Drug company kills off another cholesterol-modifying drug

I rarely meet someone who has not heard of cholesterol and does not believe it to be a largely dangerous substance. And increasing number of people seem to be aware of the conventional wisdom regarding the different forms of cholesterol, specifically low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Actually, these names […]

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Vitamin D appears to have given my mum a whole new lease of life

2 or 3 weeks back, I was having a conversation with my 79-year-old mother regarding her mobility. She is, ordinarily, a bit of a force of nature, with abundant energy and still fending entirely for herself (with the help of my father) in all aspects of her life. In recent years, though, she has found […]

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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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