25 YEARS OF EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE PART II: WHAT WE CAN LEARN ABOUT EBM FROM THE CHOLESTEROL / STATIN DEBATE / DEBACLERead Now
25 YEARS OF EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE PART II
"The new guidelines would increase the number of U.S. adults receiving or eligible for statin therapy from 43.2 million (37.5%) to 56.0 million (48.6%). Among adults between the ages of 60 and 75 years without cardiovascular disease who are not receiving statin therapy, the percentage who would be eligible for such therapy would increase from 30.4% to 87.4% among men and from 21.2% to 53.6% among women."
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
For the record, the COA's revealed by Dr. Pencina and his chief co-author included
- McGill University Health Center: McGill does a lot of research in the area of heart disease, cholesterol, and drugs to lower cholesterol (both statins and non-statins).
- AbbVie: AbbVie, a division of Abbott Laboratories, manufactures the non-statin cholesterol drug "Niaspan", which is commonly prescribed along with statins. Clinical trials have shown it provides no benefit in lowering cholesterol. They are also heavily involved with stents, vessel closure devices, endovascular and coronary technologies.
- Janssen: Janssen is the collective name of the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. They recently came up with a new class of Type II Diabetes drug, and are involved with several dyslipidemia drugs.
- Eli Lilly: Eli Lilly makes the stain drug Livalo. They have also been working on a class of drug to increase HDL --- something which has proved elusive to the pharmaceutical industry. They have also been involved with the non-statin drug PCSK9 as well. As a side note, Eli Lilly has claimed that their drug Livalo has fewer side effects than other statins. Listen to what Dr. John Briffa has to say about the way that Eli Lilly is exploiting this fact on the July 13, 2012 issue of his blog. "It’s well known that about 75 per cent of people who start statins stop again within a year. Recently, the drug company Eli Lilly issued a press release regarding a survey called ‘Understanding Statin use in America and Gaps in Education’ (‘USAGE’). The USAGE survey was an attempt, on the face of it, to better understand the reasons for why so many individuals stop taking their statins. More than 10,000 people were polled, and the results are in. It turns out that off all of the reasons individuals might stop their statin medication, ‘side effects’ was the most commonly cited reason. According to the survey, a full 62 per cent of respondents cited side effects as the reason for stopping their medication." According to Eli Lilly, Livalo is the perfect solution for these folks.
- Boehringer Ingelheim: Boehringer Ingleheim makes about 30 different drugs, including many for the cardiovascular system.
To read more about the COA's in this area of industry guidelines within the field of cholesterol, you can go to the blog of Dr. Barbara Roberts --- a professor at Brown University (HERE) and read a short article she wrote on the subject. She says the conflicts in this area are over half a billion dollars.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME
Statins Get High Marks in New Cardiac Prevention Guidelines. The headline from Tuesday's MedPage Today article by Todd Neale
These guidelines will provide updated guidance to primary care providers, nurses, pharmacists, and specialty medicine providers in how best to manage care of individuals at risk for cardiovascular diseases based upon evidence. ACC president doctor John Harold of Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles
The new Cardiovascular Health Guidelines suggest that people should be given STATIN DRUGS, not simply based on HIGH CHOLESTEROL levels, but on the basis of their age, sex, lifestyle (sedentary, smoker, TYPE II DIABETES, blood pressure, etc) and weight. In fact, the group's recommendations were so sweeping that if they had their way, (I am not making this up) 1 in 3 American adults would be on these drugs. Re-read this last sentence and let it sink in a moment. Also understand that with large scale Socialized Medicine, sooner or later these "recommendations" are going to become "regulations" --- something you will be forced to do --- quite possibly against your will.
The group chose a couple of doctors to actually physically write / type the guidelines (Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, and Neil Stone M.D. both of Northwestern University in Chicago). It should be noted what MedPage Today said about these two doctors; "Stone and Lloyd-Jones reported that they had no conflicts of interest." This makes you feel all warm and fuzzy until you read a bit further (you know; the fine print at the bottom) and realize that, "Eckel [you will meet him momentarily] reported relationships with Amylin, Eli Lilly, Esperion, Foodsminds, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk, Vivus, GLAXOSMITHKLINE, and Sanofi-Aventis/Regeneron, and Ryan reported relationships with Alere Wellbegin, Amylin, Arena Pharmaceuticals, Eisai, Novo Nordisk, Nutrisystem, Orexigen, Takeda, Vivus, and Scientific Intake." Of the dozens of other doctors and scientists who were part of the Guideline Committee, this is what the rest of the fine print at the bottom said. "The other members of the writing groups reported numerous relationships with industry." Do you have any idea what that really means? It means that there were so many financial conflicts of interest, it would have taken pages (that would be plural) to list them all? HERE is more on this topic.
