New book in Dutch

Eet vet word slank

Eet vet word slank gepubliceerd januari 2013

In dit boek lees je o.a.: * heel veel informatie ter bevordering van je gezondheid; * hoe je door de juiste vetten te eten en te drinken kan afvallen; * hoe de overheid en de voedingsindustrie ons, uit financieel belang, verkeerd voorlichten; * dat je van bewerkte vetten ziek kan worden.

Trick and Treat:
How 'healthy eating' is making us ill
Trick and Treat cover

"A great book that shatters so many of the nutritional fantasies and fads of the last twenty years. Read it and prolong your life."
Clarissa Dickson Wright

Natural Health & Weight Loss cover

"NH&WL may be the best non-technical book on diet ever written"
Joel Kauffman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Is High Cholesterol The Cause of Heart Disease?
An Interview with Uffe Ravnskov MD, PhD.

Part 2 Dr Ravnskov's views on Statins

Q: Specifically, what are your views on statins?
UR: Their benefit is trivial and has been seen only in male patients who already have heart disease. Worse is that their many adverse effects are ignored or cleverly belittled by the trial directors. Independent researchers have found many more and in much higher numbers. If they are true it means that today millions of previously healthy people probably consider their weak and painful muscles, their bad memory, their sexual failure and their cancer to be a consequence of increasing age and so do their doctors. The risk of cancer is most alarming. Both animal experiments, epidemiological studies and several of the statin trials have shown that low cholesterol predisposes to cancer. The widespread use of statin treatment probably explains why the decrease of the smoking habit that has been going on in many countries hasn't been followed by a decrease of cancer mortality. We should have seen a decrease because smoking predispose not only to bronchial cancer, but to all kinds of cancer.

Q: Drug companies market vigorously the highest, strongest doses of statins. Lipitor is pushed at the highest dosage, 80 mg. This dosage is the most powerful for lowering cholesterol and LDL, but it also causes more adverse effects and costs more than lower doses. What are your thoughts about this?
UR: The outcome from these trials is a further demonstration that the small benefit from statin treatment has nothing to do with cholesterol. For instance, although cholesterol plummeted and remained at about fifty percent below the initial value during the whole SEAS trial, it did not change mortality, but it increased the number of cancer with statistical significance. Even worse was the result of the ENHANCE trial, where atherosclerosis in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia progressed the most among those whose cholesterol was lowered the most.

Q: If statins can be helpful in reducing the incidence of heart attacks, who should take them?
UR: In my view nobody. When I was practicing I used to describe the benefit in this way: Considering your age and your previous heart attack your chance to be alive in five years is about 90%. You can increase that chance to 92% if you take a statin pill every day, but then you may also expose yourself to its many adverse effects.

Q: From the data I have seen, statins have not produced a reduction in overall cardiac deaths. Do you have any idea of why this is?
UR: You are right. Heart mortality in Sweden is going downwards, but the reduction started already in the sixties. The cause is most probably that treatment of acute myocardial infarction has improved because the mortality curve has not changed after the introduction of the statins. The reason may be that their small benefit is counteracted by an increasing frequency of heart failure. As you know the statins block not only the synthesis of cholesterol, but also of other vital molecules, for instance coenzyme Q10, and muscle cells, including those of the heart, can't function properly without Q10.

Q: Do you think mainstream medicine will ever relinquish its view that elevated cholesterol causes heart disease and that statins are the magic bullet?
UR: I hope so. The failures of the most recent statin trials has been commented by several journalists in the major US newspapers. In Sweden a revolution is going on. Here, a general practitioner treated her own obesity successfully by eating a low-carbohydrate diet with a high content of animal fat. When she advised her obese and diabetic patients to do the same, she was reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare for malpractice. After a two-year-long investigation she was acquitted, as her treatment was considered to be in accord with scientific evidence. At the same time, the Board dismissed two experts, who had been appointed for updating the dietary recommendations for diabetics, because it came up that they were sponsored by the food industry. Instead the Board has asked independent researchers to review the scientific literature.
     The subject has gained general attention due to a number of radio and television shows, where critical experts including myself have discussed the issue with representatives of the official view. Most important, thousands of patients have experienced themselves that by doing the opposite as recommended by the current guidelines they have regained their health. The effect has been that the sales of butter, cream and fat milk are increasing in Sweden after many years of decline, and a recent poll showed that a majority of Swedish people today think that the best way of losing weight is by a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich diet.
     Further progress was achieved this spring. Several times, I and colleagues of mine have asked the Swedish Food Administration for the scientific basis of their warnings against saturated fat. We have been met with the argument that there are thousands of such studies, or by referrals to the WHO guidelines or the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. As the main argument in the last two is that saturated fat raises cholesterol, we were not satisfied with their answer and finally the Food Administration published a list with 72 studies that they claimed were in support of their view on saturated fat and twelve that were not.
     We scrutinized the lists and found that only two of the 72 studies supported their standpoint; eleven studies did not concern saturated fat at all, and the unsupportive list was incomplete, to put it mildly. We published a short report with our comments to these lists in the Swedish medical journal Dagens Medicin. A response from the Food Administration appeared seven weeks later in which they pointed out that their recommendations were directed to healthy people, not to patients. They maintained that they were based on solid scientific evidence without mentioning anything about saturated fat and without answering our critical comments.
     But this is not all. Earlier this year Sachdeva et al reported that the mean cholesterol in 137,000 patients with acute myocardial infarction was lower than normal. As usual, the authors didn't understand their own findings, but concluded that cholesterol should be lowered even more. A few months later Al-Mallah et al. came up with the same result and conclusion, although they also reported that three years later, mortality was twice as high among those who had been admitted with the lowest cholesterol.
     These results created a fierce debate in one of the major Swedish newspapers. It was opened by ninety-one-year old Lars Werkö, the 'Grand Old Man' in Swedish medical science, retired professor in internal medicine and former head of The Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care, together with Tore Scherstén, retired professor in surgery and former secretary of the Swedish Medical Research Council. "Now it is time to sack the cholesterol hypothesis and to investigate the reason of this scientific breakdown" they wrote. They also criticized American researchers in AHA and NHLBI and their followers for sloppyulent science.
     They were of course attacked by two professors and representatives of the current view, but none of them came up with any substantial evidence, only by personalities.

Last updated 13 November 2009

Related Articles