Healthy Hearts: The Truth About Cholesterol Drugs
Enclosed are scientific references to allow you to make more informed health care decisions. Please share them with your family and friends.
Table of Contents
- Cholesterol Drugs Actually Cause Heart Disease
- Cholesterol Drugs Have Problems
- Cholesterol Fiasco
- Even Minimal Exercise Very Beneficial
- Low Cholesterol Linked to Depression
- Low Cholesterol Linked to Stroke Risk
- Lowering Cholesterol May Not Reduce Arterial Plaque
- Statins May Have Killed More Than Reported
Cholesterol Drugs Actually Cause Heart Disease
Cholesterol lowering medications have not decreased heart disease rates in the US. In a study of over 10,000 people in two groups, one given medication to lower cholesterol, and one group without the medication, "CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) event rates were not significantly different between the groups" Reference: Journal of the American Medical Association December 2002
"Killer heart disease on rise- The number of people with heart failure has risen by 15%". Friday, 7 June, 2002, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Cholesterol lowering Drugs may impair brain function. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh reported to the American Heart Association that those who had the greatest decrease in cholesterol levels paid less attention and had delayed motor reflexes.Nature Medicine, December, 2000
How safe are our roads with millions of us using these drugs?
Cholesterol is a major component of the myelin sheath that prevents nerves from 'short circuiting'. Too little is just as bad as too much.
Statins and risk of polyneuropathypeople who had taken statins were 4 to 14 times more likely to develop polyneuropathy that did not have a known cause. Neurology May 14, 2002.
Low Cholesterol levels increase the risk of depression in Men
Researchers studied some 30,000 men and found that men with low cholesterol levels showed a consistently higher risk of having depressive symptoms. Psychosomatic Medicine 2000; 62.
A study of nearly 6,400 men found that low average cholesterol was linked to subsequent death by suicide. British Medical Journal 1996
Cholesterol Lowering Drugs may Increase Cancer Rates.It has been known since 1996 that "all members of the two most popular classes of lipid-lowering drugs (the fibrates and the statins) cause cancer in rats)"
The author of the study actually suggested that clinical trials over the next several decades" would be needed to further assess these findings.
Journal of the American Medical Association January 3, 1996
Who's paying him?
Who do you know who may be functioning as a lab rat right now?
Cholesterol Lowering drugs suppress Immune System
The most popular class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, known as the statins, have been found to suppress certain immune system cells known as helper T-cells, according to new research in Nature Medicine, December, 2000;
"You are probably killing yourself while at the same time feeling drowsy, dizzy, depressed, and lacking in energy and your usual vitality. That's because these dangerous toxins are slowly poisoning you and increasing your risk of cancer; heart, kidney and liver disease; depression; suicide; and general lack of interest in life."
Even minimal exercise very beneficial
Two studies reported in the January 27, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that even a mild amount of activity or exercise can improve heart and lung function. Routine activities such as raking leaves and climbing stairs can produce a positive cardiovascular effect.
One study followed 235 men and women over two years. The participants were divided into groups. One group did vigorous exercise while the other group did only mild to moderate "lifestyle" exercises. After two years comparison of the two groups show similar and significant improvement in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body fat ratios. The conclusion gives hope and encouragement to those who are unable to do anything more than mild or moderate exercise. In short, when it come to exercise, some is better than none. The study did show, however, that the group that did vigorous exercise burned off calories three times as fast as the moderate exercise group did.
Dr. Henry Windsor proved that nerve damage between our shoulder blades contributes to nerve damage to our hearts and circulatory systems. It makes sense to want to have full nerve supply to each of our organs that keep us alive for a better chance of being truly healthy. Only a chiropractor can tell you if you have spinal nerve damage and help you correct it naturally.
Cholesterol Drugs Have Problems
In a series of recent separate stories two popular cholesterol drugs have had significant problems that have caused one of them to be removed from the market and the other to draw news story warnings. From the August 8, 2002 issue of USA Today comes a story that starts off by stating that drugs that lower cholesterol may cause nerve damage. In a new study, Danish researchers say these drugs, called Statins, raise a person's risk of nerve damage by nearly 15%, or roughly one case for every 2,200 patients age 50 or older.
Lead author David Gaist of the University of Southern Denmark conducted the first large-scale study to link the drugs with nerve damage, which is marked by weakness, tingling, difficulty walking and pain. The study shows that the longer patients took the drugs, the more likely they were to suffer nerve damage.
