It’s been a great week if you don’t believe that eating a low fat diet is the way to stay healthy and protect your heart. It’s also been good if you are sceptical about statins being a sensible way of cutting your risk of a heart attack when you haven’t had one.
Each of these radical views has a strong articles supporting it in the current issue of the BMJ (British Medical Journal). Today follow up features have been posted on HealthInsightUK.org – the new website -looking for sane solutions – that I’ve helped to set up.
Tireless advocate of the benefits of real foods Zoe Harcombe writes about why the minister for Public Health needs to bone up on the biochemistry of fat metabolism. This is in response to the headline grabbing but pointless government campaign to remove swimming pools-worth of saturated fat from junk food while leaving the sugar content untouched.
It’s an initiative that is about as likely to have a favourable impact on the incidence of heart disease as the prescribing of statins to millions who have never had a heart attack, Hugely well-informed critic of these drugs Dr John Briffa focuses on an authoritative report that recently concluded that they were so safe and so effective there was almost no one who wouldn’t benefit from a prescription.
Dr Briffa points out that the claimed benefit in this report was actually only a theoretical one and that looking at data of what actually happens suggests that about 750 people who haven’t got heart disease need to take the drug for five years for just one to benefit. Not only that but the issue of side effects – crucial to any serious consideration of whether a drug is worth taking – is not even mentioned in the report.
The two articles raise serious questions about the way those charged with protecting our public health are doing their job. Healthy eating advice that ignores basic physiology and mass drug use that supported by evidence that is strongly disputed. How exactly are consumers supposed to make sensible and informed decisions about their health.
At HealthInsightUK.org we aim to bring you health options for dealing with heart disease that are sane not silly