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91 of 211 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 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 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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Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Mar 2008 19:21:54 BDT
You say, '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".'

Surely it justifies exactly that! Please review the basic rules of logic before writing another review.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Apr 2008 23:22:34 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2008 10:37:12 BDT
tither says:
"Surely it justifies exactly that"

Er, well no actually not unless it is viewed in a very narrow context and it is assumed that the diet contains sufficient nutrtional variation and value. Even then its skating on very thin ice and there is insufficient data to make such a claim.
Unfortunately Kendrick is clearly so lost in his own crusade he fails to see when such a statement can so easily be taken out of (his own) context. Or maybe he sincerely believes diet has got nothing to do with heart disease and the body is magically able to transform anything thats eaten, whether devoid of nutrition or not, into the perfect food source.I doubt he believes the latter.

Or perhaps he feels the "low fat diet" club is so bigoted the only option is to become equally so.

When applying the basic rules of logic please consider x AND y before concluding z.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2008 07:21:11 BDT
Howard Leigh says:
"Kendrick is clearly so lost in his own crusade"
Unfortunately that is exactly how the apparent crusade to put everyone on statins appears to me. When a recent review of side-effects apparently discarded all subjects who reported having side effects from the review, I do have serious concerns about the legitimacy of the review. Of my friends on statins, one has had another stroke and a heart attack, despite low TC and TC/HDL levels and target B.P. Two more have suffered severe muscular pains, and only 4 report all OK I do begin to question the statements by cardiologists that statins are effective and well tolerated.
Finally I would add that your own scathing remarks may well contain accurate criticism, but their emotive expression ranks of subjectivity, not scientific objectivity.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2008 23:14:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jul 2008 23:26:07 BDT
tither says:
"Unfortunately that is exactly how the apparent crusade to put everyone on statins appears to me" - in the UK the vast majority of people who are on them either have a 10 year cardiovascular risk of >20% or already have some form of cardiovascular disease. The majority of health professionals in the UK won't be recommending them for anyone else

"When a recent review of side-effects apparently discarded all subjects who reported having side effects from the review"- which review ? and what was the reason for discarding ?

It is impossible to comment on "my friends" anecdotes which mean little in the face of trial data. Muscular pains are not uncommon and usually settle with time or reduced dose. All patients should be warned of these.

"one has had another stroke and a heart attack, despite low TC and TC/HDL"- they reduce risk, and that absolute risk reduction is SMALL unfortunately. There's no guaranteed prevention for everyone

"question the statements by cardiologists that statins are effective and well tolerated" - which would mean either they were lying or the vast amount of statin research is just plain wrong. Neither of which makes a lot of sense to me.

"but their emotive expression ranks of subjectivity" - true

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Aug 2008 08:04:48 BDT
Rahan says:
??? Tither, you would'nt recommend anyone cutting trans-fats out of their diets ... Surely, its a misprint. Or do you mean naturally occuring TFs from ruminants? TF as in hydrogenated vegetable oils are perceived as bad across the board, is it not?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Aug 2008 17:35:41 BDT
tither says:
well spotted. Yes sorry it was a misprint

Posted on 5 Nov 2008 13:48:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Nov 2008 13:55:32 GMT
If someone has to start a review with a character assassination and carry that on and off through the whole review I'm not sure that person has a good case.

Actually, what an annoying way to start a comment, isn't it - considering I just made my own little ad hominem pointed at the reviewer :) I can see how Kendrick's style can grate on people's nerves, but to let it obscure the message isn't all to serious.

To someone who have studied the subject I'll agree that some of the things aren't exactly "revelations", but then again ... it's not exactly common knowledge or society wouldn't be having such a backwards discussion about these things. If it really were so common knowledge, and if the field wasn't so marred by political concerns, various scientists wouldn't have to overstate their case for cholesterol lowering drugs like they demonstrably do. I've studied this subject lightly for more than 6 years and I have seen almost nothing change during that time, and last I mentioned some of this disagreeing research to a university student he seriously tried to rip me a new one on some of the really simple things.

I certainly share Kendricks deep frustration - not the least with the clunky, politically dominated way that this field is conducting it's research. It is just so obvious that the proponents of the Lipid Hypothesis are ignoring conflicting evidence, and that's why every single "good advice" on lowering cholesterol is still beating on the dead horse called "low (saturated) fat diet" when so much research has already demonstrated that it does nothing to cholesterol levels. First we had Atkins, then other low-carb doctors, and now finally proper scientific trials that have demonstrated beyond a doubt that even the worst, hardcore, extremist Atkins version in every way improves the "lipid profile" of a person.

Of course, I'm having a faint hope that the new book by Gary Taubes (The Diet Delusion) will spark a paradigmatic shift away from the knee-jerk reactions of people in the field today.

Maybe statins are cheap in bulk and per-pill, but when the "new guidelines" are sentencing larger and larger groups of people to life-long medication. So it's not the price of the product per se, but the amount of people "needing" it that drives profit.

