Tiffany Writes:

Tiffany Writes:

Stuart, I have just read your MARVELOUS  article “Statin the Obvious” and the headline reminded me of my life long struggle with Dyslexia. Why, only last night after Dance Class I popped into Eastbourne’s top Butchers Shop. It was sooooo embarrassing, with my Dyslexia. I got mixed up with Organic and Orgasmic. !!! Stuart, it was so easy to do with all those sausages in view.

Maybe you could come to Eastbourne and help me to learn the difference. I would so appreciate it.

Stuart writes:

No. I will not. Buy a Dictionary !!

Statin the Obvious

I have had a couple of conversations with people in the last month about Statins. Coincidentally, I came across this article today in the Magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You”.

As usual, the tale is one of drugs giving a benefit to the drug company, rather than to the patient.

The long term solution, once again, seemingly lies in diet rather than a “Quick fix pill”.

Hence, “Statin the Obvious”. Here is the article for anyone who is interested…..

Statins are the world’s best-selling drugs. Designed to lower our levels of ‘bad’ LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol—the stuff that blocks arteries and causes heart disease—they are the ultimate just-in-case drug given even to healthy people when they’ve reached the age of 50 or so.

Not surprisingly, they are seen as life-savers. The UK’s drugs assessor, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), reckons the drugs could save 50,000 lives a year if every British male over the age of 60 and female over 65 took them regularly. Because of this enormous benefit, doctors in the UK are encouraged to start every 60-year-old on statins, whether or not there are heart problems or any risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Yet the cost to the UK taxpayer is enormous. The bill for statins runs to around £450 million a year, which can be added to the drug’s worldwide revenues of around £20 billion . But if the drugs are saving that many lives every year, the cost is fully justified.

However, NICE estimates of lives saved seem to be wildly at odds with the evidence. Researchers from multiple centres across the UK reckon the drugs would save just 750 lives in the UK every year. They looked at death rates from  heart disease between 2000 and 2007, and noted that numbers had fallen by 38,000.

Just 1,800 could be directly attributable to statins; the vast majority were due to changes in lifestyle, such as improvements in diet and exercise.

But what does it even mean to save lives? Surprisingly, scientists seem to be vague about this; often a life is considered ‘saved’ when compared with someone else, usually a participant not given the drug being tested who died while the trial was being conducted. It’s a form of statistical juggling that has meaning within the tight logical framework of a scientific study.

Danish researchers decided to take a closer look at this  ill-defined area, and came up with a very surprising discovery. Rather than looking for lives saved, they instead used a more precise measure: the average postponement of death. With this definition, the scientists were able to see exactly how long people lived after their lives were considered ‘saved’—and the average was between just three and four days.

In other words, statins were extending life by an average of up to four days in people with a heart problem who were taking  statins. The greatest extension of life across the 11 studies they reanalyzed was 27 days in heart patients who took a statin for more than five years; at best, these statin patients were living nearly a month longer than someone not taking the drug.

This very modest benefit has been seen in other trials. In one review, patients with heart disease had their risk of death reduced by just 1.2 per cent if they took a statin for five years, but even that benefit disappears in people who don’t have heart disease. For those with a less than 20 per cent chance of developing heart disease over the next 10 years, there is absolutely no benefit in taking a statin.

If they’re not helping us live longer, do statins at least offer protection from a heart attack or stroke that might leave us debilitated or destroy our quality of life? Again, the benefits are hard to see: the drugs achieve a one in 140 risk reduction for a non-fatal heart attack or stroke in people who have a low risk—which means less than 10 per cent—of heart disease over the next 10 years.

Put another way, the drugs are no better than a placebo, or sugar pill, say the researchers from Cambridge University who reviewed 11 statin studies involving more than 65,000 people, half of whom were taking the drugs. Those not taking a statin had higher levels of LDL cholesterol, yet similar numbers from both groups had died during the four years of the study, suggesting there is more to heart disease than ‘bad’ cholesterol and statin therapy.

Two researchers from University College Hospital in Galway, Ireland, came to a similar conclusion when they took a fresh look at 55 studies that had previously been published. Instead of seeing benefits, they found that people taking statins weren’t living longer and were just as likely to develop heart disease as those not taking the drugs. Worse, women, diabetics and young people taking a statin were actually more likely to develop heart disease.

The possibility that statins actually increase the risk of heart disease and death was beginning to emerge in the Illuminate trial—later described by researchers as medicine’s best-kept secret—before it was hurriedly closed down after participants started dying suddenly or developed cancer.

How can this be when health regulators, like  NICE, are so positive about the enormous benefits of statins? The studies they rely on to shape public-health policy are invariably funded by drug manufacturers, which have a vested commercial interest in achieving a very positive outcome.

