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Author Topic:   Cholesterol - A Real Example of Scientists Misleading the Public or Just More Bunk?
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2019 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004


Message 1 of 9 (258612)
11-10-2005 4:03 PM


I stumbled upon this link recently:

www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm

Besides the interesting prospects of:
1. Little to no proof of causation between high LDL cholesterol and heart disease.
2. How little impact one can actually have on their cholesterol by diet alone.
3. The impact of cholesterol reducing drugs.
4. How high LDL cholesterol is associated with a higher resistence to infection.
5. Infection being a significant cause of diseases normally attributed to cholesterol.

This site seems to be insinuating that the real research about the truth of cholesterol is being hidden from the public and conclusions about the real effects of cholesterol both good and bad are being shoved under the rug.

The site itself seems pretty well written but then again so does the ICR to a layman on the topic. I want to discuss 2 things and try to keep this pretty focused.

1. Anyone who is knowledgeable about the particular subject matter can you please help decipher if any of this stuff is actually true. I recently found out that my cholesterol is very high yet I consider myself to have rather excellent eating habits.

2. Is this a legetimate example of the masses being misled by bunk science or is the critique itself bunk? How can we the unguided masses be expected to tell the difference?

PLEASE lets not get off into hypothesized instances of science misleading in other fields. No discussion about embryos, Piltdown man, archeoraptor, etc. I will ask moderators to kindly step in if this gets into other topics. I would like to focus on THIS case and if it is an example of misleading science.

Moderators please put this topic in a forum that you feel is appropriate. It does not relate to EvC but it seems to be familiar to some of the other topics about science fraud. Perhaps "Is It Science?".

Thanks,

{Edit - Added the "Cholesterol -" to the topic title, to help define the topic. Wanted to add "Cholesterol and Disease -", but that exceded the number of characters permitted - Adminnemooseus}

This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 11-10-2005 08:46 PM


Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by nwr, posted 11-10-2005 5:46 PM Jazzns has responded

  
AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 9 (258637)
11-10-2005 4:49 PM


Please stay on topic when responding
Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

At the proposer's request, placed in Forum Is It Science?, rather than the Coffee House. I will ask that participants stick to discussing this particular case, and on what is right and wrong in this case. Let's keep it on topic.

This message has been edited by AdminNWR, 11-10-2005 03:55 PM


To comment on moderation procedures or respond to admin messages:
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  • Replies to this message:
     Message 3 by NosyNed, posted 11-10-2005 5:15 PM AdminNWR has not yet responded

      
    NosyNed
    Member
    Posts: 8842
    From: Canada
    Joined: 04-04-2003
    Member Rating: 7.4


    Message 3 of 9 (258646)
    11-10-2005 5:15 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by AdminNWR
    11-10-2005 4:49 PM


    Review
    By co incidence by bro the doc is staying here to night. I will try to get him to look at it. He makes point of reading and screening some of the not so good stuff published.

    Meanwhile I'd like a look.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by AdminNWR, posted 11-10-2005 4:49 PM AdminNWR has not yet responded

      
    nwr
    Member
    Posts: 5585
    From: Geneva, Illinois
    Joined: 08-08-2005


    Message 4 of 9 (258652)
    11-10-2005 5:46 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by Jazzns
    11-10-2005 4:03 PM


    Bypassing peer review
    Several comments:

    (1) I am skeptical of the researcher's conclusions. That does not make them wrong. But I would suggest that others be cautious.
    (2) This is not completely new. I remember reading an article with similar claims, perhaps different evidence, more than 40 years ago. If I remember correctly, it was in the Saturday Evening Post.
    (3) The researcher appears to have a strong research record. I am basing this only on the web page linked in the OP. If I were a medical researcher, I might want to investigate the accuracy of that information. As it happens, I don't have any expertise in the area, so at present I am willing to tentatively accept the researcher's own claim as to his research record.

    What is wrong here, is that the researcher has decided to go straight to the press without going through the normal peer review process. This is not unlike what Pons and Fleischman did a few years ago.

    I can understand why he may have decided to bypass peer review. He has undoubtely been receiving a very skeptical reception by his peers. This was surely very frustrating.