Can we trust these doctors. Suuuuuuure we can. And I have this wonderful piece of ocean front property in Arizona that I would just looooooove to sell you ---- cheap. I bought it from George Strait himself! Seriously people; we have seen over and over and over again that power and money tend to have a corrupting effect on people. In the quote at the top of the page, Dr. Harold said that these guidelines were made in response to "evidence". Evidence? Don't kid yourself. EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE is part of the wall of double-speak that the industry leaders hide behind in order to make you think that what they are doing is "scientific". It's always embarrassing when the "evidence" shows that guidelines and treatment(s) are based solely on money. I promise that DR. KUMMEROW was never invited to be on this committee!
Were the lifestyle recommendations any good? Although the recommendations for people to get of their sedentary butts, quit smoking, and eat healthier foods, were exactly what we would expect, the dietary guidelines left something to be desired. Dr Robert Eckel of the University of Colorado at Denver, wrote the diet recommendations. It is exactly what I would expect. He issued a, "strong recommendation to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, legumes, fish, poultry, and nuts and low in sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meats." Some of this I would agree with wholeheartedly. However, the idea that eating a diet high in grains is simply fueling the fire that is AMERICA'S NUMBER ONE HEALTH PROBLEM. Not to mention, the issue of GLUTEN and GLUTEN CROSS-REACTORS. If you happened to read THIS POST that I wrote a few months ago, you already know that the majority of practicing physicians pooh pooh the idea of non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity as a "fad".
Furthermore, the recommendations say to severely limit red meat. I have shown you TIME and TIME AGAIN that this is folly. It is amazing to me how these doctors cannot get the recent past out of their heads when it comes to red meat. In fact, if you will look at the PALEO DIET, you will see that about half of these "expert's" recommendations are going to actually cause INFLAMMATORY REACTIONS that lead to a host of disease processes. I should also note that the way that the guidelines are written implies that while "sugar sweetened beverages" are bad, DIET BEVERAGES are fine.
Then there are the non-dietary recommendations for dealing with OBESITY by Dr. Donna Ryan of Baton Rouge (Pennington Biomedical Research Center on the LSU campus). She wants at least 6 months of weight loss counseling and intense in-home interventions done by trained healthcare providers. Firstly, it sounds rather expensive to me. Secondly; has it been shown to work in the past? In a word; no.
WHERE ARE WE HEADED WITH ALL OF THIS?
What does all of this prove? Only what most of my readers already knew. You cannot trust the government, or the organizations which are funded by the government, to do what is right for your health. If you are concerned for your family's health, you'll have to take the bull by the horns and do it yourself. Do your own research, figure out what it takes to GET HEALTHY, and then take the steps to get it done. Never, ever, ever blindly listen to anything that any doctor tells you (self included) without studying the matter out for yourself. No; it's not easy. But then nothing good in life ever is.
SATURATED FAT AND HEART DISEASE
IS THERE A LINK?
"The mantra that saturated fat must be removed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease has dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades. Yet scientific evidence shows that this advice has, paradoxically, increased our cardiovascular risks. Furthermore, the government’s obsession with levels of total cholesterol, which has led to the overmedication of millions of people with statins..." Aseem Malhotra, Interventional Cardiology specialist at Croydon University Hospital of London
One of the oldest and most prestigious medical journals on the planet, the British Medical Journal, published an interesting (and controversial) commentary by Malhorta a couple of days ago called Observations From the Heart: Saturated Fat is not the Major Issue. The article, an overview of the peer-reviewed literature on the subject, showed that saturated fat is not the Great Satan it has been made out to be. Hopefully, this is not new information for you (HERE). TRANS FATS are the fats which are widely associated with disease; not Saturated Fats. This is why a PALEO DIET is so beneficial for people with a wide variety of chronic illnesses, including most cases of cardiovascular disease and OBESITY.
I would suggest you read the entire article (HERE), as it will only take you five minutes to get through it. While you are at it, you may want to check out our information on STATIN DRUGS as well. It all boils down to understanding and educating patients about what it takes to squelch INFLAMMATION at its source ---- something the worldwide medical community is, in my opinion, doing an extremely poor job of (HERE).