To put it starkly, drug companies use “statistical deception” to exaggerate the benefits and downplay the risks of statins, say two researchers, who reckon the drugs help just 1 per cent of the population.

Researchers David Diamond, of the Veterans Hospital in Tampa, Florida, and independent researcher Dr Uffe Ravnskov ran the data again from some of the biggest statin trials and concluded that the drug-company funders had used statistical deception to create the illusion that statins are wonder drugs, when the reality is that their modest benefits are more than offset by “the numerous adverse effects of statin treatment”.

In the UK, NICE’s decision to expand the group being prescribed a statin was partly influenced by the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists Collaboration (CTT) which, it was  revealed, was receiving substantial funding from drug companies; for example, Merck, one of the biggest manufacturers of statins, had donated £217 million.

Side-effects and adverse reactions are common among statin patients. One population-based survey—USAGE (Understanding Statin use in America and Gaps in Education)—has revealed that up to half the people taking statins stop within the first year, with 62 per cent citing some side-effect—such as muscle weakness, joint pain, nausea or ‘brain fog’—as the reason.

At best, statins may have some marginal benefit in those who already have heart disease—but they would do just as well, if not better, by eating a healthier diet—while no independent evidence even suggests that the world’s most successful drugs do a thing to benefit the rest of us.

Cholesterol: What’s your score?

Just as many know their blood-pressure reading, so they are familiar with their cholesterol ‘number’. The ideal score is 5 mmol/L (millimoles per litre of blood), which is made up of 1.3 mmol/L of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the ‘good’ cholesterol, and 3.7 mmol/L of LDL cholesterol, although doctors like to see the HDL reading at 2 or higher.

The typical score in the UK is around 6.1, and any LDL reading above 4 will automatically trigger a prescription for a statin.

But your cholesterol score is more the stuff of fashion than health. Go back 20 years and the healthy score was around 7, and this was lowered to 6.5 10 years ago before reaching today’s .

It’s predicted to fall again soon to 4—currently the ideal score for anyone who has already suffered a heart attack—and cardiologists reckon it will then drop to just 2.5 over the next 10 years.

Just eat well

Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can prevent six times the number of deaths from heart disease as can a statin.

If statin drugs save 750 lives every year in the UK, as UK researchers suggest, then healthier lifestyle choices could save 4,600 lives.

This makes sense because up to 80 per cent of cardiovascular disease is caused by lifestyle choices, such as an unhealthy diet of junk food, smoking, drinking too much alcohol and being physically inactive.

A bad diet seems to be the major cause of heart disease and, conversely, eating healthily has the greatest protective effect. In fact, eating just one apple a day has the same protective effect as a statin for preventing a heart attack in someone who is healthy. The Mediterranean diet, especially when supplemented with 30 g/day of nuts or 4 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by a third.

Intriguingly, these risk reductions are seen even in people with high levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol

“Concentrating on LDL-lowering alone as an end in itself might be counterproductive. Indeed, insulin resistance may emerge as the single most important determinant of coronary artery disease,” says leading cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, of Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, UK.

Stressing the negative

A bad diet may be the major cause of heart disease, followed closely by smoking and inactivity. But is there another cause? Dr Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con (John Blake, 2007), reckons that stress and isolation are unrecognized causes, and ones that are growing with the rise of the nuclear family.

Although stress may be a good thing to help us overcome a challenge, the persistent kind, when we feel powerless and there’s no end in sight, can lead to heart disease, he believes. This can include working for a bullying boss, having long-term money worries and suffering from constant racist abuse,etc. etc.

Some food for thought.

Tiffany Writes:

Tiffany Writes: Stuart, I have just come back from my Easter “Pelvic Floor Exercises” at the Dance Class Studio here in Eastbourne and to my HORROR and SHAME  !!! find that my Pussy is, at best, damp and, at worst, wet…….I am at my wit’s end.!!!

What should I do? I know you are very knowledgeable in these matters…..

Stuart Writes:

You are an IDIOT !! .. Move your cat’s bed nearer to the radiator when you go to Dance Class.This will prevent any dampness forming. It is not rocket science.

Do NOT contact me again….!!!

Tiffany Writes

Tiffany Writes:

Stuart: I have just come back from my Saturday afternoon Dance Class overlooking the Eastbourne Promenade.

Now that it is Spring, I had to walk past our gardener. As I walked past him he was spraying the flower beds, and his massive hose pointed in my direction and made me all moist.

Do you think I should sue ?

Stuart writes: Firstly, I am not a lawyer and so cannot legally advise you. Secondly, you live in a one room first floor apartment with your two cats. So… you do not have a GARDEN !!!

You are deluded and should really see your Doctor on Monday. Get a GRIP !!!

Tiffany Writes:

Tiffany Writes:

Stuart. I have just read your article on Mr Weetabix Head. I didn’t know that you had met all those Presidents and Secret Service. Do you have a gun in your pocket ?