    The peer review system is conservative and therefore slow. This is usually desirable. In the case of medical research, the conservatism is particularly important, for we are dealing with what might affect the lives of many people.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Jazzns, posted 11-10-2005 4:03 PM Jazzns has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 5 by Jazzns, posted 11-10-2005 6:36 PM nwr has responded

      
    Jazzns
    Member (Idle past 2019 days)
    Posts: 2657
    From: A Better America
    Joined: 07-23-2004


    Message 5 of 9 (258657)
    11-10-2005 6:36 PM
    Reply to: Message 4 by nwr
    11-10-2005 5:46 PM


    Re: Bypassing peer review
    With regards to this issue are the two topics from the main page:

    7 Many of these facts have been presented in scientific journals and books for decades but are rarely told to the public by the proponents of the diet-heart idea.

    8 The reason why laymen, doctors and most scientists have been misled is because opposing and disagreeing results are systematically ignored or misquoted in the scientific press.

    Is it commong to publish a meta issue of ignorance or misuse in the very journals where these reports originate? It may very well be I just don't know.

    The second point would be the claim that this information is already in the scientific literature but is then misused in practice by other scientists and medical professionals. If this were the case then I would consider it to be their job as the professionals to be aware of the most recent research in their fields and that I think is where the claim of misleading comes from. I can neither validate that these things actually exist in the literature though or tell if this is the case with regards to the medical profession.


    No smoking signs by gas stations. No religion in the public square. The government should keep us from being engulfed in flames on earth, and that is pretty much it. -- Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 4 by nwr, posted 11-10-2005 5:46 PM nwr has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 6 by nwr, posted 11-10-2005 7:53 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

      
    nwr
    Member
    Posts: 5585
    From: Geneva, Illinois
    Joined: 08-08-2005


    Message 6 of 9 (258671)
    11-10-2005 7:53 PM
    Reply to: Message 5 by Jazzns
    11-10-2005 6:36 PM


    Re: Bypassing peer review
    The issues have long been controversial. I don't doubt that the ideas Ravnskov supports have appeared in professional journals for decades.

    The main reason I'm skeptical, is because I am aware that there have been large scale epidemiological studies which have given pretty conclusive evidence on the effects of cholesterol, and the health benefits of dietary change and of cholesterol reducing drugs.

    It might still be that for a particular individual, it is uncertain whether cholesterol reduction will help. But, as I understand it, if 100 people reduce cholesterol, then this will cause a significant reduction in heart disease within that group.

    Note that I have no training in medicine, and you should not take my word for it. I do expect that details of these studies can be found on the internet.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 5 by Jazzns, posted 11-10-2005 6:36 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 7 by nator, posted 11-10-2005 8:09 PM nwr has responded

      
    nator
    Member (Idle past 277 days)
    Posts: 12961
    From: Ann Arbor
    Joined: 12-09-2001


    Message 7 of 9 (258676)
    11-10-2005 8:09 PM
    Reply to: Message 6 by nwr
    11-10-2005 7:53 PM


    Re: Bypassing peer review
    quote:
    It might still be that for a particular individual, it is uncertain whether cholesterol reduction will help. But, as I understand it, if 100 people reduce cholesterol, then this will cause a significant reduction in heart disease within that group.

    Isn't it actually saturated fat in the diet, rather than dietary cholesterol, that raises blood cholesterol?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by nwr, posted 11-10-2005 7:53 PM nwr has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 8 by nwr, posted 11-10-2005 8:28 PM nator has not yet responded

        
    nwr
    Member
    Posts: 5585
    From: Geneva, Illinois
    Joined: 08-08-2005


    Message 8 of 9 (258680)
    11-10-2005 8:28 PM
    Reply to: Message 7 by nator
    11-10-2005 8:09 PM


    Re: Bypassing peer review
    Isn't it actually saturated fat in the diet, rather than dietary cholesterol, that raises blood cholesterol?

    Apparently I was ambiguous. My reference to "cholesterol reduction" was intended to refer to blood cholesterol reduction. I wasn't commenting on cholesterol in the diet.

    My understanding is that saturated fat intake is a problem. But maybe plain overeating can also raise blood cholesterol.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by nator, posted 11-10-2005 8:09 PM nator has not yet responded

      
    Jazzns
    Member (Idle past 2019 days)
    Posts: 2657
    From: A Better America
    Joined: 07-23-2004


    Message 9 of 9 (259960)
    11-15-2005 1:29 PM


    Bump
    Anyone else want to give their expert/armchair opinion?


    No smoking signs by gas stations. No religion in the public square. The government should keep us from being engulfed in flames on earth, and that is pretty much it. -- Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
      
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