Currently it is estimated that about 16 million Americans take statins such as Lipitor and Pravachol. The Danish study drew only limited coverage in the United States. However, one researcher from the US agrees with the alarm. "We should definitely sit up and take notice," says Beatrice Golomb, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, who heads a federally funded study of the effects of statin drugs on thinking ability, mood and quality of life.
This new information comes almost exactly one year after Bayer pulled their statin drug off the market. A year ago, the statin drug known as Baycol was recalled after health officials linked the drug to more than 100 deaths worldwide from a rare muscle condition. No deaths have been reported from the newly discovered nerve damage in this study.
Cholesterol Drugs Actually Cause Heart Disease
Statin drugs for “hypercholesterolemia,” which some doctors call a non-illness, have become more potent and are being prescribed in higher doses to increasing numbers of people--even those with “normal” cholesterol levels. What is often overlooked by physicians is that patients taking statins become depleted in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness and heart failure.
A petition to label statin packages with a warning about statin-induced CoQ10 depletion has been issued to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with a review of animal and human studies supporting the issue. However, experts fear that the warning will not gain the attention it deserves.
Red Flags Daily July 10, 2003
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
Statin drugs are being prescribed like candy for millions of people. If you believe the experts when they issued their recommendations two years ago, nearly 40 million Americans should be on them.
What these experts don't realize is that statins kill people--lots of people--and they wound many, many more. All patients taking statins become depleted in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) eventually--those patients who start with relatively low CoQ10 levels (the elderly and patients with heart failure) begin to manifest signs/symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency relatively rapidly--in six to 12 months. Younger patients can tolerate the statins for several years before they begin developing symptoms.
The bottom line here is that when you treat the symptoms of high cholesterol with a drug you are in no way, shape or form treating the cause. It should come as no surprise that the artificial drugs cause serious side effects.
Why risk your health by taking drugs when there are some simple things you can do to normalize cholesterol levels?
The first is to normalize your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains. This works for most people unless they have a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia. On a side note, eliminating sugar and grains will inevitably cause beneficial side effects, such as normalizing your weight, increasing your energy and lowering your blood pressure and triglycerides.
Regular exercise is another important tool that may reduce your risk of heart disease.
For more information from Dr. Mercola go to www.mercola.com
Low Cholesterol Linked to Depression
Results of a study conducted by Dutch researchers provide additional evidence for a link between low cholesterol levels and an increased risk of depression in men. Investigators measured serum cholesterol levels in some 30,000 men, as part of a large screening program.
They compared the presence of depressive symptoms, anger, hostility, and impulsivity in these men, to men with cholesterol levels in the normal range. They found that men with chronically low cholesterol levels showed a consistently higher risk of having depressive symptoms.
Cholesterol may affect the metabolism of serotonin, a substance known to be involved in the regulation of mood as the researchers have previously shown that serotonin levels are also reduced in men with low levels of cholesterol.
Psychosomatic Medicine 2000; 62.
Low Cholesterol Albumin
Bad Sign in Elderly
High cholesterol level is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. But low cholesterol in combination with low levels of the protein albumin in the blood may indicate a high risk of decline and death in elderly people. Since both cholesterol and albumin are measured on standard blood tests, the two markers could help determine which senior citizens are at greatest risk for health problems.
In a 7-year period, those with low cholesterol and albumin had 3.5 times the risk of dying, the investigators found. The risk of functional decline—such as the ability to do housework or walk up and down stairs—was also greater in people with a combination of low albumin and cholesterol compared with those with normal cholesterol and albumin levels.
What we are beginning to find more and more is that people who have low cholesterol probably have some kind of low grade or subclinical inflammation. Low albumin in the blood can be an indicator of malnutrition, and possibly related to infection, inflammation, stress due to surgery, trauma, or liver or kidney disease.
Low Cholesterol Linked to Stroke Risk
High cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for stroke. But new research suggests that low levels of cholesterol in the blood may also increase stroke risk. The study linking low cholesterol to increased stroke risk was presented recently at the 24th American Heart Association Conference on Stoke and Cerebral Circulation which was discussed in last week's newsletter. About 80% of all stokes are ischemic, and 20% are hemorrhagic.
The researchers compared the cholesterol levels of the stoke patients to 3,700 other people in the Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound who had not had a stroke. They found that as an individual's cholesterol level rose above 230 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL), their risk of ischemic stroke increased. For example, a person with a cholesterol level of 280 mg/dL had twice the risk of ischemic stroke as a person with 230 mg/dL.
But the researchers also found that as cholesterol dropped, the risk of –hemorrhagic stroke increased significantly. A person with a cholesterol level below 180 mg/dL had twice the risk of the type of stroke compared with someone at 230 mg/dL.
About 10% of the population have cholesterol levels below 180 mg/dL. It is not clear if the cholesterol is indeed the cause of the stroke, or related to some other cardiovascular factor that is responsible. High cholesterol levels probably increase blockages.
The theory with low cholesterol is that it is necessary to maintain integrity of the vessel wall. Low levels of cholesterol might lead to "leaky vessels." The Japanese have typically low cholesterol levels and a higher than average rate of hemorrhagic stroke.
Lowering Cholesterol May Not Reduce Arterial Plaque
Lowering your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol with statin drugs may not reduce the rate at which plaque builds up in the arteries surrounding the heart, according to a study.
Researchers concluded that the commonly held belief, that lower cholesterol is better, does not extend to the reversal of calcified plaque progression.
American Journal of Cardiology August 1, 2003;92(3):334-6
If the medical profession knows this, why are they continuing to prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs?
Is it possible that they don't read their own research?
Statins May Have Killed More Than Reported
A rare but deadly side effect of the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins has killed and injured more people than the government has acknowledged the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen reported Monday.
The group's analysis of the Food and Drug Administration's side-effect registry linked 72 fatal and 772 non-fatal cases of muscle breakdown, known as rhabdomyolysis, to all six of the stains sold between October 1997 and December 2000. The study found 29 earlier deaths.
Two weeks ago, Bayer AG and the FDA revealed that 31 people had died after taking Bayer's own product, cerivastatin, but the FDA offered no totals for any of the other statins.
Bayer promptly pulled its drug off the market in every country but Japan. Many Baycol deaths occurred in people who had taken cerivastatin, sold as Baycol, at the highest dose or with a cholesterol drug called gemfibrozil. (The drug wasn't pulled from the Japanese market because it's sold there only in a low-dose form and gemfibrozil isn't available.) Almost 90% of the cases involving other statins didn't involve the second drug, the Public Citizen study found.
The Washington-based group hasn't asked that statins be withdrawn from the market because research indicates that they sharply cut blood cholesterol levels and can reduce the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke by roughly 30%.
Instead, the watchdog group petitioned the FDA to require a prominently displayed, strongly worded "black box" warning on the drugs' label and patient information sheets, listing such symptoms as muscle pain, tenderness, weakness and tiredness. The condition is reversible if patients stop taking the drug when symptoms appear.
"Doctors and patients are grossly, uninformed about this," says Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group. The petition, delivered Monday to the FDA, also asks the agency to send registered letters to every U.S. doctor.
John Jenkins, head of the FDA's office of drug evaluation, did not challenge Public Citizen's data. Though he says the FDA's study of individual cases suggests that the totals are too high, he offered no specifics. The agency is considering revising warnings for the drugs.
Greg Reaves of Merck & Co., which markets simvastatin, or Zocor, and lovastatin, or Mevacor, says it would be far riskier for patients to stop taking statins without first talking to their doctors, because heart disease and stroke kill more than 1 million people every year. For every rhabdomyolysis death linked to simvastatin, Reaves says the drug can be expected to save about 7,000 lives.
Statins were prescribed almost 100 million times in the USA last year, reports IMS Health.
Just as many medical procedures and ideas have been discarded as no longer useful or, more disastrously harmful, the concept of chemically lowering your cholesterol is about to become one of these. Look for it to happen after the best selling pharmaceutical drug's patient run out.
In the meantime, consider using "God" made options vs. "man" made chemicals. Healthy diet and exercise are the only real options when it comes to being healthy, fighting cholesterol and obesity, and living well.
Your local Doctor of Chiropractic, when used as your Primary Care Provider and wellness coach, will guide you in healthy, natural, safe and effective natural alternatives.
When you are healthy you will not require any pharmaceutical drugs. If you are taking a lifetime sentence of these drugs you will never be as healthy as you were meant to be.
Consider the information in this packet and do your own research when it comes to making life-long decisions concerning your health and your future.