I luurve Weetabix.

As you know, I DO like a bit of Roughage in the Mornings. Perhaps you could come to Eastbourne and surprise me by delivering some Roughage to my “Boudoir D’Amour” ?  That’s is French, you know. No one will guess my code !! Come Soon.

Stuart Writes:

You are Mental. Get Help.!!

Mr. Weetabix Head

I first saw an American President in 1977 when Jimmy Carter visited Newcastle- Upon – Tyne and I happened to be in my first year at University.

I remember it as a fairly solemn, but celebratory affair a few discrete sharply dressed men with earpieces looking on. The excitement was much to do with the fact that the President of the U.S. could be bothered to visit the North East of England as well as some of Europe’s Capital cities.

The rationale for his visit, I recall, was the connection of George Washington to Washington Town in Northumberland, just a few miles south of Newcastle.

My second encounter with a U.S. President was in the mid 1980’s when I was working in Keene, New Hampshire and Bill Clinton visited the offices where I was working.

The occasion was like a rock concert.

His oratory unbelievably upbeat, and genuinely uplifting.


Even though I am British and could not vote it made me think that he was a decent bloke. (Apart from the fact that he was having it away with nubile interns – but that’s another story)

The third, tenuous, link to the US Presidency comes via ubiquitous social media.

Firstly, via John Oliver’s excellent satire on HBO’s “Last Night Tonight” and a great commentary on social media from a friend of a friend who attended a Donald Trump Rally in Michigan earlier this week.

Her unabridged report is logged below.

However, …. Uplifting, upbeat and celebratory are comments currently far from my lips. Is this 2016 or the 1930’s ?

Have a read…it will only take a minute.

Make your own mind up.

God Bless Help America .!!


“Okay, so I’m going to go ahead and share my experience at Donald Trump’s rally in Warren, MI (Michigan) today 4th March 2016.

We’ll start with why I went. I am a firm believer in being educated on ALL candidates, not just the one you’re rooting for, so Stephanie and I decided to attend.

If you know me, it’s no surprise that I am not a fan of Trump due to his racist, misogynist, and popularity-searching “campaign”. But I try to keep an open mind, understanding that people have different views and everyone is entitled to their own.

I wore a shirt bashing Trump, and Stephanie wore a pro-Bernie Sanders (another candidate) baseball hat. We had no intentions of causing a scene, starting any fights, or even speaking negatively towards any Trump-supporters.

We stood in the crowd with everyone else, even made small talk with a few different people, asking back and forth about each other’s views. A women supporting Trump even complimented our hat and shirt. This is not a post to bash all Trump-supporters.

Most of the people we spoke to were very kind to us, as we were to them. Trump came out and started his speech. As hard as it was, we ignored the screams and chants of building walls (on the Mexican Border) and exporting citizens (of Muslim origin).

We stood quietly and listened to the man speak.

Every 15 or so minutes, a scene would happen where the crowd would yell about protestors and Trump would scream, “Get them out, send them out of here!” and the crowd would scream “USA, USA, USA” until the attendees who were asked to leave were escorted out.

So, about 45 minutes to an hour into his speech, a group of teenage boys (who had been harassing us the entire time while we ignored their comments) screamed and pointed at us, yelling for us to be kicked out.

At first we laughed it off; of course we couldn’t be kicked out, as we were just standing here silently.


A secret service member and a police officer were there within the minute, grabbed Stephanie and I by our arms, and started to lead us out. One of the Trump supporters we were chatting with even stood up for us, explaining that we weren’t doing anything and weren’t being disruptive.

By now the crowd was chanting their USA run and a large portion was also booing us out. The walk through the crowd was very upsetting, being screamed at and filmed, even one man said “Go to China if you like communism so much!” (Communism?? Don’t you mean Democratic Socialism??).

But also, along the walk out, some attendees would high five us or shake our hands, and thank us for coming and supporting Bernie. It felt weird to be thanked, due to us not doing anything besides standing quietly.

As the two men walked us out, one explained that if we returned we would be arrested.

Stephanie quickly asked why that was. The man replied with “They don’t want you here,” to which she said “Isn’t it a constitutional right to silently protest?” The officer replied “Not here.”

The rude remarks and yells didn’t stop at the door, for Trump-supporters who didn’t get in greeted us with just as much hatred. The walk back to my truck even included a man yelling from his car about how this was for Trump people and that we didn’t belong here and shouldn’t have come.

This kind of hatred is what is ruining this country (The USA)

To think that my right to protest was taken from me AT A RALLY scares the hell out of me if Trump actually became President and got that power. What else would he take away from us if he can’t even stand two teenage girls standing silently at a FREE, PUBLIC, OPEN-TO-EVERYONE event?

If you’re thinking of voting Trump this year, please rethink your stance.

This much hate belongs nowhere near the Presidency.”

Tiffany Writes:

Tiffany writes:

Stuart, I have just finished my Dance Class and read your Blog “I’m afraid I have some bad news !” I came over all funny and nearly FAINTED !! I think that you need to come to Eastbourne and give me a full and thorough examination. I feel weak . Please come, soon.

Stuart writes:

There is nothing wrong with you. Stop being PATHETIC. !! You are a Nutter. Goodbye !

“I’m afraid I have some Bad News”

“I’m afraid I have some Bad News”

Four years ago a Doctor said that to us when Julie was initially diagnosed with Cancer.

Without going into the melodramatics of the time, there were lots of emotions (obviously), thinking (obviously), panic (obviously) and questions – lots of questions.

One of the key and most telling questions turned out to be:

“Doctor, if you were in our place what would YOU do?”

The first Oncologist / Breast Surgeon suggested a Mastectomy, Chemotherapy, Radiation and Drugs.

The classic Cut, Poison and Burn approach with no option to deviate, hesitate or ruminate. And, I love a good old ruminate, especially on a Sunday afternoon.

So, we fired her and changed Hospitals.

In fact, we got transferred to Christies Cancer Research Hospital in Manchester. One of the top drawer places to go in England, if you have Cancer.

Excellent move..

With much excitement and a little bit of Research behind us we trooped off to the Hospital and asked the telling question

“Doctor, if you were in our place what would YOU do?”

He gave us the same answer as before. HOWEVER, being a patient patient we asked a supplementary question:

“Doctor, if you get your body’s immune system into tip top conditions will it help to combat chronic disease?”

At this point, his many years of training kicked in and he said, without a moment’s hesitation.

“You are wasting your time and it won’t make a scrap of difference”

So, we fired him and changed Hospitals.

Our third Medic at our third Hospital turned out to be a part time farmer and would be Latin American dancer. (Don’t ask !!)  She juices, has organic food and won’t touch dairy foodstuffs.

Jackpot ..!!

She still has to toe the NHS party line but is open to listening to alternative approaches, even though she cannot advocate them.

At last, someone to have a proper constructive conversation along the lines of:

Conventional medicine has a lot to learn when it comes to chronic illness. We are good at cutting it, burning it, and poisoning it with surgery, radiation, and drugs, but many doctors fail to treat the cause of the problem.

Conventional medicine focuses on naming diseases based on geography, body location, and specialty, instead of by the cause, or mechanism involved.

Doctors say you have liver, kidney, brain, or heart disease, but this approach to naming disease tells you nothing about the cause.

What are the underlying causes that lead to illness?

Modern medicine approaches illness like a mechanic trying to diagnose what’s wrong with your car by listening to the noises it makes and never looking inside to see what’s going on. Holistic Medicine allows you to look under the bonnet and find the root causes of what is going on.

Basically, she said that illness results from an imbalance in your system where the immune system can’t fight off whatever is going wrong.

But ….. you can make your body inhospitable to cancer or whatever else it is that is trying to bring you down. Bacteria, viruses, stress, bad lifestyle etc.

So, back the beginning.

“Doctor, if you were in our place what would YOU do?”

In summary, she would then say:

  1. Give up Sugar

Sugar feeds cancer and creates diabetes.

Have a high-fibre diet rich in real, fresh, organic whole foods and minimise or eliminate sugary, processed, foods.

  1. Eliminate Gluten and Dairy.

Cutting them out of the diet allows an inflamed gut and an inflamed body to heal.

  1. Reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is the common thread connecting most chronic disease including cancer. Besides removing sugar and food sensitivities like gluten and dairy, you need to eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, including omega-3 rich foods like wild fish (not farmed) and flaxseeds etc.

  1. Improve gut health

As well as avoiding inflammatory foods, adding in probiotics, pre biotics, and lots of phyto nutrients like curcumin (found in tumeric) and resveratrol (found in grapes), can reduce gut-based inflammation.

  1. Reduce toxic exposure.

Going clean and green means becoming more aware about how environmental toxins affect your health. Specifically, clearing your house and personal space of chemical based products.

  1. Change your thoughts to change your immune system.

This bonus point is often overlooked, but it’s just as important as the other items above.  How you live, the quality of your relationships, the food you eat, and how you use your bodies determines your health as much as your genes do. These strategies to combat or prevent illness include getting enough sleep, controlling your stress levels, and exercising regularly.

Evidently, she is a smart woman.

One of the other things that I would personally factor in would be to have all your “silver fillings” and Root Canal work removed and replace by non toxic Dentistry.

But, that is another story.

The important thing is to figure out what works for you and develop a plan to stick with it.

Hope that this helps to guide someone.