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125 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now it all makes sense (at last)!
Worried about your cholestrol levels based on annual medicals or check ups? Under pressure to start taking statins by your doctor? Sick of eating tofu and lettuce instead of steak?

You get my general drift and if like me in my late 50s you have been subject to such ongoing "medical best advice" for a number of years even though your cholestrol level is not...
Published on 11 April 2010 by Siriam

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133 of 150 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but doesn't really provide any answers
At first glance this book seems very well researched and written, and essential reading for anyone taking statins or concerned about cholesterol levels.

Dr Kendrick criticises research into the saturated fat - cholesterol - heart disease link, on the basis that most of the researchers involved in this field had set out to prove this link rather than studying it...
Published on 22 Mar. 2008 by jason feavers


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125 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now it all makes sense (at last)!, 11 April 2010
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
Worried about your cholestrol levels based on annual medicals or check ups? Under pressure to start taking statins by your doctor? Sick of eating tofu and lettuce instead of steak?

You get my general drift and if like me in my late 50s you have been subject to such ongoing "medical best advice" for a number of years even though your cholestrol level is not going up but remains above those much quoted lower optimum levels, I strongly suggest that you do not do anything before reading this book.

Kendrick writes in a slightly sarcastic and amusing tone (think Jack Dee/John Cleese) and covers an incredible amount of detailed medical and biological research in a way that helps you through what could have been a very dry medical tome. Openly admitting where he does not know the answer or cannot prove it, he at the same time seems to do a pretty impresssive demolition job on the dietary theory being the root cause of cholestrol levels; the fallacy of certain cholestrol levels especially the good versus bad being that critical to your exposure to heart attacks; and, finally the many real dangers of long term use of statins. The latter has been sadly observed first hand on a relative who has now refused to ever use again given the impact on his memory and digestion and has immediately recovered considerably.

After many years of getting steadily healthier through more regular exercise and better diet (as a fact I feel and function much better than I ever did in my early 30s) this book almost reads like an affirmation to trust in your own instincts as to the quality of life you want to lead. Having undergone extensive medical examination over the last 10 years that stated they could not find anything wrong but the worrying high cholestrol levels kept leading to statins always being suggested, I at least feel vindicated.

As with the recently published research on eating 5+ daily helpings of fruit and vegetables not having the major impact previously supposed on preventing certain cancers, it may be becoming clearer the primacy of quality of life alongside taking personal accountability plus acceptance that your genes may have pre-determined your place in the lottery of life rather than drugs is what health care is about?
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158 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man on Waterloo Bridge, 29 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
I have 'suffered' with high blood pressure for most of my life and I am 59 years of age. Truth is , I am not aware of it and I have been on medication #Nifedipine, Hydralazine and Bendrofluazide# to 'treat' my high bp for the last 13 years. I was told that I also had the beginnings of ischaemic heart disease which is a build up of plaque on the major arteries. I don't drink or smoke and my GP and the cardiologist have been trying to force me to take different variations of statins for the last 5 years , despite knowing that they make me very ill; they just kept on changing them. Now I just pretend I take them , but I don't ! I have been aware that the drug companies make billions from statins and that in the USA , children as young as 10 are being prescribed them and I have nursed a doubt for some time that my 'essential' bp was anything to do with anything other than stress and lack of exercise. This fantastic book - written in plain English but packed with accurate studies and easily checkable #by the reader# reference points , is a must in my opinion. It debunks the myth of heart disease and also exposes the medical profession as being as vulnerable to , shall we say, 'hospitality' as any British MP !In my opinion the GPs are being lazy and not checking overall mortality figures and just believing what the pharmaceutical reps tell them. Read this book and you will not be disappoined. It's written by a Scottish-British GP and I believe his version...he may not 100pc right , but I believe his analysis is more right than wrong. Chuck away the statins -especially if you are an older female; he proves they will kill you quicker than heart disease from mortality tables - and exercise and relax.