STATINS AND ANTIBIOTICS
A POTENTIALLY DEADLY MIXTURE
Although the number one side effect of statin drugs in this study was RHABDOMYOLYSIS (something I discussed concerning statin drugs just the other day -- HERE), the study showed that when combined with CERTAIN ANTIBIOTICS, the risk was increased for statin toxicity in the form of kidney damage, hospitalization, and yes, even death.
Seriously people; if you want to nip both infections and high cholesterol in the bud, understanding THIS CONCEPT (strict control of sugar and carbs) is the best way to do it (HERE is a great example). Oh; for the record, things were actually worse than the study actually concluded because the authors admitted that, "The absolute risk increase for rhabdomyolysis may be underestimated because the codes used to identify it were insensitive." Just remember that statins are cruddy drugs not just because of their myriad of nasty side effects, but because they don't get to the root of the reason you have high cholesterol in the first place --- RUNAWAY INFLAMMATION.
For those of you struggling with your health, it's your lucky day. Make sure and read THIS POST about what it will take to turn your life and health around. Then find someone to partner with and hold you accountable and get started today!
STATINS ATTACK FASCIA.....
& LIGAMENTS & MUSCLES & TENDONS & BONES &................
"To our knowledge, this is the first study... to show that statin use is associated with an increased likelihood of diagnoses of musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies [arthritis], and injuries" Dr. Ishak Mansi from this month's issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.
Rhabdo means "with stripes", Myo means "muscle", and Lysis means "rupture". So, in a nutshell, Rhabdomyolysis infers that striped muscle (skeletal muscles --- i.e. biceps, triceps, quadriceps, gluteus, etc, etc) are actually breaking apart at the cellular level and releasing their contents into the extracellular fluid, which eventually make their way to the blood stream. The chief breakdown product of Rhabdomyolysis is something called 'myoglobin'. Myoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein in the muscle that is analogous to hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein found in the blood.
SYMPTOMS OF RHABDOMYOLYSIS
Rhabdomyolysis can look just like artrhritis, a Rotator Cuff Problem, FIBROMYALGIA, a knee problem, or any number of other painful conditions. This is why I always find out whether or not someone is on Statin Drugs (or for that matter, other drugs) before I do anything else. By the way, certain other things like HYPOTHYROIDISM, DIABETES, AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS, CERTAIN ANTIBIOTICS, ANTI-DEPRESSION DRUGS, HARDCORE WORKOUTS, and drug or alcohol abuse can all contribute to the development of this problem as well.
WE ALREADY KNEW ALL OF THIS
WHAT IS THE NEW EVIDENCE FOR STATINS
DESTROYING OTHER TISSUES AS WELL?
The study concluded that, "Musculoskeletal conditions, arthropathies [Arthritis], injuries, and pain are more common among statin users than among similar nonusers." They went even further and clarified the term "muscluloskeletal conditions". They included, "all musculoskeletal diseases, arthropathies [Arthritis] and related diseases, injury-related diseases (dislocation, sprain, strain) and drug-associated musculoskeletal pain". Stop and think about this for a moment. Not only are injuries to the MUSCLES, FASCIA, TENDONS, and LIGAMENTS significantly greater in those taking Statins, but so are the diseases affecting these tissues (not to mention bones), as well as adverse side effects of a wide variety of drugs.
Interestingly enough, the main reason that this study was done in the first place was to "prove" that Statin Drugs had anti-inflammatory powers that could actually help people with arthritis and musculoskeletal pain. Probably why one of the authors disclosed associations with AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Elan, Forest, Ortho-McNeil Janssen, and PFIZER. It would be safe to say that these companies are now in full "Damage Control Mode". Fortunately for us, it is getting harder for Big Pharma to BURY STUDIES LIKE THIS. To learn more about CHOLESTEROL, just click on the link.
SHOULD YOU BE WORRIED ABOUT STATINS?
Statin drugs should probably be in the water, like fluoride. These cholesterol-fighting wonders have been proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes, with only rare side effects. Recent studies hint that statins might fend off Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis and even cancer. The introduction of an article (The State of Statins) from the June 2004 issue of Smart Money.
