The Great Cholesterol Con

The Great Cholesterol Con

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Malcolm Kendrick

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  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 270 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 196mm x 23mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 1 October 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844546101
  • ISBN 13: 9781844546107
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: Revised.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 10,809

Product description

Statins are the so-called wonder drugs widely prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels and claim to offer unparalleled protection against heart disease. Believed to be completely safe and capable of preventing a whole series of other conditions, they are the most profitable drug in the history of medicine. In this groundbreaking book, GP Malcolm Kendrick exposes the truth behind the hype, revealing: high cholesterol levels don't cause heart disease; a high-fat diet - saturated or otherwise - does not affect blood cholesterol levels; and, the protection provided by statins is so small as to be not worth bothering about for most men and all women.Statins have many more side affects than has been admitted and their advocates should be treated with scepticism due to their links with the drugs' manufacturers.Kendrick lambastes a powerful pharmaceutical industry and unquestioning medical profession, who, he claims, perpetuate the madcap concepts of 'good' and 'bad' cholesterol and cholesterol levels to convince millions of people to spend billions of pounds on statins, thus creating an atmosphere of stress and anxiety - the real cause of fatal heart disease.With clarity and wit, "The Great Cholesterol Con" debunks our assumptions on what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and diet. It is the invaluable guide for anyone who thought there was a miracle cure for heart disease, an appeal to common sense and a controversial and fascinating breakthrough that will set dynamite under the whole area.

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Author information

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick has contributed to numerous medical journals on the topic of coronary heart disease and currently runs a general practice.

Customer reviews

By Alan Eastwood 11 Oct 2009 5

When I was diagnosed with diabetes I was immediately put on a course of statin treatment (Simvastatin 40mg) in an attempt to lower my cholesterol levels. After 6 weeks of treatment my total cholesterol level was measured at 2.4 mmol/l. The nurse told me that it was 'the lowest she'd ever seen', my GP gave a sharp intake of breath and said 'that's excellent'! Needless to say, I was very pleased and felt rather smug! The best they'd ever seen! Now, however, I no longer believe this to be true.

In a very readable, humorous style, Dr Kendrick evaluates the cholesterol hypothesis from its origins, when it was thought that dietary cholesterol was the major risk factor to cardiovascular health, to later and current thinking whereupon cholesterol has been subdivided into 'good' (HDL) and 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol. The history and interpretation of all the major studies of the role of elevated cholesterol levels in heart disease is described, with their flaws and inconsistencies exposed. Determined to prove that high cholesterol, particularly LDL, contributes significantly to diminished life expectancy amongst populations, the cholesterol hypothesis is constantly adapted to overcome contradictory findings. Then come the statins - a multi-billion dollar industry with pharmaceutical giants (who, incidentally fund the vast majority of research into the efficacy of statins amongst other drug therapies) fighting a battle on all fronts to convince all and everyone that these wonder drugs will lead to longer, and healthier lives. Furthermore, GPs are keen to prescribe statins as they are rewarded for achieving reduced levels of cholesterol in their patients.

Dr Kendrick does not deny that, in those with a history of heart disease, life expectancy can be increased. However, by explaining the way that statistics are manipulated he exposes the truth: 10 million high risk people taking statins for a year may increase their lifespan by, on average, two days. Furthermore, studies have shown that having too LOW a level of cholesterol may actually contribute to strokes, plus there are many potential side-effects of the drugs that are not yet known because they have not been in use long enough. There are concerns that they could lead to increases in certain cancers, plus are also thought to be responsible for muscle and joint deterioration and even, paradoxically, to heart failure!

If you are taking statins then I would urge you to read this book, alongside others to obtain a balanced view, and decide whether you are taking unnecessary risks with your future health.

Review quote

"["The Great Cholesterol Con"] will save you a lot of heartache--LITERALLY!" --Examiner.com