THE NEW STATIN GUIDELINES? DUMP IT IN THE WATER SUPPLY!

Just when you thought it was safe to see your Doc in the Box without worrying about leaving the office with a statin prescription, they hit you with new statin medication guidelines. Several associations and government institutions have recently released four guidelines focused on the assessment of cardiovascular risk, lifestyle modifications to reduce cardiovascular risk and management of elevated blood cholesterol and body weight in adults. As if one in four American men is not enough the new guidelines will increase that number significantly because it’s no longer just that nasty LDL “bad cholesterol” problem. Before you had to have a LDL value that was elevated to justify a statin prescription. Now all you have to have is some “risk factors” for heart disease (or stroke) and bam you get a statin as long as you satisfy the nearly 100% satisfiable statin drug indication criteria for just about anyone who uses the new risk calculator.

But I’m not here to discuss how Big Pharma opens new revenue streams in its 30 billion dollar annual statin sales. I’m here to show you how absolutely, totally unnecessary, dangerous and useless a statin is for the vast majority of patients. The data are very clear that statins WILL NOT INCREASE LIFE EXPECTANCY in the elderly, women of all ages, and all men over the age of 67 and all patients who do not have the diagnosis of heart disease (primary prevention). Wait what??? Are you saying that nearly nobody will benefit from statins? Yes as they said it in LOA (and then in Prometheus): “There is nothing in the desert (of statins) and no man needs nothing.”

Since nobody benefits from no-thing let me show you just how ridiculously lacking statins are in preventing cardiovascular events and disease or decreasing all-cause mortality. Outside of the fact that I cured myself of heart disease without ever touching a statin, the most powerful thrust of my argument that statins do no-thing beneficial comes from the now widely accepted fact that industry produces drug trials that are rigged to make their drugs look good. It’s called junk science generated from the biggest conflict of interest (COI) on the planet. That of course is giving a drug company the permission to test its own medications for safety and efficacy and a revolving door between Big Pharma, the CDC and the FDA that guarantees the continued proliferation of junk science. This COI is nothing new but it is even more rampant and out of control than in gentler times past. At least four former editors of the most prestigious medical journals in the world have publicly said so. That includes the British Medical Journal, The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.  Several have gone so far as to suggest that the system-controlled by Big Pharma-is permanently and irrevocably broken. It may be impossible to rely on for honest, medical/scientific information because research, education and publication are controlled by the drug firms.

The next series of blogs come from a summary of a very large chapter of mine on statins. This chapter is technically a book in and of itself with several hundred citations. I will probably publish it separately as a single entity. It’s powerful, it’s scary. Statins are dangerous, they harm people. Remember, if I had followed my cardiologists advice which meant statins, high-carb foods and other “healthy” advice like eating trans fat margarine and polyunsaturated omega 6 oils, I’d be stuffed and on display somewhere in the Museum of Science and Industry as the quintessential cardiac patient that tried but failed to cure his disease in spite of the best conventional medicine available. Let’s review a few terms. Keep these handy for the next series of blogs so that you can refer back.

TERMS: NFMI-NON-FATAL MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION; CHD-CORONARY HEART DISEASE; CAD-CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE; MI-MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION; CVD-CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE (INCLUDES STROKE, PULMONARY EMBOLISM, ETC); TOTAL MORTALITY/ALL CAUSE MORTALITY= DEATHS DUE TO ANY AND ALL DISEASES NOT JUST CARDIAC.

To accept opinions in their terms is to gain the good solid feeling of being correct without having to think.” [1]

I will start off this discussion with the Framingham Study which provided the most often quoted “conclusions” on the justification of the use of statins.

The Framingham Heart Study.

You may have heard of the Framingham Study, the longest running heart study to date. The study has been following the residents of Framingham, Mass. since the 1940’s. In fact, it is still going on which is getting somewhat creepy. After the completion of the 30 year follow up published in 1987 which just happened to coincide with the introduction of a new class of lipid lowering agents called statins, the authors shockingly revealed this: for every 1% reduction in serum cholesterol [corresponds to a] 2% reduction in CHD risk.[2]

That sounds pretty straightforward right? I mean how can you mess that up? Now go and obtain your own copy of the original study and actually read it, not just the author’s conclusions from the abstract. Yes, I realize that most of my readers are not versed in reading scientific studies. That’s fine because we have many friends out there in the wilderness that will be more than happy to read them for you and relate the facts as they see them. Three published authors Dr. Ravenskoff, Dr. Kendrick and Anthony Colpo did just that. To be sure many others have done the same. When one looks at the data without a conflict of interest clouding your judgment no such conclusions on the relationship of serum cholesterol and CHD risk can be made. In fact the above conclusions are very misleading to the average doctor and layperson. I believe it was deliberate. Throughout my entire book I give one example after another of manipulated or even fraudulent study conclusions. I even spend an entire chapter highlighting the entrenched corruption of scientific research within medicine. It’s quite common these days. The actual conclusions were these:[3]

1)      Higher cholesterol levels were associated with increased mortality before the age of 47 only.

