Jerzy Zięba has written a bestselling book called "Ukryte terapie. Czego ci lekarz nie powie" ("The Hidden Therapies - What your doctor won't tell you"), which is widely considered to be pseudo-scientific by medical authorities in my country, and Mr Zięba himself is widely considered to be a quack.
In his book he promotes a number of unconventional therapies and argues against a number of claims made by mainstream medicine. Interestingly, he backs up many (though not all) of his claims with references to scientific papers. This, I believe, mandates a thorough refutation with at least equally strong sources. Until now, I have not found such a thorough refutation, so I've posted 4 questions about his book, each asking to verify a specific claim from only a single chapter of his book:
- Was there any scientic research backing up the setting of the reference range of cholesterol up to 200 mg/dl? (he claims there was none but cites no sources)
- Were the reference ranges of liver function tests set three times higher than their usual values during the research on the use of statins? (he cites a book as a source)
- Did Gary Taubes prove that cholesterol levels between 200 mg/dl and 240 mg/dl are normal and healthy? (he cites a scientific paper as a source)
- Was the cholesterol reference range set up to 200 mg/dl in order to to allow the research on statins on a wide range of population? (OK, that one Q prob indeed belongs to Skeptics)
Originally, these questions were posted on Skeptics.SE, however - in spite of upvotes - I got no answers there, so according to Meta guidelines I've deleted the questions from there and tried my luck here.
However, I've been told that I should instead ask one big question because otherwise three of the above four are likely to be closed as dupes. I'm not convinced this is a good idea, and this is because:
- Do these questions really ask about the same thing? Research backing up setting reference range of cholesterol is not strictly the same as research about health risk curves regarding cholesterol levels, though I admit this is close enough. How can this be the same as safety of statins however is beyond my understanding.
- These are only four specific claims from perhaps the shortest of a series of chapters of his book devoted just to cholesterol / cardiovascular health / animal fat / statins topic. If I have to ask only 1 Q instead of the above 4, then I'd likely have to summarize his claims from the other chapters about this topic as well. This would be a really big honking question.
- I thought asking precisely one question per claim from the book would allow the most thorough and precise refutation.
However, in other chapters of this book he does cite other pieces of scientific research only regarding health effects of certain cholesterol levels. He also acknowledges scientific studies whose findings contradict his theories, but criticizes their methodologies. Therefore, my current plan is:
- Delete the above 4 questions;
- Summarize claims from all chapters of the book wrt health effects of different cholesterol levels and post this as one question;
- Summarize claims from all chapters of the book wrt safety of statins and post this as another question;
- Summarize claims from all chapters of the book wrt health effects of eating saturated fats that are not immediately reducible to claims about health effects of cholesterol levels and post this as a yet another question.
Is this OK?
... Then perhaps we could move onto other weird ideas of this guy, like therapeutic effects of enormous doses of Vit. C and his skepticism to vaccines.