Corpore Sano

From our e-pal P.D. Mangan (who, as people who used to read his now-defunct blog will know, already has the mens sana part covered), here is a list of 20 principles for good health and longevity.

Many of these principles are obvious common sense. A controversial one, though, is number ten:

The cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease is nonsense. Statins have tiny effects on mortality with the potential of large, deleterious side effects.

Mr. Mangan, who has a professional background in the biological sciences, and who has done his homework on this, has over the years persuaded me of the validity of this claim. Your doctor, however, is not likely to agree.

On nearly every topic of importance, you have a choice: outsource your opinions to the established contemporary priesthood, or try, to the best of your ability, to make an independent assessment of whatever theories and data are available. (Sometimes none of the available theories will turn out to satisfactory, and if you are able to do so you may need to create a radically new and original one. This talent is very rare, but we have a word for people who are able to do it especially well: we call them “geniuses”.)

Often such independence of mind will make your life difficult, and depending on the questions you focus on may have significant social costs — but if you are constituted a certain way you really won’t have much choice, and once you cultivate the habit there’s no going back. Once you get good at it, though, you may have the satisfaction of seeing your contrarian notions validated as time goes by. (Don’t expect to get much credit for it, however. Everything that a society comes to accept as truth always seems obvious in hindsight.)

Mangan has always been an independent thinker of this sort. I miss his old blog, but I’m glad he’s turned his attention to something as important as the proper care and maintenance of our bodies.

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  1. “In men who had no known heart disease who took statins for 5 years (from the NNT): 1 in 104 were helped (preventing heart attack)”

    I assume we have this guy’s word of honor it was the statins that helped him?

    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  2. Whitewall says

    I like a lot of his points. I take statins for high cholesterol and have for 11 years because of the tendency I inherited from my Mother. There is little or no known heart disease in my family so my concern about the statins is simply cholesterol which has been well under control for all these years. I also take a low dose aspirin daily.

    Four or five days a week I go to our health center for general exercise, yoga for seniors, weight training for seniors, walking and Bodyflow-TM. I try to eat only 4 times daily, small healthy amounts two and a half hours or so apart. Nothing after about 7pm. I also increased my water intake daily. I’m trying to keep my youthful figure….

    Posted January 25, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink
  3. Sounds like a well thought-out regimen, Robert.

    Posted January 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
  4. Carl says

    Re the value of statins:

    It is important for the public to recognize that most of the “scientific” research in favor of cholesterol-lowering statins is flawed and fraudulent (read Dr. Uffe Ravnskov’s work).

    The most reliable evidence has long tied statin use with memory problems, muscle disorders, liver damage, cataracts, nerve damage, arterial calcification, pancreatitis, erectile dysfunction, brain dysfunction, diabetes, and with an increased risk of cancer and higher mortality (statins only somewhat reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attacks).

    The physiological mechanisms of how statins do serious damage are also well understood, such as by their impairment of oxidative cell metabolism, the increase in inflammation and cell destruction, the lowering of cholesterol and steroid hormone production, the promotion of pancreatic injury, etc. – rather thoroughly explained in this scholarly article on how statins, and a cholesterol-lowering popular diet pill advertised by Dr. Oz, promote diabetes at – look at Figure 7 to see how irrational it is to block the production of cholesterol!

    Yet despite of the existence of that scientific knowledge, the medical business and the public health authorities keep ignoring it and continue to recommend statins to diabetics and make claims that they have a low risk profile despite that they are also significantly linked to cancer and higher mortality (just look at the propaganda put out by the Mayo clinic on statin drugs: “the risk of life-threatening side effects from statins is very low”).

    And because of such medical propaganda, few people are aware that the medical claims of benefits of statins are mostly based on junk studies conducted by people with vested interests. And, logically, it’s mostly the corporate medical business and other people with similar vested interests tied to it (eg, mouthpieces, hacks) who promote the alleged value of these highly lucrative products.

    Also, older people with HIGH cholesterol live longer than those with low cholesterol levels (see above mentioned article for numerous scientific study references confirming this).

    Because the cholesterol-heart disease theory, or rather medical dogma, is wrong, the use of statins is also wrong by logical extension.

    So the real truth is that statins have almost no real benefit in the very vast majority of users. They do more harm than good (read Uffe Ravnskov’s “The Cholesterol Myths” and Malcolm Kendrick’s “The Great Cholesterol Con”). It’s one of many “scientific” scams of the mainstream medical business.

    Posted January 26, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink
  5. Bluefin Tuna says

    Your doctor, however, is not likely to agree.

    Maybe, maybe not. My father-in-law is a retired M.D., and has admitted that many parts of the cholesterol hypothesis strike him as more than a little dubious.

    Posted January 30, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    I’m very sorry, Carl – your comment was stuck in my spam folder until just now.

    Posted January 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink