First, before you start taking a drug for which proven efficacy in decreasing cardiac mortality is but an illusion for nearly all those taking them, you should be aware that these drugs may be the most toxic chemicals ever prescribed outside of cancer chemotherapeutics. Many quite serious side effects have come to light which are virtually ignored by medical journals and the prescriber. For example, how many of you know that the statins carry the same FDA warning as thalidomide regarding the risk of causing birth defects?
The FDA classifies Mevacor and other statins as pregnancy category X, which means they are not supposed to be taken by pregnant women. Not only have category X drugs been linked to fetal abnormalities in animal or human studies, but the FDA also has declared that the benefits of taking them do not outweigh potential risks.
As bad as that is women of child bearing age are taking them in increasing numbers. Every day more and more studies reveal just how toxic these drugs really are. Most doctors seem completely unaware of their hidden dangers like the rare but catastrophic global amnesia, massive increases in the risk of polyneuropathy (painful decreases in sensory input from the feet usually), increased incidence of diabetes, increased incidence of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, compelling evidence of causing heart failure and most recently the acceleration of atherosclerosis. Only to fixate on the terrible twos: the potential rise in liver enzymes or increases in muscle aches and pains which are the least important of the drug reactions. I know the title of this blog is on statin toxicity but that’s a huge topic and there’s a few other things I need to get off my chest in this blog first. Later on, in a separate blog, I will go over how vital cholesterol is and why it should never be lowered and several dozen of the most disturbing adverse drug effects. Make sure you are sitting down when you read them. They are truly frightening.
OTHER PATIENT POPULATIONS
Furthermore, they are inappropriately prescribed to entire populations of patients such as the elderly in whom high levels of cholesterol are proven to be protective in reducing the chances of a heart attack and all-cause mortality. The Framingham study told us that after the age of about 50, a low cholesterol level is associated with a significantly greater overall mortality. The older you get, the more dangerous it is to have a low cholesterol level. Basically if your total cholesterol (TC) is about 190 mg/dl and above good, if it’s below 142 mg/dl watch out.
Women are another group for which statin therapy is contraindicated. For women cholesterol is protective across the board, the higher the TC the lower all-cause mortality.
The strongest data show that men who have had a heart attack, in what we call secondary prevention, benefit the most from statins up to their late 60’s only. If you have a heart attack after that age it’s better to have a higher level of cholesterol post heart attack. Studies show that the higher your cholesterol is the lower your chances of dying from all causes including heart attack.
DRUG INDUSTRY BIAS
If I make a good case against the statins and later (separately) the SSRI’s (which is easy to make) it is my hope that you will realize that Big Pharma isn’t this wonderful, altruistic, industry hell-bent on helping humanity. Instead Big Pharma is like any other corporation beholden to its stock holders for high profits in the exact same way Big Tobacco was. It has co-opted medical education, research and publication for its own purposes of profiteering. As such one can no longer simply read “the sum totality of the evidence” as an irrefutable argument for or against the use of a particular medication because that sum totality may have been completely funded by conflict-of-interest money. Drug companies have more money than entire countries so don’t think they can’t produce volumes of junk science. Later I’ll prove to you that they do just that.
In other words we must view all studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry as suspect and never conclude anything without following the money. In modern times I do not think it prudent for a doctor to change his or her treatments based on a single or multiple drug company funded studies. I recommend reading Dr Marcia Angell’s book The Truth About Drug Companies. Dr Angell is a modern day heroine of mythological proportion who has taught me much of what I know about this sordid industry. She was the editor-in-chief of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine for 15 years before finally quitting out of frustration I suppose. On a daily basis she could see the conflict of interest (COI) and the routing of medical subspecialties that Big Pharma was in the process of doing. It seemed to her that the professional journals were becoming nothing more than slick, Madison Avenue promotional materials for luring doctors into using their dubious, expensive, new drugs. She is not alone as you will see when you read my chapter on vaccines and the Commercial Sick Care System (CSCS). I quote no less than four former editors: one from the Lancet, one hails from the highly respected BMJ, and two from the NEJM along with the investigations from several prominent physicians.
