Fibrates – another quite-useless type of lipid-modifying drug

The preoccupation the medical and scientific communities have with cholesterol have convinced many of us, doctors included, that ‘cholesterol is bad’ so ‘cholesterol reduction is good’. But, as I’ve pointed out before, even if cholesterol does jeopardise health, the fact that something reduces cholesterol does not make it inherently healthy. Even if arsenic and cyanide […]

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Contrary to what some may say, fruit and veg not great for filling us up

The food we eat can perform a range of functions including an ability to nourish us and bring us pleasure. However, I reckon a sometimes forgotten quality of food is to sustain us. I’m not sure what the precise definition of sustain is, but if I were to have a stab at it I’d say […]

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Podcast – 3rd December 2012

Aspartame and cancer, flu vaccination and ask me what my cholesterol level is.

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Gluten sensitivty in the absence of coeliac disease exists. It really does.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m no lover of commercial bread. It is generally a food that is very disruptive to blood sugar levels, and its prime component is wheat, which in practice appears to elicit adverse symptoms in quite a significant percentage of people. Some people have wheat sensitivity because they […]

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Has scare-mongering around skin cancer contributed to the resurgence in rickets?

I spotted this article earlier this week in the UK national newspaper The Telegraph. It concerns warnings about vitamin D deficiency, and particularly how the less-than-brilliant summer we had in the UK can only add to our woes in this respect. The end result may well be an upsurge in the rates of rickets (poorly […]

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Ask me what my cholesterol level is

In my practice and through other work that I do I encounter a steady stream of men who are ‘concerned’ about their cholesterol. These men have turned up a ‘raised’ cholesterol on routine screening, Their doctor may have suggested that they swap cholesterol-reducing margarine for butter and cut back on cheese, eggs and red meat. […]

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Is our faith in unproven cholesterol-reducing strategies due to brain-washing?

Recently, a brief article appeared in the British Medical Journal about how to manage the muscle pain (myalgia) that can occur in takers of the cholesterol-reducing drugs known as statins. The article itself describes this symptom as ‘common’, quoting an incidence of 5-10 per cent in published studies. However, my experience in practice is that […]

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Antibiotics don’t work for diverticulitis, so what does?

Diverticular disease is a condition characterised by the presence of small out-pocketings in the wall of the large bowel. The condition is common in the western World, and is usually symptomless. However, if one or more of the pockets becomes inflamed or infected, symptoms such as diarrhoea, pain, abdominal bloating and the passing of blood […]

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Flu vaccination ‘over-promoted’ and ‘over-hyped’ according to researchers

We’re entering the ‘flu season here in the UK. Last year, my local surgery put a banner outside urging us to ‘roll up’ for the ‘flu vaccine. I wrote a blog post which explained why this practice is not nearly as effective or ‘evidence-based’ as one might think. In a previous blog post here I […]

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Can statins impair sexual functioning in men?

I’ve noticed a general trend over recent years for increasing scepticism regarding statin drugs. There have been murmurings within the medical community, but where this shift is most readily observable is in the general public. It wasn’t so long ago that it was generally difficult for members of the public to access scientific and medical […]

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