Meditate , not medicate ! A glass of red in the hand is worth two statins in la bouche !
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant overall, 28 Jan. 2012
By 
Jodi-Hummingbird - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
This book explains that the cholesterol hypothesis is well and truly dead! It has been disproven, comprehensively. The current obsession with cholesterol levels and avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet is utterly misguided.

This book was very convincing on this point but if you'd like a far more in depth explanation and history I'd highly recommend 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' by Gary Taubes. This book is also impeccably referenced and argued.

This book explains that:

- High cholesterol levels don't cause heart disease
- A high fat diet, saturated or otherwise, does not affect blood cholesterol levels
- Saturated fats are not in any way damaging or dangerous
- Statins offer very little protection against heart disease and are not worth taking for most people, especially women
- Concepts of good and bad cholesterol are ridiculous and 'madcap'
- Statin drugs are the most profitable drug ever and make pharmaceutical companies billions and billions of dollars a year and this is why the cholesterol hypothesis continues to be so relentlessly promoted
- Matthias Rath (as supported by Linus Pauling) has part of the heart disease puzzle right when he talks about the role of low vitamin C levels in causing heart disease
- Statin drugs have many dangerous side-effects such as muscle pain, depression and progressive memory loss, death and hideous deformed babies when given during pregnancy
- Low cholesterol levels are bad for your health
- The war against cholesterol, using statins, comes close to a crime against humanity

I loved the comment that eggs are full of cholesterol 'because it takes a lot of cholesterol to make a healthy chicken' and that our brains need a good amount of cholesterol to function at all well. The idea of throwing away egg yolks and all their nutrition and eating just the whites, for supposed health reasons, is foolish in the extreme.

Overall I'd give this book and 8 or 9 out of 10. I had real problems with the quality of the last chapter however, and that chapter I would give a far lower rating, so I've compromised and given the book 3 out of 5.

I recommend skipping the last chapter entirely or taking it with a huge grain of salt and then reading excellent books on how to treat or avoid heart problems such as 'Detoxify or Die' or 'The Cholesterol Hoax' by Dr Sherry Rogers.

To say that heart disease is caused by emotional stress and to ignore homocysteine levels, omega 3 vs omaga 6 imbalances, low vitamin C levels (as per Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath's research), the huge toxic load of people today (heavy metals, plastics and pesticides etc.), trans fats, the moving away from traditional and nutrients-dense foods and mass nutrient deficiencies (including deficiencies of the major fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K plus magnesium) is not good scientific writing. Stress is but one factor of more than a dozen significant factors and certainly is nowhere near the top of that list. The idea that stress is only a problem now, in recent times, is also hard to take seriously.

On the plus side, this book had one of the best styles of writing I have ever found in a health book. The first few chapters in particular were very enjoyable to read and even made me laugh out loud a few times!

I just wish the very poorly written and argued conclusion chapter had been omitted form this book, it really lets down what is otherwise an excellent book.

This book is essential reading if you're an egg yolk, cholesterol or saturated fat dodger and especially if you're taking a statin drug. Don't fall for the statin drug hype and be very wary of any doctor that does!

Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.
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71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Statins and Stress are Bad for You, Not Cholesterol, 19 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
This book has totally convinced me that the high cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis is a convoluted myth promoted by the pharmaceutical giants in order to sell billions of dollars worth of statins. Kendrick explores a vast amount of research that contradicts the official hypothesis; research that, for financial, ideological and conformity reasons, is largely ignored or dismissed by the mainstream. The `mainstream' being the pharmaceutical giants and the well funded and too well respected researchers who sit snugly in their very deep pockets.

Kendrick argues convincingly for such initially surprising and little known positions as: diet does not affect cholesterol level, a below average cholesterol level is far more harmful than a high cholesterol level and statins can cause heart failure! He does acknowledge that statins can slightly reduce the risk of heart disease in certain groups, but only because statins function as a blood anti-coagulant in much the same way as aspirin. Otherwise statins are bad, bad, bad, and anyone taking them or thinking of taking them should seriously consider what Kendrick has to say.