Research into the ethical problems of industry-sponsored studies demonstrated that they often withheld study data from the chief investigators, made the decision to publish-or not-based on back room corporate dealings, employed ghost writers whose results were more often painted in a favorable light without the input of the physicians who ran the investigation. Whereas non-industry funded studies were more often found to have negative results or contradictory conclusions regarding the drug under investigation. Furthermore, the revolving door policy between FDA and Big Pharma is endemic threatening to throttle the entire industry and poison the well if it hasn’t already.
We find most of the research doctors, if not all of them, are tied to industry either as grant receivers, paid consultants or on some other payroll option. When I read the disclosures for example on just one cardiologist on the panel of experts who brought us the new statin guidelines, I found that he was on the payroll of 7 drug companies each at an income of over $10,000 per annum. They are not required to stipulate exact incomes from each but the highest category is the over $10,000 category. He also owns stock in drug companies.
What’s the big deal if a doctor is on the payroll of a pharmaceutical firm? You’ll hear that comment frequently from paid consultants. Set down your glass of flouride for a minute and think: isn’t it obvious that if your doctor is being paid, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, he or she just might have a slight bias? Seriously (I’m asking the doctor now), can you look at me with a straight face and tell me you are impartial when it comes to recommending a drug for a company that’s allowing you to buy a vineyard in Napa Valley? These are all symptoms of a failing medical model the Commercial Sick Care System (CSCS).
Keep that in mind as I delve deeper down the rabbit hole. If there wasn’t some truth to the claim that statins are bogus you would not be seeing scores of books written regarding their false claims and fraudulent findings. Some that I have read are: Curtis The Cholesterol Delusion, Colpo The Great Cholesterol Con, Kendrick The Great Cholesterol Con, and Ravenskov Ignore The Awkward. Don’t forget the great article on Saturated fat by Taubes as well as dozens of web sites. I especially like Ravenskov’s site. The latest book is by Dr Sinatra who makes yet another case against the statins and the high-cholesterol hypothesis in The Great Cholesterol Myth. Then there is the research of Dr Stephanie Seneff of MIT whom I also quote along with many others.
Take Anthony Colpo’s tome The Great Cholesterol Con. With over 400 pages of insightful information, Colpo meticulously proves to us that there is a con job at work. He shows that the very studies our institutional thought leaders quote from-providing the foundation for which our current cholesterol lowering guidelines are based-have conclusions that often do not correlate with the data, are transparently weak or outright fraudulent. The very theory that high cholesterol causes heart disease may be the biggest con in the history of medical science. (The second biggest con will end up being the newer classes of antidepressants and the atypical antipsychotics, closely followed by vaccines). In Colpo’s and Kendrick’s books, and modern studies (Duke University) we come across trials that show eating saturated fat and cholesterol improve cardiovascular status, (as was also demonstrated with the Framingham Study but downplayed). They meticulously take study after study and show no correlation between cholesterol levels in the blood and coronary heart disease (CHD) or heart attacks. In fact, higher cholesterol levels in the elderly are cardioprotective. The higher the cholesterol is in a person over the age of about 70 leads to a decrease in heart attacks, all-cause mortality and a longer life.
OK, if this is a con job of colossal magnitude prove it. If I can prove to you that “native” LDL cholesterol, the so called bad cholesterol, is harmless then you will feel confident when tossing out your statin prescription. Heart disease has to do with things that cause blood vessel inflammation (injury). From Anthony Colpo’s excellent paper published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, LDL Cholesterol: “Bad” Cholesterol or Bad Science? I am including all of his original references so that your doctor can look them up if so inclined.
The Composition of Atherosclerotic Plaques.
