Current Posts – 05 October 2014

We’ve written a lot about statins simply because these drugs are taken by more people than any other so their safety and effectiveness matters to million. But recent events have also provided a fascinating window on the power politics and commercial interests active in the background. Statin rebels have exposed several shortcomings in the official story but this week the empire strikes back.

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The more you learn about statins the more confusing the whole issue gets. Almost every aspect of these drugs – do they benefit healthy people, what’s your chance of suffering side effects, can we trust the results of big clinical trials – is disputed. We offer 10 contradictory facts may make you more sceptical and your doubts about the benefits can only increase further when you read about the latest pro-statin fiddle to emerge.

Last week New Scientist magazine published one of those familiar articles claiming that good scientific evidence shows that few vitamin and mineral supplements do anything to treat or prevent disease. However this involved ignoring high quality evidence that B vitamins can help slow down or prevent the development of Alzheimer’s and relied instead on poorly done, shoddy and irrelevant trials to dismiss it. So why believe their negative claims about the other supplements?

For decades diabetics have been advised by doctors and dieticians to stick to a low fat diet – avoiding especially saturated fats – and to fill up on carbohydrates – potatoes, rice bread and the like. Increasingly, however, cutting fats is looking a far less effective option than cutting carbs. Read more. And in a special Q&A, senior biochemist Professor Feinman explains why and describes how close-minded low fat supporters can be.

Jerome Burne

Jerome Burne

Jerome Burne is the editor of HealthInsightUK. He is an award-winning journalist who has been specialising in medicine and health for the last 10 years and now works mainly for the Daily Mail. His most recent book “10 Secrets of Healthy Ageing” was written with nutritionist Patrick Holford. He blogs at “Body of Evidence” – jeromeburne.com. 2015: Finalist for 'Blogger of the Year' award from Medical Journalists' Association.
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