by Kate Collins
Have to brag a bit here. According to a study I read yesterday, my blood pressure is just right. Oops, going by the news on TV this morning, it’s too high. But wait . . . okay, as of the six o’clock news, it’s borderline. . . . And now at ten p.m., it’s okay again. At least my cholesterol numbers are great.
Or are they?
Fugeddaboudit. I’ll just have another cup of coffee – oops, more than two cups will kill me. And now . . . it’s good for my heart. . . . But green tea is better . . . except that now it has too much arsenic. Stay away!
I feel like a yo-yo, jerked back and forth, up and down, and sideways by all these “new and alarming” statistics we are constantly being fed by experts. Is that you, too?
Today I learned about a book that I have to read so my head doesn’t explode. It wades through all those scientific journals and pharmaceutically contrived data to pull out what’s actually true and what is designed to sell medicine to the gullible public. That would be me and you.
I love the title: Doctoring Data: How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense. It’s written by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, a family doctor whose problems led him to abandon much of what’s promoted in conventional medicine. In the book are 10 tools the average person (me again!) can use to help identify the truth in any study.
Also in the book, Dr. Kendrick takes apart the studies that have us convinced we will die of high cholesterol if we eat fat, high blood pressure if we eat salt, breast cancer if we don’t get regular mammograms, heart attack if we have more than one glass of alcohol, and any number of diseases if we are overweight. These are just a few of the studies that we’ve been led to believe – some for decades.
I don’t know about you, but this is extremely reassuring to me. I don’t want to be sold a bill of goods. I want the truth. And as he says, “Correlation does not imply or prove causation.” One example is a study that seemed to prove that people who drank red wine lived longer. What the study didn’t test was whether there was another cause – were red wine drinkers the type to also take better care of themselves? Exercise regularly? But the company that paid for that study didn’t want to know that. And yet we are told that if we drink red wine, we’ll live longer!
See why this book is so intriguing? I don’t like being duped. I don’t want unnecessary radiation soaking into my bones, drugs with side effects that I don’t really need, vaccines that in reality don’t work.
The book is on its way to my house even as I write. And by the way, Dr. Kendrick also wrote, The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth about What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It. That one is on its way, too.
Turns out the body manufactures cholesterol for a very good reason, and when we suppress it, we leave ourselves wide open for cancer.