Current Posts – 22 October 2014

How naïve we’ve been. For months we have puzzled by the bizarre responses by senior medic Sir Rory Collins to scientific critics of his claim that statins benefit almost everyone. He never engaged with his critics just attacked. We believed in evidence based medicine but a paper by a government chief scientific advisor, explains why Sir Rory’s response makes sense. It’s not just the evidence, stupid.

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.

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?



Editor: Jerome Burne |

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