Although the writing is on the wall for these drugs, Big Pharma will not go down without a fight, and are pushing back harder than ever. It was not that long ago that a young man (early 20's) came to see me for back pain. In the consult and examination, I found out he was taking a statin drug. He was on the thin side, so I figured he must have one of those genetic 'Hypercholesterolemia' things going on. Nope. In fact, before his doctor (someone I know) put him on statins, his total cholesterol was a too-low 125 (anything under 150 puts you at risk for all sorts of health problems including certain kinds of CANCER, hemorrhagic strokes, and DEPRESSION). His doctor was trying to get his total cholesterol under 100. When I asked him why, he told me the two reasons given for this. His dad had had a (non-fatal) heart attack a few years earlier ---- and he had good insurance. No joke! I was dumbfounded. Although he was young, what about statin drugs and the geriatric population?
STATIN DRUGS AND THE ELDERLY
- Cholesterol levels are not associated with cardiovascular disease events [chiefly heart attacks and strokes] in octogenarians without overt coronary artery disease;
- No randomized, controlled trials have assessed the role of statins in reducing events in octogenarians without coronary artery disease; and
- Statins may increase risks of myositis [muscle inflammation / pain], rhabdomyolysis [muscle deterioration / degeneration], and cancer [cancer] in the elderly. "
Who in the world would say something this outlandish? Some half-cocked idiot? Another one of those crazed hillbilly chiropractors from southern Missouri? Some psychopathically deranged hippie? Mad Magazine? Nope, nope, nope, and nope. The above quote was taken directly from the November / December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology --- not exactly an Alfred E. Neuman publication! The study itself was done by a team of researchers at Yale University School of Medicine's Department of Internal Medicine.
Doctor Golomb's review individually cited almost 900 peer-reviewed medical studies dealing with the wide array of health problems associated with taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. What is the number one side effect of these drugs? Something called RHABDOMYOLYSIS. Let's look at this word for a moment. Rhabdo (striped) Myo (muscle) lysis (to break down or tear apart). Thus, Rhabdomyolysis is the break down of striped (skeletal) muscle. What did Dr. Golomb have to say about statins and cholesterol? "Muscle problems are the best known of statin drug's adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported."
Mitochondria are the part of the cell that create energy in the form of ATP (HERE). However, this process of making energy also creates something else. Free Radicals. Oxygen Free Radicals are harmful compounds that are a known cause of cancer. This is why we consume "antioxidants" in the form of foods (colorful vegetables, fruits, and berries). These antioxidants protect us against this process we call "Oxidation". When mitochondrial function is diminished for any reason, the body produces less energy and more "Free Radicals". This is a double whammy that not only causes various disease processes, it leaves you with a diminished ability to fight against them because your body is not making enough energy to do so.
Coenzyme Q10 ("Co-Q10") is a compound central to the energy-making process that occurs within mitochondria. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant whose other job is to "quench" the internal fire known as free radical oxidative damage. The problem with statin drugs, however, is that they lower Q10 levels. They do this because they are designed to block the metabolic pathway involved in cholesterol production ---- the very same pathway which produces the body's supply of Co-Q10. How big is the loss of anti-oxidative power in the body? Just listen to the words of Dr. Golomb.
"The loss of Q10 leads to loss of cell energy and increased free radicals which, in turn, can further damage mitochondrial DNA." Because statins cause progressively more mitochondrial damage over time ---- and as these energy powerhouses tend to weaken with age ---- new and more severe adverse effects tend to develop the longer a patient takes statin drugs. Golomb goes on to say, "The risk of adverse effects goes up as age goes up, and this helps explain why. This also helps explain why statins' benefits have not been found to exceed their risks in those over 70 or 75 years old, even those with heart disease." Furthermore, both high blood pressure and diabetes are linked to higher rates of mitochondrial dysfunction. This is why say the study's co-authors, these conditions are consistent with a higher risk of statin side effects.
Golomb goes on to explain in a recent interview, "From the reports that come into us, people are experiencing severe muscle weakness, which is also linked to cognitive problems. We're really interested in the balance of risks and benefits of these drugs. There are lots and lots of people looking at the benefit side. There are so few people evaluating the [risk] side. You can bet that the $20 billion a year in statin drug company revenue is going to make sure that any promising lead looking at potential benefits will be followed." You know what? She is right. I will get to this topic soon enough, but suffice it to say that there a whole host of doctors screaming the same things at the top of their lungs. Unfortunately, they are being drowned out by Big Pharma's never ending 'noise' about the need for every American to be on Statins. Think I'm kidding?
