re: ethics in medicine
re: Recommended Books for Health and Wellness
re: cholesterol, statins, atherosclerosis
re: BMJ: “Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis”
re: What is a “Rogue Doctor”?
Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it.
Lies and deceit run around the world overnight, while the truth is still looking for its shoes. Then the lies kick the truth in the head each lap.
In a sense, I can’t believe I’m writing this article. From a scientific perspective, this issue has been firmly settled. The answer is very clearly “NO!”. And yet, if I google “is saturated fat unhealthy?”, then seven of the top nine results proclaim with great certainty that “yes, it is”.
...And here’s what the US government tells its citizens: “Eating too many foods high in saturated fats can be bad for your health. By replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, you may lower your risk of getting heart disease.”
To be fair, the US government doesn’t sound quite as confident as the UK health authorities. There’s a lot of “can” and “may” in that sentence. Which is actually a bit funny, when you consider that it was the US government that got the whole world to cut down on saturated fats in the first place.
Interestingly, none of the self-appointed fact checking organizations that have sprung up in recent years has yet tried to pull the NHS or the US government off the internet for spreading misinformation.
The claim that saturated fat is unhealthy originated with physiologist Ancel Keys in the mid-part of the twentieth century. He initially believed that cholesterol in the diet was what caused heart disease. Unfortunately, he soon noticed that feeding people cholesterol had no effect whatsoever on the cholesterol levels in their blood streams. So he was forced to abandon that line of thinking. On doing some further research, he noticed that increasing the proportion of saturated fat in the diet did however appear to increase cholesterol somewhat.
This led him to develop the diet-heart hypothesis, which basically says the following: Saturated fat in the diet leads to increased cholesterol levels in the blood stream, which causes heart disease. So it’s a two part hypothesis. As I’ve already discussed before on this blog, the second part of the hypothesis has been disproven – cholesterol in the blood stream does not cause heart disease.
The authors of the meta-analysis identified 21 prospective cohort studies, with a total of almost 400,000 participants. That’s a big data set. The studies followed participants for between five and 23 years. So, what did they find? The difference in risk of cardiovascular disease... was exactly zero...
...Let’s move on and look at what the randomized controlled trials show. A Cochrane review was published in 2020 that looked at the ability of a diet low in saturated fat to prevent heart disease and death... In the low saturated fat group, 6.4% of participants died, while in the high saturated fat group, 6.2% of participants died. So 0.2% more people died in the low saturated fat group than in the high saturated fat group. As you would expect for such a small difference, it isn’t statistically significant.
So it’s not possible to conclude that a diet high in saturated fat increases overall mortality. What about if we look specifically at heart attacks? ...So the people in the high saturated fat group actually experienced fewer heart attacks than the people in the low saturated fat group. Again, after statistical weighting, it appears that there should have been slightly fewer heart attacks in the group with the low saturated fat diet (rougly 0.3% less). Just as before, however, the difference isn’t statistically significant.
To conclude, the sum of all the observational and randomized trial evidence now available to us does not allow us to conclude that there is any increased risk of cardiovascular disease or death with increased intake of saturated fat. Considering that the data sets that these conclusions are based on are massive, we can be certain that even if there were a benefit, it would be so tiny as to not be worth bothering with. It is therefore shocking that public health agencies still tell their populations to cut down on saturated fats, instead of focusing on the things that have actually been shown to make a difference.
WIND: no shock here: following the science runs head-on into follow the money.
In the last 20 years, the (lame at best) case for the diet-cholesterol hypothesis has disintegrated, but dogma takes decades to fade away, requiring a generation or two of atherosclerotic intellects to literally die away. And no matter the field, cognitive committments and confirmation bias always has a long drawn-out demise, if ever. Fifty years from now, expect holdouts—which is good—science needs competing viewpoints.
The cholesterol hypothesis fraud of Ancel Keys is the orginal and best-designed medical fraud in history. Tens of millions remain on the slow-drip poison we call statins while consuming a shopping cart full of sugar a year. “Follow the money”* has neve been more apt than today’s utterly corrupt “healthcare” industry.
For your own amusement, ask your doctor about saturated fat and what is a “good diet”. But run for your life from any doctor who is certain that it is unhealthy (reasonable doubt may be tolerable), or who quotes you the food pyramid or BMI. Women should be especially wary of doctors who prescribe them a statin; these maintream doctors are quack doctors, as statins have no benefit for women as a group, and all sorts of harms.
Modern medical “care” is mostly about medicalizing if not infantalizing the populace with a wide array of “bandaids” that never cure anything or improve baseline health, but paper-over problems so that more and worse problems result, which then accelerate the decline of health. All while ignoring real factors that are absolutely deadly for health, indeed, being wholly ignorant of them. I’m stunned at the sheer ignorance of the doctors I’ve had.
“Standard of care” is a brilliant and almost unstoppable psychological match to patient hopes and expectations (and laziness), and it fits like a glove with follow the money. Trust your doctor to follow the standard of care (paint by numbers medicine), with rare exceptions. I applaud the holdout doctors with the courage to remain in independent practice and think for themselves.
* From “follow the money” spring the lesser offspring of follow the power/status/quasi-religious beliefs. It ultimately comes down to money, but often manifests as authority/power/status/etc.