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The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It
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The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  667 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Rubbishing the diet-heart hypothesis, in which clinical trials 'prove' that high cholesterol causes heart disease and a high-fat diet leads to heart disease, Malcolm Kendrick lambastes a powerful pharmaceutical industry and unquestioning medical profession, who, he claims, perpetuate the concepts of good and bad cholesterol. ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by John Blake
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health-books
This book explains that the cholesterol hypothesis is well and truly dead! It has been disproven, comprehensively. The current obsession with cholesterol levels and avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet is utterly misguided.

This book was very convincing on this point but if you'd like a far more in depth explanation and history I'd highly recommend 'Good Calories, Bad Calories' by Gary Taubes. This book is also impeccably referenced and argued.

This book explains that:

- High choleste
Jacques Bezuidenhout
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fanie, Mike, Izette
Kendrick presents a very theoretical subject in a light hearted way, using a whole lot of dad-/corny-jokes. This might get too much for some, but I found it quite entertaining.

The content seems very well researched. With little cause to doubt the validity.

Where it does become a bit of an internal struggle, is the fact that it goes against everything that has been drilled into us our whole lives. And everything the medical industry is forcing on us.
- Cholesterol must be below 5
- Saturated fat is
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this book a 4 only because Kendrick can be annoying at times with his Dad humor.

Otherwise, it's a well-researched compelling book that debunks a lot of the conventional wisdom we associate with high cholesterol being bad. Cholesterol doesn't end at a figure below or above 200. Even LDL itself has different particles than are dense and more susceptible to oxidation (Pattern B) vs. Large, buyoant LDL particles which do not easily penetrate endothelial walls (Pattern A).

He points to th
Aneliya Petrunova
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
(на български по-долу)
I have been a fan of Dr. Kendrick's for years. I like his analytical mind, his passion to question everything and not stop at anything before he has uncovered the truth, and I also like his sense of humor. I have come upon his blog and find the posts there to be extremely useful, even though I have not had the patience to read his series on what causes heart disease. So instead of the series I thought I would read his book and see how he dismantles the diet-heart hypothesis
Amber Duren
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've never been more entertained reading a medical text. He argues that high fat diet has nothing to do with cholesterol and that cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease. It's a tough theory to get behind as it is so opposite to everything I've learned and everything I teach my patients. However, his supporting evidence is quite compelling. Certainly thought provoking. ...more
Debra Faust-Clancy
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Best book on why NOT to take statins and an a good expose on publish or perish for the medical field.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recently a Cholesterol test showed that I had a reading of 7.59 of which only 1.49 was "good" HDL and the remainder "bad" LDL.

The nurse suggested I speak to my GP about statins. I started to read this book due to my concerns about my imminent death and the alternative fate worse than death - being a healthy slim 33 year old talking statins for the remainder of my life (albeit a very short due to the high cholesterol).

This is what I learned:

In men, across the entire age range… and in women from t
Julie Hotchkiss
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robust dismissal of the heart / diet relationship

I have been working in Public Health for the last 30 years. I now find out that what I held to be proven in relation to cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease is nothing of the case. It will be hard to break out of the mindset that a fatty diet leads to atherosclerosis. I now need to read up on the details of how statins lower (or not) mortality.
Nov 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting new views are presented in this book. However the credibility is almost nonexistent since citations were neglected and you are supposed to find the resources used to support important arguments, by yourself. If you manage that is.
Which does not really speak for the quality of this book.
I would therefore not necessarily recommend this book.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great read from the cheeky and brilliant Dr Kendrick! I would highly recommend this book for anyone that wants an easily digestible synopsis on the diet-heart hypothesis, why it’s wrong, and what we really should be focused on.
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant, even though is doesn’t work on any level as an audiobook.
Paperback ordered so I can highlight away.
This will alter my clinical practice immensely.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book confirmed what I instinctively knew. Chronic stress causes heart disease and not cholesterol. I was diagnosed with heart disease last year and have had doctors insisting that I need to take statins for slightly elevated cholesterol levels. As Dr Kendrick states “statins do not save lives in women”. I took statins (I wasn’t given a choice whilst in hospital) for a few months but felt like they were killing me so, I stopped taking them. Best thing I did. Cardiologist and other doctors I ...more
Tara C
Jun 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
I've tried and failed to finish this book twice - I'll try reading it again at a later point. His style of writing was extremely irritating, it was too chatty without giving me facts. The studies he used (at least up to the point I read to) were mostly ~10 years old, making them about 20 years old now - bit out of date for medicine. He has different views than the majority of people working in healthcare, but it's great that we have doctors that are truly invested in research and are willing to ...more
Nora Chouko
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For anyone who has been put on a statin drug or told their cholesterol levels are too high, this is a MUST READ! Who decides what the safe levels are? You will be shocked, appalled, and disgusted. It's a con all right. Who conducts the studies? Researchers paid by drug companies selling the statins. How do they get those studies to come out in their favor? Discard the studies that show how unsafe the drugs are. Doctors don't have a clue.
Truly a remarkable book, well written, researched, and told
Mariyan Traykov
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly informative and utterly amusing