Not very long ago, "Sir" Rory Collins, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Clinical Trial Service Unit of Oxford University stated, "Give statins to all over-50s: Even the healthy should take the heart drug". Sir Rory happens to be the lead researcher on one of one of the biggest cholesterol studies in history. His study's conclusions are that lowering LDL cholesterol with statins is safe, effective, and saves large numbers of lives. And where did the money for his research come from? Three places:
- The British Heart Foundation
- The National Health Service (NHS)
- UK Biobank
I know you'll all be shocked to hear this, but Sir Rory just happens to be the Principal Investor and Chief Executive of Biobank. How much money are we talking about here? Try £62 million on for size! That's 100 million dollars for those of you keeping score at home. This does not even begin to take into account the fact that Sir Rory has received money from numerous Pharmaceutical Corporations. Is this a conflict of interest? Let's ask the companies involved. Some of the bigger companies you have no doubt heard of before.
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Schering (not to be confused with Schierling)
- Solvay (a huge chemical manufacturing corporation)
DO STATINS LOWER CANCER RATES?
In recent years the news has headlined numerous stories saying things like, "Cholesterol Drugs May Lower Cancer Risk" But is this really true? I have always been under the impression that statin drugs increase the risk of cancer, not lower it. So, where is this information coming from, and who can we trust to give us the straight dope on this issue? It seems that a study done several years ago in Israel looked at the medical records of over 200,000 people and came to the conclusion that statin drugs decrease cancer rates.
The study, published in the medical journal Preventing Chronic Disease, said that patients who regularly took statin drugs for the longest time had the lowest rates of cancer over the 7 years of the study. Their conclusions? The authors stated that their study, "demonstrated that persistent use of statins is associated with a lower overall cancer risk..... the association between statins and cancer incidence may be relevant for cancer prevention." Bear in mind that this and other statin studies have been dissected to show that their lower cancer rates claim is at best, grossly exaggerated; and at worst, completely false.
In a recent study of the effects of statins on the elderly, nearly six thousand people aged 70-82 were given either a statin or placebo over a three year period. Cancer rates were one quarter greater in the statin group. Another study (a meta-analysis) looked at the results of several different studies, finding that the combination of statin drugs and the cholesterol-lowering drug Ezetimibe (Vytorin), was associated with a forty five percent increased risk of dying of cancer. Read that last sentence a couple more times and let it sink in!
FDA CALLS FOR STILL LOWER CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently ruled that labels for statin drugs must include warnings about some of the side effects associated with statins (memory loss, confusion, Type II Diabetes, and myopathy / rhabdomyolysis / muscle & tendon problems), they keep lowering the levels of what is considered to be a "normal" cholesterol level. For the past three decades, Big Pharma will parade their "homegrown" research by the FDA, showing them that cholesterol is the Great Satan --- the leading cause of our country's number one killer; heart disease. The goal is always the same. They want the FDA to step in yet again and change (lower) what constitutes a healthy cholesterol number. This has been done over and over again, and means that more and more people will be told they have high cholesterol, and subsequently need to be on statin drugs. I realize that statins dramatically lower cholesterol. However, there are a whole host of Physicians, Researchers, and Scientists telling us that we are being bamboozled by the drug companies. What's going on here?
Dr. John Briffa, contributing editor on THE CHOLESTEROL TRUTH, has been exposing countless flawed statin trials on their blog, revealing one of the biggest medical cons of our time in the process. On their site, he also explains why cholesterol is not the villain it is made out to be and how the mainstream has got hold of the wrong end of the stick when it comes to heart disease prevention. What are the most common Statin Drugs in America? Here's a short list
- Advicor (lovastatin with niacin) – Abbott
- Altoprev (lovastatin) – Shionogi Pharma
- Caduet [atorvastatin with amlodipine (Norvasc)] – Pfizer
- Crestor (rosuvastatin) - AstraZeneca
- Lescol (fluvastatin) – Novartis
- Lipitor (atorvastatin) - Pfizer
- Mevacor (lovastatin) – Merck
- Pravachol (pravastatin) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Simcor (niacin/imvastatin) – Abbott
- Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) – Merck/Schering-Plough
- Zocor (simvastatin) – Merck
BUT WHAT ABOUT ALL THE RESEARCH THAT SHOWS
HOW MANY LIVES STATIN DRUGS ARE SAVING EACH YEAR?
A few years ago, a study known as the JUPITER Trial suggested cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might even prevent heart-related deaths in many more people than just those with high cholesterol. However, researchers now say that the JUPITER results were flawed -- seriously flawed! Not only is there no "striking decrease in coronary heart disease complications", but a new report has also called into question drug company's involvement in this and similar drug studies. What did an ABC News expose have to say about this study?