Despite popular perception, atherosclerotic plaques are not simply big wads of fat and cholesterol that have stuck to the walls of arteries like mud inside a pipe. The growth of atherosclerotic plaques takes place primarily inside the artery wall, between the inner and outer layers (N Engl J Med 1999;340:115-126). The plaques are complex entities with numerous components, including smooth muscle cells, calcium, connective tissue, white blood cells, cholesterol, and fatty acids. Proliferation of plaques may occur, not because of simple elevations in blood cholesterol, but because of unfavorable physiological conditions that damage or weaken the structure of the arterial wall. These factors include nutrient deficiencies (Cell Mol Biol 2004;50:877-884), poor glycemic control [elevated blood sugar and elevated fasting insulin level] (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2004;24:816-823),cigarette smoking (J Am Coll Cardiol 2004;43:1731-1737), homocysteine [this is the nasty one doctor’s never check and is a proven cause of atherosclerosis] (J Thromb Thrombolysis 2004;18:75-87), psychological stress [I call if the great destroyer] (Circulation 1999;99:2192-2217), nitric oxide depletion [often times high blood pressure is the first sign of NO depletion] (Curr Diabetes Rep 2005;5:17-23), high iron levels (Shah SV, Alam MG. Role of iron in atherosclerosis. Am J Kidney Dis 2003;41(3 Suppl 1):S80-S83), microbial infection (Cardiol Clin 2003;21:333-362;Cell Microbiol 2004;6:117-127), dietary trans fatty acids (Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:832-838), excessive refined carbohydrate intake (Eur J Clin Invest 1998;28:329-333), and excessiveomega-6 fatty acid intake and/or deficient omega-3 fat intake (Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1998;59:229-233). All of these factors have been shown to exert an atherogenic effect unrelated to serum cholesterol elevation.
Damage to the arterial wall triggers an inflammatory state in which the body recognizes injury and sets about to repair it (Ross R. Atherosclerosis—an inflammatory disease. N Engl J Med 1999;340:115-126). This response-to-injury scenario is well accepted by the vast majority of cardiovascular researchers, although many of them continue to promote the hypothesis that LDL cholesterol is involved in triggering or aggravating the inflammatory state that eventually leads to heart disease or stroke. There is little evidence to support such a contention. In fact, cholesterol, like other components, may be present in atherosclerotic plaque as part of the repair mechanism.
As you can see from the above there are many factors at play in this complicated disease. It is anything but the toddler’s version patients typically receive on Junk Food TV or in their doctor’s office. In fact, do you see any mention of LDL cholesterol as a causative factor in the above listing? (Inconsistent font? Thank WordPress)
CARBOHYDRATE, TRANS AND OMEGA 6 FATS
I think I can convince you of this in one sentence. Heart disease is responsible for 50% of all deaths in America. That is, endothelial inflammation is an underlying theme in most disease states not just heart disease. Everyone has it and what does everyone eat? Processed convenience foods rich in Ω6PUFA, trans fats, sugar and refined carbohydrate. It turns out that consuming the so called heart healthy omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (Ω6PUFA), hydrogenated oils, cereal grains and sugars are the real promoters of heart disease because they cause endothelial inflammation-they injure the lining of your blood vessels.Note the major change in fat consumption that occurred from the turn of the century, where heart disease was a novelty it was so rare, to 1950 where CHD became as common as dandelions in the spring.
Butter consumption was declining while the use of vegetable oils, especially oils that had been hardened to resemble butter by a process called hydrogenation, was increasing—dramatically increasing. By 1950 butter consumption had dropped from eighteen pounds per person per year to just over ten. Margarine filled in the gap, rising from about two pounds per person at the turn of the century to about eight. Consumption of vegetable shortening—used in crackers and baked goods—remained relatively steady at about twelve pounds per person per year but vegetable oil consumption had more than tripled—from just under three pounds per person per year to more than ten.
My own research on heart disease got me started on pharmaceutical grade fish oil while tossing out the omega 6 oils back when the only person talking about it was Barry Sears: The Omega Zone & The Anti-inflammation Zone. I used the book Protein Power by Eades to lose the fat. The Protein Power/Zone diet approach, before the Commercial Sick Care System had a chance to cripple me, led to a 60+ pound weight loss which helped relieve all sorts of problems including some but not all of my angina. I had this great barometer: when I ate something particularly bad my chest pain was amplified. Likewise, eating really healthy foods and taking fish oil partially relieved it. This certainly is not the case for most patients but it served me well in my decade’s long search for the proper nutrients and lifestyle. And of course thank God once again for giving me the intelligence and stubbornness to avoid cardiologists and treat all prescriptions with suspicion.
 () 12/07/2013
 Kendrick. The Great Cholesterol Con. p. 96