This is one of the general knowledge books i would recommend anyone to read. The author dismantles to pieces the classic 'saturated fat diet->blood cholesterol->heart disease' hypothesis with plenty of well-presented arguments and demonstrates the fallacies and ignorance which are unusually prevalent in modern science. Also, Dr. Kendrick has great sense of humour which makes the book extremely readable.
Way Chuang Ang
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, it turns out the cause of heart disease is stress, not cholesterol. I still have doubt with this argument. How does one explain the positive correlation between FH and heart disease? Perhaps, I need to re-read the book again. The book can be hard to digest for a layman like me even though I know some of the medical terms from other books that I read.

Nonetheless, the author's humour keeps the subject entertaining. Otherwise, I doubt I can finish reading this book.
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whether you agree or not with his final hypothesis of what causes heart disease, I think the points that he brings up here to quote the ephemeral Jay Cheel of filmjunk is definitely worth a poke. Also, the good doctor writes with a flair I find very conversational and unique. Well worth a second visit to his theory!
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A brilliant, highly readable book. Malcolm Kendrick's passion and humour shine through the informative writing. The pharmaceutical companies can't profit from stress reduction, but they make money from the drugs they sell us.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read and thought provoking

This is a wonderful book with many pieces that made laugh out loud, but the subject matter is serious and should be read. Great incite very well told with the final part being quite thought provoking. Highly recommended
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm afraid I had to abandon this one. I couldn't get on with the writing style. Whilst it seems approachable and not too science-y, some points are skipped over with insufficient exploration, whilst others are laboured well beyond what's necessary. ...more
Thomas Foy
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative

If you are new to the idea of cholesterol, this is the book to get a great foundation. A bit technical and scientific at times but very necessary. Great story telling.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Who knew a book about cholesterol could be funny! The book is well documented and his argument is sound. If you want to read an analysis of data that challenges the current ideas of cholesterol, this is a good place to start.
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, science
Wow, this is one of those that I wish everyone would read. I knew some of the shenanigans here from having read The Case Against Sugar but this is coming from a completely different angle and well worth a read. Eye opening and very compelling.
Lesley Edwards
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting bit scary

I found this book easy to read as any book could be covering such complicated information. Of course it's scary as you don't really know what to believe when it comes to medicine but his information was very interesting and made sense to me.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Easy to read though a bit technical in places.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
It would have gotten 5 stars if the book has an index.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb and incredibly detailed but punchy and fun book!
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
An informative book to all those people that care about health and well being. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick manages to explain quite easily what goes on in our body, regarding cholesterol, and shows how modern medicine nowadays is not what's supposed to be.
I quite enjoyed the read and plan to keep following what Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and many other good doctors advise, as if you look out, the evidence is undeniable.

I would have liked however if the good Dr. had presented some of his sources. I do not min
Judy Osowiecki

The book started off ok but then just dumped "stress" as the cause of heart disease. I expected more science and possible solutions.
Jun 27, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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28 likes · 9 comments
“yes, heart disease has been with humanity for many years. It is not new. In fact, it was perfectly described by the 18th-century London physician William Heberden. In 1772, he first outlined the condition that he called angina pectori: Heberden’s description of angina     But there is a disorder of the breast marked with strong and” 0 likes
“There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in food and cholesterol in blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit. Ancel Keys, PhD, Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, 1997” 0 likes
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