"... major discrepancies exists between the significant reductions in nonfatal stroke and heart attacks reported in the JUPITER trial and what has been found in other research ... 'The JUPITER data set appears biased."
But how can "research" be biased? After all, isn't it all independent --- isn't it? No it's not. Let me give you one example out of thousands. A few years ago, the sugar industry published a study saying that high amounts of sugar did not cause behavior problems in children. If you are a parent, common sense will tell you otherwise. So where was the sleight of hand? The studies compared the behavior two groups of children. Group I (the control) was given the sugar equivalent of about 18 cupcakes a day. Group II (the experimental group) was given not quite double this amount of sugar. When BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS were compared between the two groups of children, there was no statistical difference. Duh! I wonder why? If you want to see a picture of what financial conflict-of-interest looks like in Big Pharma, HERE is one.
Pretty soon I am going to hit you a few of the actual studies on statin drugs. I promise that you will not only be shocked, you will be ticked off about the way you have been duped. In the mean time, here are some of the areas to watch with particular diligence.
- NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS: These include amnesia, forgetfulness, confusion, the tendency to be disoriented, increased symptoms of senility, short-term memory loss. I will never forget reading the story of Mike Hope in an issue of Smart Money a decade ago. The neurological side effects of statin drugs are devastating, and frequently permanent.
- MUSCLE PAIN: Although muscle pain is the most common side effect of statin drugs, calling it "Muscle Pain" is extremely (and purposefully) misleading. Like I said earlier, this side effect is technically called Rhambomyosis or Rhabdomyolysis. It is not simply pain or muscle soreness. It is pain, muscle soreness, and weakness caused by the degeneration of your muscles. Although many people on statins have mild to moderate increases in muscle and joint pain and / or fatigue, I have seen numerous cases that are totally debilitating. The first thing I want to know when people come to me for SCAR TISSUE REMODELING is whether they are on a statin.
- LIVER DAMAGE: People who start statin drugs should have their liver enzymes checked via a blood test about six weeks after starting the drug. One of the side effects of statin use is increased production of liver enzymes, which has the potential to cause permanent liver damage.
- COMPLICATIONS WITH DIGESTION: These usually take the form of nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain. As I said earlier, this is due to in part to the fact that statin drugs alter your body's ability to metabolize fats and sugars properly.
- MIGRAINE HEADACHES & REGULAR HEADACHES: I deal with lots of people with chronic headaches (HERE). If you are prone to either you may find that statin use will trigger your headaches and migraines more often as well as allowing them to become more severe / intense. Dizziness and flu-like symptoms are also side-effects along these lines.
There are a growing number of scientists and doctors who believe that in most cases, high cholesterol and fatty build up on the arterial walls is a function of INFLAMMATION. For more information on this subject, I would suggest you go HERE.
- MUSCLE PROBLEMS
- NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS
- DEMENTIA & DEPRESSION
STATINS & MUSCLE PROBLEMS:
However, the pharmaceutical industry shrugs this off by calling it "Myalgia" or muscle pain (Myo = muscle, and algia = pain). But describing what is taking place in the muscles of statin users as mere myalgia is extremely (and purposefully) misleading. Allow me to explain.
One of the supposedly "rare" side effects of statin drugs is Rhabdomyolysis (the "lysis" or rupture of muscle cells ---- sometimes called "apotosis"). However, we see that (depending on whose research you believe) somewhere between 10-30% of the individuals on statin drugs have muscle problems (myopathy, myalgia, aches, pains, fatigue, weakness, etc) that all get lumped into one category ---- myalgia. This is not just because statin drugs make muscles hurt, but because they actually destroy muscle tissue. And beware; the more active and muscular a person is, the worse the research says the problem will be. This is why men suffer the muscle symptoms of statins far more frequently than females (about 3 to 1). How common are statin-induced muscle problems? The common line is that they are experienced by 2 -10% of those who take them. This is both untrue and misleading. And be warned; The New England Journal of Medicine said in a 2010 study, that just because you stop taking Statins, does not mean your pain will go away!
The prestigious Cleveland Clinic's Journal of Medicine recently wrote an article entitled, Statin Myopathy: A Common Dilemma not Reflected in Clinical Trials. Their point? Even though studies are saying that muscle problems are relatively rare while taking statin drugs, this is simply not the case. And interestingly enough, the supposed "gold standard" for determining if a person should be taken off statins due to muscle breakdown ---- CPK levels (Creatine Phosphokinase) that are at least 10 times normal ---- has been debunked. "Our findings call into question whether normal or mildly elevated levels of serum (CPK) can be used to exclude underlying and possibly ongoing muscle injury,” statin researchers wrote in the July 2009 issue of the Canadian Medical Association journal. What you have to remember about these statistics is that if you have muscle pain, but your CPK levels are only 9.5 times normal (instead of 10 or greater), you will not be counted in the statistics.
