Insanity, the cliché says, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But that’s exactly what mainstream medicine has been doing with cholesterol since the 2424.
They lower the target for cholesterol numbers… push levels down by using more and more statin drugs… and then repeat the process when it doesn’t work.
Right now, the mainstream says a third of U.S. adults “should” take statins. That’s more than 78 million people. Even though the number of adults with “high” cholesterol dropped by 40% between 2000 and 2014.
Statin use also went up by 40% during that same period. The “experts” say this proves statin use lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke. But sales of sushi in the U.S. jumped 28% during the same period. So maybe it was the sushi.
Or maybe Americans are taking better care of themselves. As a new study points out, the link between statin drugs and heart health isn’t all that firm.
And the benefits of these drugs may not be worth the risk.
Cholesterol’s Damage Called Into Question
In 2016, an international team reviewed 19 studies. The studies included 30 groups of adults. 68,094 total subjects, all over 60.
For 28 of the 30 groups “bad” (LDL) cholesterol was inversely related to all-cause mortality. That is, people with higher LDL levels were less likely to die than people with lower LDL levels.
And this isn’t the first time a study has contradicted cholesterol theory. A 2009 study also disagreed. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) doctors reviewed cholesterol and heart attack data from 541 hospitals.
Over 6 years, they found 136,905 heart attack patients with recorded cholesterol levels Almost three-quarters had healthy LDL levels. And nearly half had LDL levels in the “ideal” range.
Of course, the researchers decided that meant cholesterol guidelines were too high.
Because the mainstream is really good at doing the same thing over and over… and expecting a different result.
Meanwhile, a few leading scientists haven’t been wearing their blinders. And they’re calling out the lunacy.
Try an Apple a Day Instead
Dr. Kailash Chand is about as mainstream as they come. He’s deputy chairman of the British Medical Association. So you may be surprised to learn he took himself off statin drugs.
Why? Because – like many others on statins – they made him sick. Dr. Chand says the only people who benefit from the widespread use of statins are the drug companies.
National guidelines in several countries now say millions more should take statins. In Britain, two experts have asked the National Health Service to back down.
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, a cholesterol expert, and Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiology specialist, say drug companies downplay the side effects of these drugs. They point to drug company studies that show only 1% of statin users experience side effects. Yet independent studies show 20% of patients suffer negative effects.
The editor in chief of the British Medical Journal, Fiona Godlee, has also weighed in. She notes only a few dozen people have seen the studies behind the new guidelines. Which makes you wonder what they’re hiding.
Dr. Chand also notes one study shows eating an apple a day has as much effect on cholesterol as statin drugs.
Modest Benefits… Big Side Effects
Doctors at the University of British Columbia publish a watchdog newsletter called Therapeutics Letter. In 2014, one issue was dedicated to statins.
In it, they pointed out statin’s side effects are generally understated. Among those side effects are a higher risk of muscle pain, liver and kidney problems, bleeding in the brain, and an increased risk of diabetes.
The doctors also pointed out that statins generally provide a very modest benefit.
Compare that to a recent study reported by the Cleveland Clinic. This study shows men taking statins raise their risk of diabetes by 46%.
Ironically, diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. So statins may actually raise your risk of the very problem they’re supposed to prevent.
If your doctor suggests taking statins – or you’re already taking them – it may be worth your while to discuss alternatives. Lifestyle changes and supplements – such as red yeast rice – can make a big difference in cholesterol levels. All without nasty side effects.
For an even bigger benefit, you could also try eating an apple a day.
About the Author: Jason Kennedy is a celebrated investigative health writer and the author of The X-Factor Revolution and Beyond the Blue Zone. With over 10 years of experience working with today’s leading alternative and anti-aging doctors, Jason shares his insider status and access to the latest breakthroughs with thousands of readers from around world.
Ravnskov, U., et al, “Lack of an association or an inverse association between low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and mortality in the elderly: a systematic review,” BMJ Open. 2015; 6(6).
Champeau, R., “Most heart attack patients’ cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk,” UCLA Newsroom. Jan 12, 2009.
Johnston, L., “Health chief slams statins: Millions face terrible side effects as prescription escalates,” The Express (UK). Mar 2, 2014.
“Take Statins? What You Need to Know about Diabetes Risk,” Cleveland Clinic. Jul 2015.
© Copyright 2017 Discovery Health Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.