I know I have driven friends and acquaintances slightly batty over the past 8 or so years with my fuming about the dangers of Statin Drugs.
They will continue to believe that cholesterol lowering medications will successfully treat and prevent heart disease in spite of the fact that a study published in The American Heart Journal ( January 2009 ) analyzing 137,000 patients admitted to hospitals in the United States with a heart attack demonstrated that almost 75% had "normal" cholesterol levels.
This fact continued to bother me during my surgical career. The idea that a normal substance, namely cholesterol, would cause heart disease never resonated with me. I would see patients coming back for second coronary bypass operations a few years after their first, having had normal cholesterol levels the entire time. In the operating room I had made the observation that there seemed to be inflammation around the coronary arteries that I was bypassing.
Through brilliant and massive marketing the makers of statin drugs have skillfully influenced science and controlled public policy so that prescribing statin drugs has become the standard of care. Anyone questioning or disagreeing with these policies is labeled as a heretic, disregarded and ridiculed.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), The National Cholesterol Education Program, The American Heart Association and many academic centers are led and influenced by physicians who receive direct or indirect benefit from the makers of statin drugs.
Their influence is so pervasive that recently the FDA approved Crestor®, a statin, to treat patients with normal cholesterol. Some of these academics have called for treating children with statin drugs. Marketing has truly triumphed over medicine.
Treating or attempting to prevent heart disease with statin drugs is dangerous and fraudulent for two reasons:
1.) Serious, deadly and disabling side effects which are largely ignored by the medical profession and suppressed by the statin makers. These side effects have been brilliantly documented by Dr. Duane Graveline and other brave doctors who dare to speak out against the official religion of cholesterol and saturated fat.
2.) Continued focus on this ineffective treatment diverts attention from truly understanding and controlling heart disease, and gives patients a false sense of security that prevents them from making the lifestyle changes that would truly prevent and reverse heart disease.
Consider also the following:
1.) Statins have not been proven to help any woman of any age!
2.) Statins have not been proven to help anyone over the age of 65!
3.) The only group of patients who may, and I emphasize "may" get any benefit, are middle aged men who have had a previous heart attack.
It is amazing to see all the medical literature that is funded by the statin makers and delivered to doctors' offices by enthusiastic young drug reps that purport to prove that statins are beneficial.
The very best statistical manipulation shows that one must treat at least 10 people for several years for 1 to have possible benefit. I'll bet that when your doctor told you to take statins you were not told that under the most favorable statistical slant on the data there is only 1 chance in 10 that you will benefit.
The much publicized JUPITER study which led the FDA to approve Crestor® for people with normal cholesterol showed that treating 100 people for 3 years with Crestor® "may" have prevented one heart attack.
Yet the approval was granted and millions of people were exposed to the risks of statins with no possible benefit except to the maker of Crestor®. Do you think the process is pure and clean and free of improper influence?
Just as a point of reference, if I had treated 100 people with the correct antibiotic for an infection 99 would have been cured. This is why I call statin treatment a scam that is bigger and more harmful than anything Bernie Madoff pulled off, at least his victims only lost money, not their health.
In spite of being Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at a large specialty heart hospital I found that I could not change Medicine no matter how much I preached and pleaded, no matter how much scientific evidence I gathered that cholesterol was not a problem and that treating cholesterol with medications was counter productive.
So I made that difficult decision and left my successful surgical practice in order to have the freedom to speak, write and teach the truth about heart disease. I wrote a book The Cure for Heart Disease, which explains that the real cause of heart disease is low grade inflammation. For without inflammation cholesterol would never accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause plaque with its eventual consequence of heart attack and death.
The cholesterol - heart disease scam: How the medical-industrial complex is raking in billions at our expense
Although a staggering amount of money has been spent on research to conclusively prove the link between saturated fat, cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), there exists a massive volume of scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed journals that completely absolves dietary cholesterol, saturated fat and elevated blood cholesterol of any harmful role in CHD.
Despite the fact that this research, contradicting the orthodox hypothesis, has been published in prestigious journals for decades, and despite the complete failure of the massive low-fat, anti-cholesterol campaign to lower the overall incidence of CHD, the cholesterol/saturated fat theory of CHD enjoys almost unanimous acceptance among health authorities. And yet the amount of cholesterol formed by the liver is controlled according to the needs of the body. If dietary cholesterol is increased, a healthy liver responds by making less cholesterol. However, if the cholesterol in the diet is decreased, the liver makes more. In this way the body regulates how much cholesterol is produced for its needs.
Yet at the drop of a hat, no few cardiologists will convince unsuspecting patients that because they have "high cholesterol" they should be subjected to an angiogram -- a very expensive and not completely safe procedure in which a catheter is injected into an artery in the groin and then pushed all the way up through the aorta into the region of the heart, where dye is injected into the blood so that an X-ray machine can see if there might be any blood flow blockages (blockages that are caused by excessive homocysteine in the blood). Evidence suggests that high levels of homocysteine in the blood promotes atherosclerosis (fatty-cholesterol-plaque deposits in blood vessels) by damaging the inner lining of arteries thereby causing plaque build up at various points inside arteries, often near the heart. Fortunately, folic acid, in combination with vitamins B-6 and B-12, helps break down homocysteine in the body, as shown in several studies. Other studies show that low blood levels of folic acid are linked with a higher risk of fatal coronary heart disease and stroke.
