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Article questions the validity of labelling and treating people with ‘pre-diabetes’

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterised by raised levels of glucose in the bloodstream, and its diagnosis is generally made when blood glucose levels are higher than 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dL) 2 hours after a oral glucose load (of 75 g). However, blood sugar control is a spectrum: between what are thought to be […]

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French food agency sceptical about the benefits of cholesterol-reducing foods

Many readers will be familiar with cholesterol reducing ‘functional foods’ such as margarines and yoghurt drinks. These foods and ‘enriched’ with ‘stanols’ or ‘sterols’: substances that have a similar chemical structure to cholesterol, and help inhibit its absorption from the digestive tract into the bloodstream, These substances do indeed have some capacity to reduce cholesterol […]

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How do statin proponents deal with debate? They stifle it.

Last month, one of my blog posts featured a letter written by a group of doctors, expressing their concerns about the mooted expansion of statin therapy. The letter detailed six major objections to the plan, including the mass-medicalization of millions of healthy individuals, the unreliability of the evidence regarding the adverse effects of statins, and […]

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More evidence points to statins as a potential cause of heart failure

The debate about the safety of statins continues to rage, with some researchers claiming that they are essentially no more harmful that placebo. In reality, though, the evidence on which these claims are based is flawed for several reasons. Here are just some of those reasons: 1. Commercial sponsors of clinical trials may not be […]

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The BMJ launches a fantastic initiative to involve patients in the peer review process

I’ve long believed that if we want to make true advances in medical care, the views of patients and ‘ordinary people’ need to be taken more into account. I sometimes think that too much research is driven by self-serving interests (sometimes financial, sometimes not), and that the people supposed to benefit get marginalised or completely […]

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Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right (why won’t those calling for statin papers to be retracted use some science?)

On 21 May my blog featured calls by Professor Sir Rory Collins for the retraction of two articles that raised issues about the safety of statins. In both articles, evidence from a particular study was misrepresented and misquoted. The BMJ has withdrawn the comments and even featured them in an editorial. But Professor Sir Rory […]

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Update on my complaint about the NHS Choices article on carbohydrate: more questions than answers

In February, I wrote a blog post which aimed to draw attention to, in my view, the bias and lack of balance in an article on the NHS Choices website entitled ‘The Truth About Carbs’. I complained about this article, and had filled out the requisite form here. You’ll see that any complaint can be […]

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My reaction to the BMJ’s withdrawal of statements relating to the safety of statins

You may have noticed that there’s a bit of a ‘fight’ going on over the cholesterol-reducing class of drugs known as ‘statins’. I am simplifying here, but there are essentially two opposing camps. In one corner, there are those doctors and researchers who hold the view that the statins should be given to pretty much […]

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Australian documentary challenging the value of statins is removed by broadcaster

Last December I wrote a blog post that referred to an episode of the Australian documentary series Catalyst, which airs on the ABC network (similar to the BBC in the UK). The programme, entitled ‘Heart of the Matter’ essentially challenged the widespread use of statins. My personal opinion (and I admit I am quite ‘statin-sceptic’) […]

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If Diabetes UK wants to help diabetics, I suggest it stops recommending a diet that I think is utterly unsuitable for diabetics

Britain’s biggest diabetes charity, Diabetes UK, this week accused the NHS (the state run and funded medical care system in the UK) of “failing to learn from clear evidence that interventions to improve diabetes care can save the NHS money as well as give people with diabetes longer and healthier lives…” In its statement, Diabetes […]

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