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The Truth About Statin Medications

More than 40 million people around the world take cholesterol lowering drugs called statins. For the last four decades fat and cholesterol have been the villains in heart disease. Saturated fat is linked to artery clogging. Lowering cholesterol has become a popular theme and statin medications are the most prescribed drugs today. The National Heart Foundation guidelines have clearly stated that saturated fat and cholesterol must be reduced to lower the risk of heart disease.

The idea that saturated fat clogs your arteries by raising cholesterol levels first came into being in the 1950’s. Nutritionist Ancel Keys became intrigued with the soaring rates of heart disease after World War II. He compared the rates of heart disease and fat consumption in six countries. The more fat people ate, the higher the rate of heart disease. But Keys withheld data from sixteen other countries. Later when researchers plotted all 22 countries the correlation wasn’t found to be perfect. Also just because there is a correlation does not mean it is the cause. The study by Ancel keys is a textbook example of manipulating the data to get the result that you want. Researchers carried out half a dozen trials in the next 15 years that failed to confirm the idea that you could live longer by reducing the saturated fat in your diet or reducing the total fat in your diet. The American Heart Association was also reluctant to lend credence to Keys theory. But he managed to score a position on the association’s advisory panel where he pushed for the acceptance of his ideas. Finally they made a change and claimed that dietary fat was a cause of heart disease.

Two trials costing over 250 million dollars and involving hundreds of thousands of patients failed to prove that lowering saturated fat would reduce your risk of dying from heart disease. The authorities responded by saying that they must have done the study wrong. Hundreds of articles refuting the cholesterol hypothesis have been published in the world’s leading medical journals but they rarely get noticed by mainstream media.

Statin medications became popular because they lowered cholesterol like no other medication before them. This was great news to the people who were pushing the cholesterol theory. But the reality is lowering cholesterol with medication doesn’t guarantee you won’t have a heart attack. Over the decades drug companies have had an enormous vested interest in statin drugs.

How do Statin medications work

Statins work by disabling a critical step early in the formation of cholesterol. They block a biochemical pathway in also very high up in the pathway it blocks the production of a compound called Mevalonate that’s the precursor for many other compounds when you block this pathway you block the ability of cells to bio synthesize cholesterol.

statin medications

Think of it as a tree and you’re cutting it off at the trunk then all the branches will be affected. So not only do you lower cholesterol you lower other compounds. One of those compounds is coq10. Heart muscles are active 24 hours a day and use a huge amount of energy. Hence the heart muscle has the highest concentration of CoQ10. By taking statin medications to reduce cholesterol we are blocking the most important molecules in the function of heart muscle. So we are raising the risk of heart muscle failure.

Statins also damage muscle tissue causing permanent so pain and weakness. A 2010 review of statins found that up to 15% of statin uses experienced muscle problems. Also the breakdown of muscle tissue releases a protein called myoglobin. Myoglobin degrades into a chemical that damages the kidneys and can cause a fatal kidney disease called rhabdomyolysis. Other complications can include blood clots and cardiac arrest. Statins also damage the liver which causes fatigue, pain in the upper abdomen, dark colored urine or yellowing of the skin or eyes. These are signs the statins may be damaging your liver. Statins also damage the nervous system.

Peripheral neuropathy is one symptom beginning with tingling and prickling of the hands of the feet as well as numbness. These symptoms can escalate to burning pain and paralysis even when statins are used in relatively low doses. The incidence of severe motor and sensory neuropathy increases as much as 14 times over patients who are not taking statins. Then there are other problems like mental confusion and memory loss similar to Alzheimer’s. They also cause mood changes, depression, increased hostility and aggression. A study at Harvard Medical School released in January of 2012 found that long-term statin users increase their odds of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 50%.

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Conclusion

High cholesterol is not a disease, it is a risk factor like being overweight or a poor lifestyle. For those at the highest risk, the drugs for lowering cholesterol could prevent a future heart attack or stroke. At the same time drugs to lower cholesterol could seriously injure or kill you. A healthy diet and lifestyle will not only lower cholesterol levels it will also reduce the risk of heart disease.

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The Real Cause Of Heart disease

heart disease

We have been told repeatedly that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease. The new guideline advises that everyone over age 40 should consider taking statins regardless of whether they have a history of cardiovascular disease. This has expanded the universe of statins which benefits pharma companies. The villain here is cholesterol.

But by lowering cholesterol levels does heart disease disappear. In the Cochrane report 20ll, the authors reviewed data from 14 trials involving 34,272 patients. Outcomes in patients given statins were compared with outcomes in patients given placebo or usual care. Results suggested that there was not enough evidence to recommend the widespread use of statins in the primary prevention of heart disease.

Researchers have discovered that LDL or bad cholesterol can be distinguished into two categories based on their size i.e. small LDL and large LDL. The small LDL is damaging, because of their small size they penetrate into the endothelial wall of the arteries resulting in inflammation and arterial damage. This means that two patients with the same amount of LDL may not have the same risk of heart disease.

So basically, cholesterol is not the real cause of heart disease. The real cause is inflammation. Refined food, meat, trans fat cause this inflammation in the artery. This inflammation takes time to repair. But if you keep eating the same food which is causing inflammation then the repair work is not going to be completed. Deposition of plaque and cholesterol will take place over a period of time. Statins do not do anything to reduce or repair the inflammation. They also have a lot of side effects. But once a patient starts taking these drugs, he is hooked for life.

In fact, 75% of cholesterol is produced by the body. It is required for the production of hormones. Cell walls are made of cholesterol. Even the brain requires cholesterol. So instead of trying to put out the fire which is inflammation, we are trying to put off the smoke.

So when did all this start?

Ancel Keys was paid to study the relation between fat and heart disease. So he included some countries and purposely excluded some countries and came to the conclusion that fat and cholesterol was a threat. Then someone took the same data and came to the conclusion that sugar was the real villain. Also, lots of research papers show omega-3 fatty acids are good, but then there are papers suggesting the opposite.

To free yourself from the clutches of medicine you must follow the lifestyle recommended in “The China Study”. No matter how severe your health condition may be it can be reversed.

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What not to eat?

Non-veg

Dairy products

Oil

Sugar, salt, and refined products.

Make food your medicine and you will remain healthy.