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The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It Paperback – January 1, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844543609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844543601
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,894,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[The Great Cholesterol Con] will save you a lot of heartache—LITERALLY!"  —

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dr Kendrick is a GP in Macclesfield. He writes for Pulse magazine in the UK, and redflagsweekly, an on-line health magazine based in Canada. He has written technical papers on insulin resistance, and multiple sclerosis. He developed the educational website for the European Society of Cardiology.

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Customer Reviews

A very informative book.
Wester of Mesquite
Excellent book, highly recommended to anyone looking to learn about heart disease, cholesterol, and statins in an easy to read package.
Sean Walker
If a doctor told me to take statins, I'd spit in his eye!
Pat Goltz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

253 of 258 people found the following review helpful By A reader on December 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you've somehow managed to sidestep the pressure to go on statins, this book will provide you with justification. Kendrick walks you, step by step, through your own physiology and bio-chemistry, and backs his contentions that cholesterol can not be the cause of heart disease by citing and summarizing published studies that bear this out. The book is technical but highly readable thanks to an easy conversational style (if your high school biology teacher had been Kendrick, you'd have understood everything and gotten an A). If you don't really care about arterial plaques and exactly how they're formed (and exactly how they're not) the take-away message is pretty much this: statins are ineffective for women, especially for women over 50 years old, and for anybody over 70 years old. Further, statistical studies may indicate that lowering cholesterol encourages cancer. Many of the points Kendrick makes here are also borne out in Gary Taubes' excellent "Good Calories, Bad Calories." Both of these books are recommended.

I also feel somewhat compelled to add this: While doctors will tell you they've rarely seen anyone with side effects from statins, among my own circle of middle-aged friends, I know 3 who've had serious problems with their livers, one who had some muscles permanently destroyed, one--a usually energetic tennis player-- who felt, for the few months he took statins, as though he had the flu, and could barely go to work-- and one who was left with ringing in the ears and a facial tic. All of these are listed as side effects of statins, as Kendrick points out.
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140 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bergner on January 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is remarkable that the fat-cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease gained such an established place in US medicine, culture, and popular consciousness, despite a lack of any -strong- evidence to support the theories (including that "bad cholesterol" causes heart disease) and despite sometimes stronger evidence against the theories. The emergence into broader understanding of insulin resistance around the year 2000 was a watershed in the demise of these two theories. I believe the last two months will be looked back on and viewed as the death of these hypotheses.
Perhaps most important, last week results were published that showed that a drug that lowered LDL ("bad") cholesterol not only did not prevent heart attacks, but may have increased them. The LDL went down, but not the heart attacks. This fairly well disproves the idea that even "bad" cholesterol is really that "bad" in the first place.
There has also been the appearance of two very well researched books on this topic:
Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcolm Kendrick (not the same title from Colpo)
Both are impeccable in their science, both show that the fat/cholesterol theory has been, well, frankly, fraudulent from a scientific point of view. Kendrick was lead author of the 14 Countries Study. He took WHO data on fat consumption and heart disease in a large group of countries. From these he selected the seven countries with the lowest fat consumption, and the seven with the highest fat consumption, and compared the rates of heart disease in the two groups. Every one of the countries with the lowest level of fat consumption had a higher rate of heart disease than any of the countries with the highest fat consumption. Do a double take? Read that again.
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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Molly on January 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a person who has stuck to a low-fat diet and exercise to try to lower my cholesterol, only to see it rise dramatically instead, I had a keen interest in reading this book. Although it does tend to be highly technical, parts of it above my head even though Dr. Kendrick made a wholehearted attempt to explain it, I thought it was a terrific book. Most of what he says appealed to my sense of logic. Why did my cholesterol go up on a very low-fat diet? It did; I saw that first-hand. Maybe because I was eating more carbohydrates, which Dr. Kendrick says is more likely to raise cholesterol levels than fat. Not that high cholesterol is bad. People ask why doctors would push statins in they didn't believe in them -- I would say, for the same reason they pushed estrogen replacement therapy. Partly a herd mentality. Besides, you have to do what the AMA says because if you don't, and something goes wrong, you can be sued. If you follow the AMA and write down in the patient's record that you did, then you have a defense. Turning the AMA is like turning a very big, old ship. Even the establishment now concurs that high cholesterol is not a factor for heart disease in women over 65. My doctor has stopped pushing me to take statins, now that I'm getting older. A different doctor got downright mean with me because I refused hormone replacement therapy years ago. But she was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, and common sense was right. According to the book, statins can and do act as a blood thinner (anti-clotting agent), just like aspirin, they just cost a lot more. The stress effect on the HPA-axis makes a lot of sense to me. The establishment seems to be leaning that way also because now, even on medical websites, the emphasis is toward Metabolic Syndrome, rather than cholesterol.Read more ›
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