Monday, May 25, 2015

The Book I Have to Buy Next


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.

The truth

16 comments:

mary kennedy said...

Kate, I totally agree! This is really interesting. I've been reading a lot about the link between inflammation and heart disease. People who have "perfect" cholesterol levels and "perfect" blood pressure readings drop dead of heart disease. There is an inexpensive lab test that measures the amount of C-reactive protein in the blood, this is a marker for how much inflammation we carry in the arteries. I think the lab test costs about $10.00 but few doctors offer it and most people never think to ask for it

Zena Weldon said...

Maybe it's my age, and, I've lived long enough to read many studies contradicted by other studies decades later. It seems to me that the results depend on who funded the study and that's information that's often lacking in the news/promotion. Thank you for writing, Kate, and also bringing attention to a reasonable resource for information.

And thank you too, Mary. It has been my experience that there are many very expensive and unnecessary tests performed all the time until there is something found to treat. And sometimes the person would not realize they even had the problem before dying from another cause. Again, who benefits?

Kate Collins said...

I get my bloodwork done through Life Extension Foundation (lef.org) and they always test for C-reactive protein. It's important to know that number. Thanks for mentioning it, Mary.

Kate Collins said...

Zena, you made excellent points. And, as always, it's all about money.

Book Dragon said...

I remember a "study" showing the benefits of drinking orange juice every day. It took digging to find out oj growers funded the study.

heading over to amazon, this sounds like my kind of book. Thanks!

Sherry Smith said...

I have severe R.A. Of course, I believe I had it for 10 years, misdiagnosed. Now, for issue#2. They told me I had to be on a med. This turned into a cocktail of 5. The first 4 months, things got better. Then, it stopped. What I was left with, was 8 months of on/off hospitalizations, for the meds to get out of my system. Now...what to try next. Ugh

Gram said...

I found his first book at my library website. I will look for this new one too. Thanks. P.s. I usually take most studies with a grain of salt.

Margaret said...

I have always said, "everything is going to kill us,so we might as well live it up!" I want to be as healthy as I can be, but if you listen to the media you would choose to live in a empty white room with northing and eat cardboard. Life is all about moderation, I try to stay active, get enough sleep, but I enjoy food and sharing a meal has always been a bonding ritual around here. If I lived the way the so called "experts" think is best, life would be pretty dull.

ceblain said...

All my life until my Mom passed away, she kept saying "All things in moderation" and I still do that to this day. Everyone has a specific heritage and so to me, these studies cannot take into consideration every past illness or medical problem of every person so the tests or results that are done and told to us have to have flaws in some way or another. I am overweight and have been most of my life (but not as much as now) and yet my cholesterol is perfect, my blood pressure is under control and I am told that I don't look as old as others my age (which doesn't matter too much to me) which could mean that the ice cream that I eat and other things that are "not good for me" are not doing a lot of visible damage outwardly or inside. So, I continue with everything in moderation and it seems to be working just fine. I had my once every ten years banana split last month so don't have to worry about overdoing that for quite some time and I can still feel comforted in the fact that my morning mug of coffee is not going to do any horrible damage to me. I think it has been a month since I had a really sweet breakfast pastry or donut, so perhaps I will get one this week as it must be time to "moderate" a bit.

Doing it "my way" doesn't seem to be causing me a big problem in any particular instance according to my doctor so I will keep on going with my version of staying healthy. It seems to work reasonably well and the problems I do have do not have anything to do with intake or medication or lifestyle, just heredity. Now time for a cup of regular tea. Makes me feel good if nothing else.
:)

Cynthia

Kate Collins said...

I'm waiting for my copy to arrive. I can't wait to see what else we've been misled about! We should do a book report. LOL

Kate Collins said...

You're wise, Gram. I've learned to question studies to see who funded it.

Kate Collins said...

Well said, Margaret. Food is life, so we're wise to eat healthy, but cardboard isn't my cup of tea, either. My husband's favorite adage was: Everything in moderation.

Kate Collins said...

Cynthia, weight is one of the myths that this book busts. It's not about how many pounds or kilos. So many other factors come into play. I can't wait to dig into this book. And like your family, "everything in moderation" was our belief, too.

Kay Bennett said...

My mother and I always say wait a month(year, etc) and whatever will kill us one day will be good for us the next. Thanks for the information. Will go check that out next.

Kate Collins said...

That's absolutely true. Article today was touting the health benefits of 5-6 cups of coffee a day (black). Last year more than 2 would kill you. Go figure.

Kate Collins said...

Wow, Sherry. That's awful. Have you tried acupuncture for the RA? Just wondering.