2)      The mean serum cholesterol level in the CHD group was a mere 11% higher than those disease free. The majority of CHD patients were in the normal range, with CHD affecting some with levels as low as 150 mg/dl! In this group low cholesterol did not in any way guarantee freedom from heart disease.

The 30 year follow-up revealed:

  1. Higher cholesterol levels were associated with increased mortality before the age of 47. After age 47 there was no relationship whatsoever with cholesterol and CVD or total mortality.
  2. Those participants with high cholesterol levels and were older than 47 years of age at the beginning of the study lived just as long or longer than those with low cholesterol.[4]
  3. Those whose cholesterol had decreased over the years experienced an increase in both total and CVD mortality! In the first 14 years of the study they found for every 1mg/dL drop in serum cholesterol lead to a 14% increase in CV death and an 11% increase in overall mortality in the subsequent 18 years.[5] [6]The truly scary part of this story is that many of these patients were on cholesterol lowering medications! Aren’t these the drugs that are supposed to prevent you from dying? Isn’t that the reason why your doctor has you on a cholesterol lowering drug?

           In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. The opposite of what… Keys et al would predict…We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active. [7]

 

The take home message from the longest-running medical project in history comparing the relationship between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease has shown that declining cholesterol does not increase longevity, but instead increases one’s risk of death from all causes including cardiovascular disease.[8] As Stephan Guyenet mentions in his blog titled Does Dietary Saturated Fat Increase Blood Cholesterol? An Informal Review of Observational Studies:  When investigators [Framingham Study] analyzed the relationship between saturated fat intake, serum cholesterol and heart attack risk, they were so disappointed that they never formally published the results. We know from multiple sources that they found no significant relationship between saturated fat intake and blood cholesterol or heart attack risk.[9]

In the early 1950’s the Framingham study included dietary analyses. Almost one thousand individuals were questioned in detail about their eating habits. No connection was found between the composition of the food and the cholesterol level of the blood. Wrote Drs. William Kannel and Tavia Gordon, authors of the report:”These findings suggest a cautionary note with respect to hypotheses relating diet to serum cholesterol levels. There is a considerable range of serum cholesterol levels within the Framingham Study Group. Something explains this inter-individual variation, but it is not diet.” For unknown reasons, their results were never published. The manuscript is still lying in a basement in Washington.[10]

The conclusions here should have dealt a death blow to the entire flimsy theory and sent it hurling into outer space like the birth of a new moon. Instead the authors came to a bizarre, misleading conclusion that helped launch an ever increasing campaign against saturated fat and cholesterol leading to the massive use of a new class of drugs called statins. Nice if you had stock in Lipitor®. Both Colpo and Ravnskov demonstrate that the Framingham study is only one of scores with similar interesting conclusions that the data do not support.

This underscores the need for us to be vigilant, to read studies for ourselves, and to read about what the opposition has to say because modern research-funded almost entirely by Big Pharma- makes the Framingham deceptions look like a school picnic.

The above study when analyzed properly clearly shows that high cholesterol does not in any way lead to an increase in CHD mortality and in fact it appears to be protective in those over age 47. I will demonstrate later just how protective that little bugger cholesterol really is for women and the elderly in particular. Let’s look first at the biggest revenue stream for statins-the use of these drugs in primary prevention. 

STATIN STUDIES: PRIMARY PREVENTION (PARTICIPANTS DO NOT HAVE THE DIAGNOSIS OF HEART DISEASE. THEY HAVE NEVER HAD A HEART ATTACK) IS USED IN THEORY TO PREVENT A FIRST HEART ATTACK.

As far as primary prevention goes, accounting for around 75 percent of all the people who take a statin, the data clearly do not support their use. Next week I will demonstrate very clearly that the vast majority of patients are taking a statin for absolutely no medical indication whatsoever. That probably includes you gentle reader. Stay tuned this gets very interesting I promise!



[1] C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, New York: Oxford University Press, 312

[2] Colpo. The Great Cholesterol Con. p. 18 (From original Howard BV, et al Low Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease. The Womens’ Health Initiative. JAMA Feb 8, 2006; 295: 655-666).

[3] IBID p. 17

[4] Uffe Ravenskoff MD, PhD. Ignore the Awkward. How Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive. Uffe Ravenskoff Copyright 2010. P. 35.

[5] Colpo IBID p 17.

[6] Ravenskoff IBID. p. 36

[7] Dr William Castelli Former Director Framingham Study Quoted In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine,

[8] Colpo IBID p. 17.

 

 

 

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Category: STATINS

About the Author ()

Dr. Christopher Rasmussen (aka Reality Renegade) is the author of his upcoming book, "InflaNATION: Industrial Diners & A Doc In The Box." By deliberately avoiding harmful industrial foods and the Commercial Sick Care System with its Pills and Procedures paradigm, Dr Rasmussen cured himself of a deadly disease-which became the reason for writing this book. In the book, he provides the facts you must know and the solutions to regain your health, maintain wellness, and outlive your parents' generation in an extraordinarily toxic world.

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