MORE ON STATIN DRUGS
Doctor Arnold Jenkins asks this question in an open letter published in the October 2003 issue of the British Medical Journal titled, Might Money Spent on Statins be Better Spent? Here are some selected excerpts from his letter
"The benefits of publishing negative findings should be obvious. As a general practitioner I wonder how many million pounds sterling the NHS could save if the Medical Research Council, the British Heart Foundation, and the Lancet shared this view.... I was surprised to learn [THE SCANDINAVIAN STUDY] that more women died in the treated group than in the control group. On discussion with cardiology colleagues I was assured that as the numbers were small it was a statistical anomaly, resolvable by larger studies. Imagine my delight when I heard of the large HEART PROTECTION STUDY showing clear benefits in the use of statins for women. On reading this study I was therefore disappointed to find the total mortality [death] data for women MISSING.... I do not understand why the censors of this paper do not realize two things. Firstly, any meta analyses based on this study are likely to be skewed. Secondly, in such long term studies total mortality, not improvement in the condition [High Cholesterol], should be the gold standard for evaluation (euthanasia, for example, provides 100% cure of headache but should be ruled out on the mortality data). I have yet to find a paper showing a significant reduction in mortality in women for groups treated with statins.... Yet we are almost compelled by protocols such as the national service framework for coronary heart disease and local prescribing incentives to prescribe for this subgroup [this last sentence is for the proponents of Obama-Care here in America].... I wonder whether the money could be better spent or if we should abandon the little evidence based medicine we currently have?"
Pfizer spent 181 million dollars advertising their blockbuster STATIN DRUG Lipitor in 2010. Did it pay off? Does a one legged duck swim in circles? Lipitor was the number one drug in America that year with 7.2 billion dollars worth sold! Another statin (Crestor) was close behind at 3.8 billion dollars spent. However, Zocor (another statin) was the number two most-prescribed drug, coming in at a whopping 94.1 million prescriptions per year. Interestingly enough, the biggest mover (spending increase) was also in a statin drug (Crestor).
Why is the money issue such a big deal? It is part of the conspiracy to mis-educate and scare people concerning cholesterol. If I can create Cholesterol-induced panic, I can get everyone, including the government, to open their wallets. And like I already told you --- it really is all about the money (HERE).
CHOLESTEROL SCREENINGS FOR KIDS?
ONLY IN AMERICA
WHY ARE THE "EXPERTS" SUGGESTING THIS?
It's a no-brainer. This is just one more step in Big Pharma's ultimate goal of pushing more drugs on more people --- including your kids. Nowhere have they done this more effectively than with STATINS (cholesterol-lowering drugs). Teach people to be scared of cholesterol, fail to give them any real or valuable advice, and then give them absurd recommendations ---- all while petitioning regulatory agencies to have what is considered to be "normal" cholesterol levels lowered again and again (HERE). Medication should be considered for those.... who haven't responded after six months of lifestyle management. What are some of their brilliant lifestyle solutions? Try this one on for size. Short-term use of plant sterol or stanol esters -- such as those in some margarines -- have been shown safe at doses up to 20 g per day.
Are you joking me? Is this for real? Certain plant sterols can lower cholesterol, but even most of the uninformed people on the planet now realize that margarine is bad for you because it is made with partially-hydrogenated TRANS FATS! When huge studies have been done on the relationship between heart disease, high cholesterol, and dietary fat; the one constant that we see repeatedly is that the problem is not with animal fats, but with deadly trans fats (HERE, HERE, HERE)! However, the biggest part of the medical research community continues to ignore this information. All I can assume is that they are preparing their next generation of lifetime patients early. By the way, this would be like adding SYNTHETIC VITAMINS to crappy kid's breakfast cereals and telling you that they are good for you because they are "fortified". Oh wait; they did that decades ago.
If you want your kids to grow up healthy, let's start with a few of the simplest pointers that don't involve putting them on Statin Drugs or feeding them Trans Fats.
- HEALTHY FOODS: This is not rocket science folks. Do not feed your kids a GRAIN BASED DIET, but instead focus on raw or lightly steamed vegetables, fruits, and lean meats.