=========================The cholesterol – heart disease myth and why it is promulgated
Already in 1936, Kurt Lande and Walter Sperry concluded "After thorough and methodical post-mortem investigation in victims of heart attacks, it was clear that no relationship was evident. It is concluded that the incidence and severity of atherosclerosis are not directly affected by the level of cholesterol in the blood serum. (Archives of Pathology 1936;22)
In 1961, researchers studied the levels of cholesterol and the degree of atherosclerosis seen at autopsy. No correlation could be observed between the blood cholesterol levels and the amount or severity of atherosclerotic plaque within the arteries – cholesterol levels, whether high or low, had no impact on the growth of atherosclerotic plaque, the major cause of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). (Mathur et al 1961;Circulation: 23)
In 1962 autopsy studies by Polish researchers found that 2/3 of those who died from confirmed CAD, had serum cholesterol in normal to low ranges. They could find no correlation between blood cholesterol content and the cholesterol content of arterial plaque. (Marek et al 1962; American Heart Journal). Subsequent autopsy studies from the USA and Gautemala confirmed these findings.
Utilising EBCT technology, researchers at the Beth Israel Medical Centre in New York set out to determine if increased cholesterol levels, specifically LDL cholesterol, led to plaque build up. Looking at 182 individuals who may develop CAD, over 1-2 years of treatment with cholesterol lowering drugs, it was discovered that despite lower cholesterol levels there were ZERO differences in the development of atherosclerotic plaque. The researchers concluded "with respect to LDL cholesterol-lowering, 'lower is better' is not supported by changes in calcified plague progression." (American J. of Cardiology 2003; 92:3)
Human atherosclerotic plaque has all the hallmarks of an inflammatory response to infection, and there is considerable evidence to support such an etiology. For many years scientists have suspected that viruses and bacteria, in particular cytomegalovirus and Clamydia pneumonia participate in the development of artherosclerosis. A protein secreted by the liver during infection, named C-reactive protein, is a much stronger risk factor for CHD than cholesterol. Research within this area has exploded during the last decade, and by 2004, at least 200 reviews of this issue have been published in medical journals.
The dangers of low blood cholesterol
LOW BLOOD CHOLESTEROL AND CANCER
Countries with diets high in saturated fat also tend to have high levels of colon cancer. In 1974 a review of the Framingham data and those from the Keys' Seven Countries' study was carried out, expecting to show that the cancer could also be blamed on high cholesterol. However the opposite was found – those with colon cancer had cholesterol levels that were lower than the average. Reports of more than twenty studies into the relation between blood cholesterol and cancer have been published since 1972. Most have reported an association between low blood cholesterol and cancer.
Cholesterol studies in patients who developed colon cancer, conclude that it is the long term lowering of cholesterol levels that increases the risk of developing cancer. The average blood cholesterol level of those who developed cancer declined to 5.56 mmol/L, and yet the medical guidelines remain to reduce everyone's levels to below 5.2mmol/L (Winawer et al 1990; JAMA: 263.) The results of a 3-year study, involving 11,500 patients, published in the European Heart Journal in 2003, found that the low cholesterol group – total cholesterol below 4.5 mmol/L – had a relative risk of death 2.27 times higher than those with high cholesterol. The most common cause of death in the low cholesterol group was cancer, while the risk of cardiac death was the same in both groups.
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Stop the cholesterol - heart disease scam
I can see the white coats at Big Pharma running around in a panic over the latest research findings...
Up until recently, cholesterol-lowering statins have been hailed as a 'wonder drug' and have been credited with having reduced the death rate from heart disease, in the UK, from around 155 men per 100,000 in 2004 to just 110 by 2009.
This led some experts, like Professor Roger Boyle, the UK's National Director for Heart Disease, to suggest a blanket approach to the prescription of statins to all men over the age of 50 and all women over 60, regardless of their heart profile, to stop potential heart attack patients slipping through the net.
Now, a review of previous studies, published in the journal The Cochrane Library, has burst the ‘statin-bubble'. The results of this comprehensive study suggest that statins are ineffective in many cases and could be doing more harm than good.
The report urges "caution" among doctors who prescribe them and concludes that there is no "strong evidence" to suggest that statins reduce coronary heart disease deaths among those who have not suffered a heart attack or other events in the past.
Yes, you read that right! Finally, it looks as if some sense has seeped through to the medical mainstream... The report even goes so far as to point out that in some cases, the side-effects of taking statins could outweigh the benefits... Right on the money!
In fact, one of the researchers, Fiona Taylor, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "We know that industry-sponsored trials are more likely to report favourable results for drugs versus placebos."
Prof. Shah Ebrahim, also from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical and co-author of the report, called on doctors to stop giving patients the drugs unnecessarily. She added: "Their [pharmaceutical companies] aim is to get the maximum number of people on the drugs. It's an old game."
Yes, Prof. Ebrahim, it's a very old game that has negatively affected millions of people across the globe... burdening them with horrendous side effects... it's just a pity it took the medical mainstream 16 years to open their eyes to this travesty! Something we have been trying to expose since statins were first introduced on the market...
Unfortunately, there are some die-hard believers in the benefits of statins...
Prof Colin Baigent, of the Clinical Trial Service Unit at Oxford University, said the latest study findings are out of date and called statins one of the great medical success stories of the last two decades, which have prevented many thousands of deaths.
He dismissed Prof Ebrahim's concerns over pharmaceutical firms' control of statin trials as a "conspiracy theory" and said that testing for every potential harm was practically impossible.
Hmmm... I wonder if he is taking high dosage statins?
Perhaps if he did, he would sing a completely different tune...
(ArticlesBase SC #4068896)