BOTTOM LINE FOR SECONDARY PREVENTION
I thought I would simply give you the summary of statin therapy in the prevention of a second cardiac event in those who have heart disease which is termed secondary prevention. For primary prevention the last several articles demonstrated that statins confer no demonstrable decrease in all-cause mortality. In other words statins are of no use for those who do not have heart disease and wish to prevent a heart attack and live longer. With secondary prevention, under the best of circumstances statins confer a decrease in cardiac mortality by between 20 and 30%. These percentages refer to the relative risk reduction (RRR) not the absolute risk reduction (ABR) in select populations. Translated into working mans numbers it requires about 40-60 patients taking a statin every day for 4-5 years to prevent a single cardiac event much like we saw in primary prevention. Furthermore, this only applies to a select patient population: middle aged males. Women and the elderly need not apply.
FOOD AS MEDICINE IN SECONDARY PREVENTION
With that in mind let’s see what the science tells us about food as medicine. Once again we see that simply increasing your intake of fruits and veggies can drop your risk by 22%. That exceeds the average effect of statins in some studies and lands squarely in the best category of secondary prevention met-analysis percentages. Several studies such as the famous Lyon Heart study showed that if you simply dump the cheap seed oils you normally use in cooking and instead use olive oil and eat more fish your risk of dying from a cardiac event drops by about 70% and all-cause mortality drops by about 40% (that’s deaths from any cause). Take your pick. Chronically swallowing a toxic drug which, over time, may cripple you in several significant ways which I will get to in a separate article. Or simply eat more fresh, tasty, fruits and veggies within the context of a Mediterranean diet for a more powerful health promoting effect. I don’t know, that’s a tough one.
- In secondary prevention studies, statins will reduce cardiovascular mortality by up to 30 percent in some people who already have established heart disease (but remember the number needed to treat (NNT) concept). But if you really want to reduce the likelihood of dying from existing heart disease (by 70 percent), then you not only have to have the patients increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, but also remove much of the omega-6 fatty acids from the diet and replace them with omega-3 fats.
- The European Heart Journal published a massive prospective cohort study (with more than 300,000 subjects and based upon an average of eight years of follow-up) that suggested if you ate more fruits and vegetables, your likelihood of dying of heart disease was reduced by 22 percent. How much is more fruits and vegetables? It is about eight servings per day, and it appeared to be a dose-response effect. For each serving of fruits or vegetables, the risk of death from heart disease goes down by 4 percent. Bottom line, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the greater the reduction in cardiovascular death.
- Now let’s rephrase number 1 & 2 into a commercially positive series of sound bites as in the ASTEROID study (not shown-just try to picture a nice press release for the NY Times where I have replaced the word statin with FAV’s). Drum roll please?
“The results were shockingly positive” for every serving of fruits and vegetables (FAV) taken CVD mortality decreased by 4%! Eliminating omega 6 oils and replacing them with omega 3 fats leads to a 70% reduction in CVD mortality! Substantial benefits even for those high-risk patients with low or normal cholesterol levels. Irrespective of blood cholesterol levels FAV’s should be considered for anybody at increased risk for either heart attack or stroke. FAV’s are effective for the over 70 age group as well as middle age. FAV’s work just as well for women too.
I’ve never heard a more honest, direct and powerful statement than the fictitious press release published above Let’s hear it for FAV’s!
If you follow my Super Mediterranean Diet (not covered yet in any detail see below) you will slash overall mortality, CHD risk, sudden death and heart attack risk just like we found with the Lyon Heart study, the PREDIMED and reconfirmed with the findings on increased FAV intake from the European Heart Journal.
We already know from the Lyon Heart study and the PREDIMED trial that you would benefit far more from my Super Mediterranean Diet which is the lower carb version of the traditional Mediterranean incorporating supplemental high-dose, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil instead of taking a statin. Start an exercise program, follow my suggestions on the use of key supplements, bio-identical hormones especially thyroid, and complete stress reduction even if that means you have to quit your job, and you will fare much, much better.
This in fact is what I did and serves as living proof of what you can accomplish by following in my footsteps: this way you alter your course away from statin induced accelerated aging and infirmity while correcting the root causes of your condition which is-yes Timmy you got it-inflammation.
Discuss this with your doctor of course. If for some reason she begrudgingly insists on a statin and shuns these blogs as so much tripe, then she may be suffering from Invincible Ignorance, an incurable condition. Obtain a new model, dispose of the old.
Greater decreases in cardiac mortality can occur painlessly by simply replacing your caloric intake from grains, sugars and starches to more fresh fruits and veggies. This alone will significantly decrease fasting insulin levels which reduces your risk of heart attack while melting off pounds of excess body fat. In addition, getting plenty of exercise, increasing omega 3 FA intake and abolishing omega 6 oils from the diet will drop your risk of a cardiac event by 70%. As seen in the trials Lyon and PREDIMED. The effects of simple dietary changes are beyond powerful, they verge on miraculous. This is the foundation for an anti-inflammatory diet. Starting with this type of dietary approach is of course how I was able to reverse my heart disease and regain my health. There is much more to it than that however which I detail in my book. You might ask yourself why isn’t this approach incorporated into the USDA Food Pyramid and used in the AHA prescribed diets? You might then ask yourself what a Conflict of Interest means in the context of food policy, the AHA and statin makers.
For those who are still not convinced let’s examine whether these statins are safe to take regardless of any possible benefit. Let’s venture into the strange world of statins and the problems that develop when you start to deprive your body of the most important molecule it has: cholesterol.
Now let us turn to Dr Seneff and see what she has to say about cholesterol and statin toxicity shall we? That gentle reader is for another post……
 de Lorgeril M, Renaud S, Mamelle N, “Mediterranean alpha-linolenic acid-rich diet in secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.” Lancet 343: 1454-1459 (1994) Taken from Dr Barry Sears blog: Another good reason to eat your fruits and vegetables http://www.zonediet.com/blog/2011/01/another-good-reason-to-eat-your-fruits-and-vegetables/
 IBID.p.2 From Another good reason to eat your fruits and vegetables
Crowe FL, Roddam AW, Key TJ, et al. “Fruit and vegetable intake and mortality form ischaemic heart disease.” Eur Heart J. 2011 May; 32(10):1235-43.