Thanks partly to the work of Kendrick and others the harmful side effects of statins are now reasonably well known - how could they not be with so many millions of people taking statins and daily reporting, at least to each other, the negative consequences of doing so: muscle damage, liver damage, cancer, depression and impaired cognitive function such as memory loss. Perhaps the most damaging consequence of the abiding faith in the cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis, a faith that absolutely nothing is allowed to challenge as far as the mainstream is concerned, is that it serves to discourage research into, and treatment of, the true causes of heart disease.

Kendrick is clear that by far the main cause of heart disease is stress. He defines stress in detail, identifies its causes and describes the physiological mechanisms by which stress ultimately damages the endothelium lining of the blood vessels. Basically, if you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce your stress levels via moderate alcohol consumption, regular exercise, quitting smoking (and cocaine), cultivating rewarding friendships and finding, if you can, a job you enjoy.

An important book that will shock you into the realisation that the great cholesterol con is even greater and far more pernicious than you may currently think possible.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 19 Sept. 2009
By 
R. Heasman (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
This book explained some of the symptoms my mum was having whilst taking statins. Once she stopped taking them (she never had high cholesterol anyway) the pains in her toes went away within a couple of weeks. She was lucky as statins can cause permanent damage.

If only I could persuade other friends and relatives of mine who are using statins with similarly dire consequences, such as heart failure and severe memory loss to read this book as well, I'm sure their quality of life would be much improved. But the 'great cholesterol con' has too tight a grip on our consciousness for most people to even be curious.

Thank goodness for this book and others like it, or we would never know the facts.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very readable and provocative., 9 Jan. 2008
Dr Kendrick provides a very well evidenced work, explaining his perspective on the prevalent paradigm in relation to fats. i.e.The saturated fat-bad, poly/monounsaturated fat-good theme that pervades the majority of mainstream medical and scientific thinking and preaching.
His work is well referenced, inviting the reader to form their own opinions.
I personally enjoyed his humour, and the tone of his writing has been created by decades of frustration caused by the fruit of the poison tree thinking that has pervaded this area of science. His annoyance is understandable, as from his perspective, a lot of the diet doctrine we read about is about as useful as discussing what material is best for the Emporer's New Suit, or what chocolate to build a fireguard from.
The complexity of human illness is so massively multi factorial that we eventually just have to settle for what feels right. I was biased in his direction to start with, hence my selection of the book, but I did get the feeling that he was right, and had the guts to explain how he felt, and why.
Time will tell. I am glad I read it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars present statin prescribing policy needs a rethink, 10 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
My son, also a GP, introduced his sceptical dad to this book, and I bought a copy mainly to show I wasn't dismissing the viewpoint he had adopted on diet and heart disease, as well as the role of statins.
I suspect most GPs like me will not have read in depth the analysis of the seminal trials concerning diet and heart disease, and we have probably relied on the expert interpretation from cardiologists and epidemiologists of the disease and trial data. As I read the book I became increasingly concerned with the way data has seemingly been selectively used to support the role of saturated fats as the major cause of heart disease.
I have seen a number of patients with adverse effects of statin therapy which we as doctors tend to minimise and I believe Dr Kendrick is right to highlight this aspect, as well as pointing out the marginal benefit of these drugs for many patients. Some patients will benefit from statins, but have we got the balance right. This book questions current policy which appears to be in favour of treating older age group populations en masse, even those without any overt sign of heart disease. The value of statins as a preventative intervention is called into question, and the wide variation in heart disease incidence between countries and people groups is fascinating, as is the concept of social dislocation as a major stressor and risk factor.
My only gripe is that his polemical style and sideswipes at the pharmaceutical industry might put some readers off, but it will no doubt endear him to others. It would be good to see a sequel assessing more recent trial evidence and Department of Health pronouncements about what is good for us.
The book is a good read for anyone wanting to learn how we reached our current understanding of heart disease and cholesterol, and gives positive advice about reducing individual risk.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book, 13 Nov. 2011
By 
Paula (in Not-so-great britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
I could not put this book down. What people don't realise when someone goes against mainstream ideas and practices is that they have to offer more proof and Dr Kendrick does just that. More believable proof than the greedy, unethical, criminal b******s who endlessly drone on about the dangers of this that and the other until we're brain washed with their BS. Yes I swore but it makes me so angry that those in authority make money off the backs of our misery and put our lives at risk in order to build on their own riches.

At the very end Dr Kendrick tells us what causes Coronary Heart Disease and proves it, to my mind, in a very substantial way. The main part of the book does get science-y on occasion, not a problem for me as I have some science knowledge, but it may put some off initially. It shouldn't put you off because Dr Kendrick explains everything in very easy to understand terms after the science has been quoted.

It is a very easy book to read, his humour is excellent and makes a complicated subject much easier to get through and understand. All his claims are very well referenced, further reading is encouraged throughout the book, to those detailed research papers that never see the light of day because they are contrary to drug manufacturers claims.

If you want to extend your life and not your death this is a really good read and should be taken notice of. I've just increased my husbands risk of CHD by telling him how much at risk of CHD he really is - he's going to start reading it today :-).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chelesterol is a con - want to know why?, 19 Aug. 2011
By 
Mr Fipple (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con (Paperback)
1, Some crap science several decades ago by Ancel Keys
2, Feeding rabbits upon a novel diet, one that evolution had not prepared their physiology for, killed them.
3, Wrong conclusions drawn from [3].
4, Directing humans to modify diets away from the attributes of diets that evolution has prepared us for has not assisted in promoting good health. A proposition that could have been more helpfully derived from [2]
5, A hugely profitable industry (statin drugs) has been established around crap science.
6, It has long been reasoned that Keys science was not robust. It has always been contentious. Even now when the etiology of heart disease is known to involve inflammation, not elevated cholesterol as Keys errantly directed, the science of manipulation and profit triumphs over the science of reason.

Want to be left in no doubt?
1, Read Dr Malcolm Kendrick.
2, Follow Dr Malcolm Kendricks advice and read Dr Duane Graveline.
3, Search the Internet for 'The Cholesterol Truth'.
4, Read Jack Challem and/or other authors would understand inflammation (Briffa, Eades, Sears, Groves)
5, Follow a blog, 'A Good Look at Good Health'.
6, Take an interest in Weston Price and learn about eating foods that we are well adapted to.
7, Consider reading material that discusses the failings of a particular kind of money (the most common kind) so that you can understand the incentives of money, and outcomes that arise, are very much to do with aspects of its design and attributes.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a simple answer to what causes heart disease, 29 Jan. 2007
By 
G. Graham (Northwest, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having read many of the previous books on cholesterol myths of various kinds, I still had a few niggling doubts about whether or not LDL in the blood and the supposed connection with cholesterol and saturated fats from food were a risk factor for heart disease. I had also wanted a simple logical answer to the wildly different heart disease rates between different countries whose citizens had the same blood cholesterol results but vastly different heart disease rates.

Well, Malcolm Kendrick, with humour ( I actually did get some good quality laughs out of this, more so than recent Terry Prachett novels) and skill, Kendrick demolishes the cholesterol theory tearing apart various multi million pound studies and finding very disturbing data hidden within. He gives a refreshingly new view on the epidemiological data and then even manages to pull everything together in true Ockham's Razor fashion showing that the simplest way to explain heart disease is to remove cholesterol and saturated fats in foods out of the equation, do away with the worries over LDL cholesterol in the blood and offer a clear, logical and simple answer as to what lies at the root of heart disease. The book does obviously begin covering ground that previous books have covered, but in a refreshing and interesting way to keep the reader riveted to the page, then he moves into newer territory than similar books making this an essential read for anyone wanting a more sensible view on what causes heart disease.
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The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr Malcolm Kendrick (Paperback - 7 July 2008)
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