Wednesday, October 06, 2010


The enforced exile to Siberia is over, the political rehabilitation continues, and our favourite health adviser is back.

This month's edition of Nova (with the theme, appropriately enough, of trust) features the return of Dr Peter Dingle PhD advising us of the facts regarding our health.

Over the last year I have researched and written widely on how pharmaceutical companies fool the public into thinking cholesterol lowering drugs work when, in fact, that's not the case. These companies benefit enormously from huge profits made by depicting high cholesterol as the cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, this emphasis on lowering cholesterol has resulted in a deviation from the underlying problem of CVD and its real risk factors. It is not cholesterol levels that can cause harm to our hearts, but instead excessive inflammation and oxidisation of cholesterol that causes damage to the cardiovascular system. The problem is one of lifestyle and diet and needs to be fixed, not with a lifetime supply of drugs, but with lifestyle changes anyone can begin today.

Don't you just hate it when you're fooled by companies whose only aim is to sell you stuff and increase their profits? Dr Dingle, however, fails to mention that he's got a new book out he's selling. Nor does he seem cognizant with the fact that independent medicos, in fact, advise rather differently about cholesterol than the Big Pharma Conspiracy scenario he believes in. Of course, he's not a medical doctor, and he's also been busy with other things over the last year as well so it's probably not appropriate that EoR expects him to be an expert source in offering health advice as well.

CVD is a multidimensional disease, yet modern medicine looks at it through a one-dimensional microscope.

EoR has no idea what dimension this bizarre belief comes from. And using a loaded word like 'multidimensional' in a woo magazine like Nova is just asking for misinterpretation...

It cannot be treated with a single magic bullet — none of the chronic illnesses can be.

Erect strawman argument. Demolish strawman. Gloat.

But a multidimensional approach incorporating diet, environment, attitude and lifestyle will work.

Hmmm... Diet, environment, attitude and lifestyle. That wouldn't be another undisclosed clue to conflict of interest, would it?

Two pages later there's an advertisment for "Dr Peter Dingle" and his new book, The Six-Week Healthy Eating Planner, co-authored with Martine Dingle, ND in which, presumably, health advice is provided.

The only change is in the disclaimer in small print at the very end of the article:

Dr Peter Dingle PhD is an associate professor and researcher who has researched nutritional toxicology for the past 10 or more years. He is not a medical doctor. After completing his honours in environmental toxicology in 1988, he went on to complete his PhD in the same field in 1994. The information he presents is based on the research he and his students carry out at Murdoch University where he is Associate Professor in Health and the Environment.

So, hidden away in the middle of the paragraph is the fact that he's not qualified to give medical advice.

This game is easy, and EoR could play it as well if he wanted to. If he wanted to suggest that Dr Dingle's exhortations to eat more fish oil were dangerous advice from someone who was selling books and seminars and so on to make money on the basis of those claims, he could pull up a recent study suggesting fish oil may cause colon cancer (something EoR feels would be close to Dr Dingle's health concerns) and that scientists are working towards better drugs to control atherosclerosis. There, that's put the fear of God into everyone. Now you can buy EoR's new book Healthy Eating is Killing You!.

So who would you trust to give you medical advice? Someone with no medical qualifications? Someone who apparently can't find the time to research medical journals when his wife's life was at stake, but apparently finds the time to do so when his new book is coming out?

Professor Dingle admitted he did not "comprehensively" research the range of treatments for colorectal cancer to find what the best option was.

"There is so much research, it's very complex and time consuming," he said.

Mr Hope asked why he did not access reliable medical journals in terms of rectal cancer.

"That can be a full lifetime just looking at that," Professor Dingle said.

Someone who admits he is so woefully inexperienced in health matters it's impossible for him to comment on them?

When he was asked whether he'd analysed the substances she was taking, he said he did not because he was an indoor air quality expert and unless the substances were thrown in the air and breathed in he would not know what to do with them.

Someone who applies double standards by refusing to condemn the failed modality that led to his wife's death because it might work for someone somewhere, but condemns cholesterol drugs en masse even though they might also help someone somewhere?

Earlier, Mr Hope asked why Dr Dingle did not use his writings to highlight the dangers of accepting alternative cancer remedies.

Dr Dingle said he was wary of dismissing alternative treatment altogether in the event it was successful for someone else.

Someone who was dropped by 6PR because they felt their duty of care was threatened by having an indoor air quality expert provide health advice to listeners?


  1. But according to this comment on his blog, medical/scientific research "is as simple as using google scholar and thousands of studies will pop up."

    Out of interest... what sort of research do he and his students do at Murdoch? He doesn't appear to publish anything in the fields he writes for Nova and blogs about. By research does he mean basic, applied... or google?

  2. Hang on a minute... is this the same Dr Peter Dingle who seemed to promote a fuel-saving device on TV? A device the WA govt subsequently banned?

    I'd trust him with my health any day.

  3. My doctor told me recently that my cholesterol was higher than it should be. He's a GP but must have missed the memo because he only suggested a change of diet and to get some exercise and lose weight.

    I was going to buy Dingle's book but I just watched Today Tonight and it seems Paw Paw is the new ALL-NATURAL, MIRACLE cure for absolutely everything because nature can cure everything that nature causes (except death apparently).

    The story had a skeptical but enthusiastic scientist and lots of cured people who don't need him to do a trial to know it absolutely works. And the guy who makes the stuff stuck his whole arm in boiling fat right there on TV then cured himself instantly with his miracle paw paw cream!!!!!!! I was going to get my hands on some of that...

    But the very next story was about a MIRACLE, ALL-NATURAL weight-loss pill where you don't need to change diet or exercise or anything. The story had evil pharma shills poo-pooing such products and a naturopath, a pharmacist and a customer, all extolling its virtues - so it must be great.

    Sorry Dr Dingle, you're book's already out of date.

  4. "There is so much research, it's very complex and time consuming," he said...

    "That can be a full lifetime just looking at that," Professor Dingle said.

    Yeh, that's why we have specialist doctors and why most people listen to their advice.

    Since when is the best option the one thats easiest to research? If that were the case, the best medical option every time would be to never do anything - not even buy a book. Easy.

    EoR, do you have any idea if the wa goverment has done anything at all in response to the inquest or was it just a waste of time?

  5. Apart from recommending that two GPs be referred to the WA Medical Board, it appears no other action be taken. Apart from the whole enquiry enabling Dr Dingle to now claim that Big Pharma are conspiring against him.

  6. I would like to see his employer take some action.

  7. "under the agreement, Dr Dingle would look after his wife's vitamin and antioxidant treatment" but "he was an indoor air quality expert and unless the substances were thrown in the air and breathed in he would not know what to do with them."

    He also 'loved her' but said to the coroner he wouldn't criticise the homeopath for fear Penelope would leave him - he'd rather have her die with him than try to save her life.

  8. @anonymous: Murdoch University have stated that the whole thing is a "private matter" and is of no concern of theirs. Murdoch University is locally considered the Basket Weaving Uni. It's not just Dr Dingle. There's Dr Ferguson as well.

    @DavidP: You haven't provided evidence he didn't toss them in the air in order to assess their healing abilities...


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