Furthermore it's very bad to over-prescribe drugs to people, especially if the benefits are small or does primarily apply to a small group of men with recognized heart disease. Some people are just bound to experience the extremely bad side-effects that affect only 1-10 in 10.000 people. Simvastatin, incidentally, was extremely toxic to my mother and actually caused resulting heart disease that she had to be medicated for - and those medicines severely reduced her quality of life for the remaining three years that she lived (naseau and vomiting) - and had she not been weakened from all those years on heart medicine ... well, she might or might not have still been alive, but I am CERTAIN that the three years of semi-starvation, malnutrition, vomiting and so on did in fact decrease her chances of survival when she finally caught (an otherwise not-so-bad) lymph cancer and had to do chemo therapy (in fact brain hemorraghing killed her, not the cancer, and I just can't help wonder if all the bloodthinning medication and what-not contributed).

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2008 22:23:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2008 23:27:20 GMT
tither says:
"If someone has to start a review with a character assassination and carry that on and off through the whole review I'm not sure that person has a good case."

? Surely the merits should be considered on the arguments given and the expression of irritation deemed irrelevant (and understandably so on a website that is grossly biased and misinforming.) Consider the review wasn't directed in a personal manner as he won't be reading this (as opposed to your response to my review) and was more based on his approach to the topic. Even though you may have recognised the paradox in your statement it is still present. Is there a particular frequency of expression that you decide to discard someones review? I presume it is more than two as demonstrated by your response. Such a scathing review may alert one to a lack of objectivity however the biggest source of bias on this page is not my post but your own experience (with respect for your loss)

"I can see how Kendrick's style can grate on people's nerves, but to let it obscure the message isn't all to serious."
I haven't , I just don't agree with the message

"I certainly share Kendricks deep frustration" I agree motivations aren't great but there's no surprise there. I don't sympathise with Kendricks profitable and manipulative form of catharsis. This isn't the only topic he has "deep frustrations" on

"but when the "new guidelines are sentencing larger and larger groups " Which guidelines are these and are they nationally approved? I'm not aware of any new guidelines that are sentencing larger and larger groups to statins at my surgery.

"Some people are just bound to experience the extremely bad side-effects that affect only 1-10 in 10.000" Yes and some are bound to experience the extremely bad strokes and heart attacks if they don't take them. The research predicts an overall favour of the latter.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Jul 2009 14:21:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jul 2009 14:28:50 BDT
i was taught it is either wrong or right and there is no middle road.doctors begin to practice all what they have been taught at univercity.they believe (and their lecturers believe) that they have been taught the right way.i am now 71 years and am of the mind that many doctors are bigots.they refuse or are incapable of accepting factual evidence regarding "alternative therapy". i know of many passed away folk who trusted doctors.i did re statins, steroid cream for psoriasis, etc. all to no avail.when asking could i be prescribed Co Enzyme Q 10. doctor said WHATS THAT? this in march 2009. disgusting.i lost my BEST PAL my LOVELY MOTHER to the inadequacy of a doctor and students, who were left in sole charge while the doctor took a holiday.the only thing that had any continuity was the Morphine Machine slowly putting her to death. tantomount to murder i would say.on one day Her whole body had swelled were She looked BALOON like.She said "michael son what are they doing to me. can't you take me home? since My Mothers death in October 2004 i have constantly lived with a broken heart.i honestly regret not bringing Her home.I feel if i would have learnt earlier the knowledge i now have gained regarding alternative medicine.My Mother although maybe not here. She would have enjoyed a "More Peaceful Passing". we put them into hospital thinking doctors are going to LOOK AFTER THEM. LOL, and and wait for it.GET THEM BETTER.for the last six days of Her life She had MRSA, this was not shown as cause of death.i would emphatically state Her cause of death was:- Lack of care and concern. lack of knowledge in treating a multi disabled old women.lack of initiative in seeking conventional/alternative therapy from the internet where it is abundant.i am still very sad and bitter.
through AMAZON books and knowledge gained, i now doctor myself using "Alternative Therapy". i have NEVER felt fitter,happier,a whole new world has shown itself and i'm ecstatic.i feel My Wonderful Mother Is guiding me to further study and learn, in enhancing the years i have those of you who are reading my comments i advise the 3 sites i gain most from. they are :- Google. Amazon Books, leave you with much respect and many best wishes.we get just one life, live it by embracing all kinds of knowledge whether it be Good Or can i possibly think that alternative medicine is bad.experience keeps an expensive school.but fools will learn in no other.michael in liverpool. ps..there are non so blind than those who do not wish to see.all avenues are open to you

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Aug 2009 00:15:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Aug 2009 00:21:41 BDT
tither says:
Most of what you have written is ridiculous and irrational . Doctors act on what has been proven. If the evidence changes the treatment changes, simple. Co-enzyme Q10 may prove beneficial in the future but for now most experts agree evidence is very limited. Also certain alternative treatments have been proved in clinical trials and doctors have them at their disposal. If not don't expect the NHS to pay for them but by all means try them yourself
If you think doctors scouring the internet in the last 6 days of your mothers life for alternative therapies would somehow of saved her then you belong in the looney bin
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