- CUT DOWN ON THE SUGAR: Again, this is common sense. Kids are eating a whacky amount of sugar these days. In fact, data suggests that the per capita consumption of sweeteners has climbed to over 200 lbs. Get your FAMILY'S BLOOD SUGAR under control or all the medication and surgery in the world will not help you!
- GET SOME EXERCISE: It is absurd how sedentary today's kids really are. It's not a coincidence that they are fat and struggling with "Adult" Diseases such as high cholesterol and Type II Diabetes. In case you may have forgotten, remind yourself that you are the parent. Limit (ration) the amount of TV, video games, computer time, for your children. Sure they will hate it right now. I promise that one day they will thank you! Get your kids outside. And there's no reason that you should not join them! HERE is what I recommend.
DR OZ'S SKETCHY DIETARY ADVICE
WHAT TO EAT NOW
Unlike most medical doctors, who never give any real advice about nutrition, he admits that when he has patients, "lying on a gurney, about to have their chest opened with a band saw, the biggest reason was often the simplest: the food they ate." He goes on to tell us that these specific foods are "Bad Fats". What are bad fats you ask? According to Dr. Oz, "Bad fats generally include saturated fats (found in animal products), trans fats (found in hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils), and their cousin cholesterol (found in egg yolks, meats, and dairy products)". Interestingly enough, he seems almost confused by this when he tells us that, "Most people have little issue with their blood cholesterol levels after eating foods that that are relatively high in cholesterol." Even still, the good doctor touts the fact that he, "has performed more than 5,000 heart surgeries, and I recommend a diet low in saturated and trans fats to prevent the build up of arterial plaque." Equating Saturated Fats to TRANS FATS is terrible advice, not to mention, terrible science. The truth is, on this matter Dr. Oz is behind the eight ball. Let's look at just two recent studies on this matter.
- A study called Saturated Fat, Carbohydrates, and Cardiovascular Disease was published in the March, 2010 of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This was a Meta-Analyisis of 21 of the topic's largest Peer-Reviewed scientific studies, involving more than 350,000 individuals. The conclusions of the research done by Dr. Ronald Krauss of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, "Our meta-analysis showed that there is insufficient evidence from prospective epidemiologic studies to conclude that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of stroke, or heart disease". Listen folks, if you can't find the link between heart disease and animal (saturated) fat after looking at 350,000 people, it probably ain't there!
- A Research Symposium was held in early 2011 with Dr Arne Astrup and the renowned Dr. Walter Willette, heading up an "invitation only" conference of the biggest names in dietary fat research ---- people who are "recognized as authorities in their field". By the way, these were not alternative practitioners. These were mainstream scientists from some of the most prestigious institutions on the planet. What were their conclusions? Saturated Fat raised the HDL levels the most in all 27 studies that were reviewed. HDL is the so called, "Good Cholesterol".
And when it comes to weight loss as well as blood chemistry values, which diet kicks the living daylights out of the others? Study after study is showing that Low Carb, Mediterranean Style diets (my favorite of these is PALEO) are not only the best for LOSING WEIGHT and maintaining weight, they are the best as far as normalizing one's blood work. Why is this? It all comes down to a very simple principle ---- CONTROL INSULIN LEVELS!
Dr Oz mis-characterized low carb diets when he stated, "the much-relied-on meats can lead to inflammation and irritation, causing some physicians to worry about heart attacks and strokes." Part of this statement is true. Much of it is not. The truth is, most medical doctors are still living in the past --- propagating the scientifically disproved "fat-free" or "low fat" diets of the 80's and 90's. However, the food group that tends to cause the most INFLAMMATION is grain (this is a sacrilegious statement from an old Kansas wheat farmer). Inflammation causes obesity. If I want to fatten a beef, what do I feed it --- meat or grain? I grew up on a Kansas farm Dr. Oz, but I would guess that even a city boy like you could answer this question. Yes, there are some good grains, but you had better be careful ---- most are now and forever GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms). Not to mention, the latest research is saying that somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the US population is GLUTEN SENSITIVE. Gluten Sensitivity has recently been linked to AUTOIMMUNITY. Could be why a whopping 1 in 5 Americans suffers from some sort of Autoimmune Disease (some experts say 1 in 3).
The Dr. Oz article was not terrible by any means. I really liked the picture of his "daily menu". However, I would say that it is a bit low on protein. Remember, if you are really interested in loosing weight, you had better get significant protein at every feeding.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration