91 of 211 people found the following review helpful
The Colossal Kendrick Con
, 9 July 2007
This review is from: The Great Cholesterol Con ~ The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It (Paperback)
Well, I gather from the reviews that the people looking to buy this book have already made up their mind (perhaps people with "pill" phobias or those who've had side effects) and they're searching for it on amazon to confirm what they already believe. Kendrick does a good job of pandering to the public and takes the oppotunity to have a rant about his colleagues whilst glorifying his own superiority over them. A revolutionary martyr who puts his "head on the chopping" block infront of his colleagues!!! How courageous!! Please !! Try looking at Hulda Regehr Clarks "Cure for all advanced cancers" who thinks all cancers are caused by liver flukes, flying in the face of medical opinion,maybe we should congratulate her on her courage (or on her bank account) aswell !
Kendrick twists the facts and confuses the issues and uses bogus analogies to suit his purpose.Take for instance the "high fat diets don't cause heart disease". This is hardly a revelation. Anyone who eats a high fat diet but eats a normal amount of food isn't going to have an increased rate of heart disease, naturally. This doesn't justify naming a chapter "eat anything you like, diet has got nothing to do with heart disease". Thats just plain dum. Also he teaches us cholesterol is essential for body systems. Yes, but is this relevant ? Maybe, but not in the way he teaches us ie. with a suggestion that this is important in the argument against the cholesterol hypothesis.Potassium is essential to the body but too much of it can still kill you !!
The point is that in the majority of the population who are obese (approx 23% in UK and its getting worse, quadrupuled in the last 25 years), much of their weight comes from fat ie.they have a high fat diet and consume large amounts of it. Granted they probably eat a large amount of carbohydrates and this should be targeted as well. However one of the reasons fat is often targeted by the Public Health department is because it contains more calories per gram then the other food types (Protein 4 cal/ Carbohydrate 4 cal/g Fat 9 calories/g!). Also the "low fat diet" advice you often hear is targeted at high risk individuals not your average John Doe. This is in the hope that eating less fat in the diet not only will lower the individuals cholesterol (and hopefully reduce that persons risk of cardiovascular disease-although evidence is a little tenuous) but also encourage those individuals to lose weight Now are you going to say obesity isn't associated with heart disease and lots of other major health problems ? (Well I'm sure thats one of Kendricks next targets in creating a name for himself)
Basically you shouldnt really be cutting any of the food types from the diet (especially fat and protein which contain essential fatty acids and essential amino acids which cannot be manufactured by the the body), it should be a balanced diet which is in line with medical thinking.
Must of the research is carried out by the pharmaceutical companies (and much of it is not!) but the people working there aren't all in cahoots out to defraud the public, it would only take one person with a conscience to let the cat out of the bag and the company would get massively sued. Look what happened to Merck and Vioxx. The doctors looking after the patients aren't getting secret handouts. Its absurd. Unfortunately the "its all about money" argument is attractive to many and often skews reasoned thinking. Pharmaceutical companies may have money as a major goal but lets not pretend they have hypnotised and bribed us all. Medications people take for blood pressure, heart disease, stroke etc in general have a small increase in average life expectancy for the population taking them. Is Kendrick suggesting we shouldn't take any of them ? Perhaps, and that certainly would appeal to many. Personally, as long as I wasn't getting any significant side effects I would take statins, I'd like to reduce my risk of heart attack (until the evidence states otherwise) even if that risk reduction was small. Especially considering coronary heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK.
Also why does he cast aside morbidity as if its not important ? I'd still rather not have a heart attack even I was going to die at the same age! There are lots of medications that have been proved SO FAR to only effect morbidity and not mortality. Is morbidity irrelevant ? It seems so in Kendricks eyes.
One other reviewer wrote "In the 10 countries that consume the MOST saturated fat they have lower heart disease deaths and the 10 countries that eat the LEAST saturated fat in their diet have more heart disease deaths." Typical Kendrick sweeping statement that confuses the issue. It in no way proves anything, next thing you'll be saying is obesity is good for you. Naturally people with an unbalanced diet are going to have health problems. There are numerous other factors to consider such as race, concommittant disease, environment , availability and quality of food stuffs in the diet, poverty, age distrubution of population etc. The Australian Aboriginals are at the top of his list and they've got billions of other health and social problems. This list he talks about which he hasn't had published (surprise, surprise) has more confounding factors then an American Wrestling match.
The debate as to whether it is specifically "saturated fat" that causes problems is still ongoing and people are starting to think its more related to trans fat. I wouldn't necessarily suggest cutting saturated fat out of the diet though.
Another wrote "The most startling evidence is that low cholesterol levels are a robust predictor of the risk of dying prematurely." It is certainly not startling or robust unless you include people with an abnormally low cholesterol. Doh !! Is it any wonder that the bodies stores of people who are seriously ill (such as those who have cancer or other chronic diseases) start to decline ! Doh! Would you expect cholesterol to go up in a dying cancer patient ? Of course people with lower cholesterol will be seen to have a higher mortality rate in some circumstances and in that way low cholesterol can be ASSOCIATED with high mortality but that is a far cry from low cholesterol CAUSING it.That statement means very little except to people who don't understand it, and come to the conclusion that low cholesterol must be BAD.
Another wrote "How sad that in today's doctor's surgery one is unlikely to find a genuine effort to heal the patient". Yes thats right, you go to the doctor but very rarely do they want to help you. What ???!!!! I presume Dr L'Autour is excluding himseld from this, sounds a little arrogant, self righteous to me. Another member of the thincs.org website. Obviously clear sensible thinking, not paranoia, no hmmm.
Kendrick also has a chapter on stress and its association with heart disease. Well huh ? Is this mean't to be a revelation. NOT
Basically the world of research on heart disease is evolving and evidence is growing but not in a perfect way. One could take any branch of evolving treatments and write a book about the inconsistances and inadequancies of the research surrounding it. This appears to be how Kendrick makes his living. It would be ok if it was presented without bias and such a flippant tone (not to mention a moronic if not juvenile relentless sarcasm). The problem is if it wasn't written that way it'd be boring and the public wouldn't want to buy it and it isn't scientific enough for the medical profession to want to read it. Heres a little quote from the book. It needs no written critism. It pretty much sums up Kendricks attempts at humour, if you like it and think its well contrived and intelligent then maybe you should read the book after all!! It is an afterthought after trying to convince us about his theories "Of course it does, now run away and play with your friends and leave the adults alone" ??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is Kendrick really hoping to be taken seriously with comments like this ?
In response to the above reviewers comment which states that "By and large, doctors do not have the time to carry out their own research and very much rely on the advise of those pharmaceutical companies". This is certainly not true. Govermental bodies certainly do their own research (eg NICE)and any pharmaceutical company that comes along with their suggestions is treated with the utmost caution and cynicism. The pharmaceutical companies aren't advisors for the WHO or NICE, they may present their drug and research findings but guidelines are given out after appraisal of all the literature, the research panel aren't sat there with a long train of drug representive advisors! That idea is ridiculous. The same applies to the community, as a nurse working in a GP practice that has 10 doctors only one of those even agrees to see Drug representatives !! Certainly he does not take any advice from the drug rep seriously but follows local guidelines as set out by the local cardiologist or PCT for instance. As for the scientific community being a nasty bunch ? They're not a different breed of people!! They're just like you and me and if they clamp down on research its usually because they think its not evidence based and un true. Of course they are going to reject it if thats the case, to do anything else would be immoral.
Lastly I never said pharmaceutical companies were altruistic,(of course money is the main motivation) thats twisting my words to suit your argument, I just dont think theres a mass conspiracy and we the medical profession are stupid enough to lap it all up.
Perhaps when medical research further refines its ideas on cholesterol and a more defitive answer is found about the nature of build up of atherosclerotic plaques there maybe a better drug than statins, for now I think I'll carry on recommending them. IF SIMVASTATIN 40mg IS BOUGHT IN BULK IT CAN COST ONLY £1 A MONTH. Not really the big bucks Kendrick would have us believe.
For those of the medical profession reading this according to a reviewer above apparently this is supposed to be uncomfortable reading ???? Is it naturally assumed that all members of medical profession are bigots and too full of pride to see Kendricks truth ? Hmm. More paranoia? Maybe we just think its incorrect and not in the public health interest. Maybe rather than being a slave to current medical thinking we think the ideas he lays out in the book are emotive and full of bias AND some statemens are massively inaccurate. When Viox was taking off the market and the medical profession stopped using it I don't remember feeling uncomfortable because I had recommended it in the past. Rather I felt pleased I was able to help my patients by stopping it !!! I would be more than pleased to stop peoples statins (including my fathers!) if I believed it was in the patients best interest !!
The vegetarian Professor Lacey mentioned in the above review is an advisory consultant to the World Health Organisation which is one of the very organisations Kendrick is suggesting we ignore !!! (also it was the goverment not the medical profession that was denying BSE could be passed to humans,and naturally they were going to be more cautious than Prof Lacey as it cost the economy several billion)
In conclusion Kendrick has highlighted some of the flaws of statin research and this maybe useful to the public when deciding whether to go on as statin, especially if its for primary prevention or you are getting side effects and have an over zealous GP.(there is an easy solution to this though STOP taking it !!) Unfortunately he does this in a self congratulatin and highly biased way. It is a less than sensible approach on trying to inform the public. I found many of his little anecdotes nauseating and sychophantic. In general this book reminded me of adverts for "get fit in 3 weeks" or similar, supposedly exposing the stupidity of conventional knowledge but really just turning out to be a big con themselves. The Colossal Kendrick Con has a much better ring to it.I've no doubt however that this review will be regarded as unhelpful, most sensible people won't be interested in this book where as the "anti-cholesterol" establishment will de dying(likely of a heart attack) to cast their vote.
As an aside heres another hilaroius quote from Kendrick in the media talking about the placebo effect " Then, after doing tests and listening carefully to the patient, the doctor can say. `If you take this pill, I fully believe it will do you good.' In many cases it will. Where is the deceit in that?".
As a patient would you like to be patronised as such? Given a pill to take where the doctor says it will make you better but you don't know if theres any scientific evidence behind it ? Are we all to be treated as children ? I'm all for complementary therapies if they make us feel good but I'm not up for some patronsing GP doling out sugar pills and telling me they're magic healing pills.
Sorry to rant on but all this anti-establishment, big buisness corporation conspiracy paranoia, pill phobia and medicine bashing without reasoned argument drives me crazy
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