven’t been paying attention. As an example of just how convoluted it’s getting, take the email forwarded to me last week that had gone to members of the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) asking them to fill in a short survey about any patients who had stopped taking statins… (Read More…)

Statin flash: 10 reasons to say no + statistical fiddling spotted

6 by / on 14 Sep 2014, / in statins

Arriving at the debate on statins run by the Guild of Health Writers last week , I was very amused to discover that the redoubtable Professor Sir Rory Collins, arch champion of statins for-all and hammer of the BMJ, had declined to appear when told that indefatigable statin critic Dr Malcolm Kendrick, was speaking . Perhaps he’s realised his style of steamrollering critics is a PR disaster. … (Read More…)

Why we shouldn’t believe New Scientist’s claim that supplements don’t work

6 by / on 7 Sep 2014, / in dementia, vitamins

Vitamins are attacked as being ineffective and possibly dangerous a couple of times a year in the press, usually following a study in a medical journal. The implication is that it is better to stick to drugs that have been properly tested and found to be safe and effective.
And a dietician usually adds that you won’t be missing out if you avoid supplement because you can get all the minerals and vitamins you need from a “healthy balanced diet” (HBD)… (Read More…)

Q & A: Almost totally bogus: the theory behind the low fat diet

2 by / on 31 Aug 2014, / in diabetes, low carb diet, low fat diet

Professor Richard Feinman is a biochemist who came late to nutrition. He was shocked by the poor quality of the science he found there. HIUK asked him about the background to his paper that calls for a major U-turn on the diet diabetics are advised to follow. (Read More…)

Twelve reasons why diabetes charities should ditch the low fat diet and recommend low carbs

5 by / on 31 Aug 2014, / in diabetes, low carb diet, low fat diet

If you know anything about nutrition, and especially if you have friends or people in your family with diabetes, you have probably wondered: Why are diabetics advised to follow a low fat diet?
It means you will eat lots of carbohydrates, which get turned into extra blood glucose. Odd surely when the key aim of diabetes treatment is to keep blood sugar low? … (Read More…)

Keeping my dad alert: an unconventional and successful approach to dementia

5 by / on 20 Aug 2014, / in dementia

When my father was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (which affects a different part of the brain from Alzheimer’s) a couple of years ago, his consultant advised my wife and me that there was no conventional medicine which could treat his condition. When we asked what we could do instead, her suggestion that we could explore “alternative” treatments … (Read More…)

Why evidence based medicine needs a major upgrade

4 by / on 3 Aug 2014, / in evidence based medicine

For years anyone involved in any kind of non-drug therapies has faced accusations that without the support of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) they lack an evidence base and so their work is worthless, quite possibly dangerous and even fraudulent.
That might be reasonable if the RCT was an accurate and reliable method for gathering an evidence base for all forms of treatment. (Read More…)

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…)

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