…4yrs later

There’s a good reason for brushing off the cobwebs here on this hot day to create a new post – the UK government has achieved a milestone (enough to pop one party popper) by recommending that everyone takes vitamin D pills in the darker seasons. Unfortunately, the recommended amount is still an almost worthless 400 IU (better than nothing, I guess) and many of us will need pills throughout the year. The media also seem to be reporting the classic skeletal benefits only.

If you’re interested in the SACN report you can find the PDF here.

It’s also nearly the 4th anniversary of the publication of Prescribing Sunshine. While the book hasn’t set the world on fire (no thanks to my admittedly limited and lacklustre promotion attempts) it does trickle across to new readers and I’m happy at some reach over none at all. In hindsight I probably would have omitted some topics or tried for greater sensitivity, but in not doing that I think my book stands out and delivers a mix of anger, sadness, optimism and awe. (If you haven’t read it yet click the link on the side.) I have no plans to revise it, I’m interested to see how it stands the further passage of time.

This year has also seen cholesterol scepticism go mainstream. Media figures like Dr. Aseem Malhotra are pointing at excessive sugar intake as the enemy (though how dangerous is sugar to the vitamin D replete?) and though statins are still being dispensed, it’s less ‘mad’ to champion fat consumption.

Most of my activism time is directed towards HIV scepticism these days because it’s still a subject that’s not gaining much ground. When the 2015 Penrose Inquiry report was released regarding the alleged HIV infection of Scottish blood recipients, the news was unfortunately overshadowed by the Germanwings plane crash tragedy. I read the executive summary of the inquiry and I wrote about the even greater miscarriage of justice, for the Immunity Resource Foundation’s blog. Read here. Most of the posts there are mine too.

I’m not going to lie and say that I’m fully back to blogging here (or even tweeting, for that matter) but until vitamin D is fully appreciated by the masses, in the words of Arnie, I’ll be back.

 

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Doctors turning against the cholesterol hypothesis

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are not the most accurate way of assessing the risk of heart attack and stroke, doctors believe.

Instead, measuring calcium build-up in the arteries [emphasis added] gives a better indicator of the likelihood of heart problems, they say.

In comparison, the traditional ways of assessing who should be prescribed preventative drugs such as statins are inaccurate.

…People with little or no calcium deposits in the arteries detected on CT scans are unlikely to suffer a heart attack or stroke, a study found. But doctors may have prescribed statins based on other factors. The study suggests up to a third of patients were taking them unnecessarily.

Calcium build-up in the arteries marks the calcification of plaque, which results in hardening that can lead to heart attacks.

The latest study, published in the European Heart journal, adds to mounting evidence about the value of calcium scans in predicting heart attack risk.

The technology is little used in the NHS, where there is limited availability of expensive scans, but widely used in private clinics.

Instead patients mostly have their risk calculated on family history, medical factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and lifestyle habits.

So, how to keep your arteries from clogging up like the heating element in your washing machine when a descaler isn’t being used? You guessed it, read my book.

[Source: Daily Mail]

Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

Statins inappropriate in kidney disease

“There is very little benefit to statin drugs for patients in the early stages of kidney disease, and no benefit or possible toxicity for patients in later stages,” said Ali Olyaei, a professor of pharmacotherapy in the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University, and lead author on the new report.

…The impetus to use statin drugs – some of the most widely prescribed medications in the world to lower cholesterol – is obvious in end-stage kidney disease, because those patients have a mortality rate from coronary heart disease 15 times that of the general population. Unfortunately, evidence shows the drugs do not help prevent mortality in that situation. There is also no proven efficacy of the value of statins in patients using dialysis, researchers said.

[Source: News Medical]

High cholesterol safer for women?

In a study of more than 40,000 men and women under the age of 60, men with high cholesterol had more than three times the risk of having a heart attack, compared with women with high cholesterol.

…“We believe that females below 60 years of age may be protected against some of the cardiovascular consequences of having high cholesterol due to female sex hormones such as estrogen,” he said.

…“The use of lifestyle modification and statin therapy is one of the most effective, cost-effective and high-value therapeutic approaches to prevent cardiovascular events and prolong life in men as well as women,” Fonarow said. “Attention to cholesterol levels and other risk factors [emphasis added] remain vital for both men and women.”

If females are protected by oestrogen and yet high cholesterol is said to cause heart disease, the lipid hypothesis is invalidated. Focus should be heavily on other risk factors. Read my book.

[Source: Poughkeepsie Journal]

Evolution and cholesterol

A poser for you:

As evolution is fact, how can it be that cholesterol accumulation in the arteries – assuming the lipid hypothesis is true – was not deselected as a profitable variation in ancestors to man, and should not our teeth have been slightly blunted to deter the chewing of meat?

Then again, if we can’t find the lipid hypothesis to be very true in similar species, it maybe was never so in our ancestors, and so is not true in us. Cholesterol accumulation is poor design in response to natural foods whether you believe in evolution or creation.