Aggressive lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been the cornerstone of preventative cardiology for decades. Statins are widely used as the go-to solution for the prevention of heart disease owing to their ability to slash LDL-C levels, a ‘surrogate marker’ of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Indeed, statins are one of the most widely prescribed class of drugs in the world. But this phenomenon begs two questions: is the enthusiasm for aggressive lowering of LDL-C justified; and is pharmacotherapy superior to lifestyle intervention? In summary, for many patients at high risk of CVD, one of the safest and most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke is to consume a high fat and low glycaemic load Mediterranean diet and engage in regular exercise. At the very least, exercise interventions are often similar to drug interventions in terms of their mortality benefits in the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, and do not come with side effects.
As we have reported frequently here at Health Impact News, sales of drugs to lower cholesterol are the top selling drugs of all time. It is a $100 billion a year industry. The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor is the best-selling drug of all time, grossing over $140 billion, with no serious close competitors in the history of pharmaceutical drugs. One out of every four Americans over the age of 50 is taking a statin drug to lower their cholesterol. However, these block buster drugs have run through their patent life, and now generics dominate the market. So Big Pharma is looking at new ways to patent new drugs to lower your cholesterol. The latest? A vaccine is being developed to lower your cholesterol. In recent years, class action lawsuits have been stacking up against statin drug manufacturers due to the terrible side effects, including diabetes. Is this another reason for turning to vaccines to "cure" cholesterol? In this country, lawsuits against vaccines are prohibited while civil suits against prescription or over-the-counter drugs are allowed.
The pharmaceutical empire strikes back. After the recent few years of increasing “statin deniers” getting an occasional mainstream media appearance, vested interest parties are coming up with studies to “prove” statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) are safe. The problem is most folks on the fence, as most are, will be distracted by these studies no matter how biased and without merit they may be. Doctors who know the truth about statins are forced to pick any such statin safety study apart in response in order to straighten out doctors who prescribe statins based on pharmaceutical reps’ presentations and industry biased studies. One such doctor who is outspokenly critical of statin drugs, Scottish General Practitioner (GP) Malcom Kendrick, M.D., recently focused on a Lancet paper that intended to prove side effects from statin drugs were not only greatly exaggerated, but all in the patients' heads. According to the paper, patients were suffering from the “nocebo effect,” due to all the rising information regarding statin side effect symptoms publicly reported. In addition to his analysis of the study and comparisons to other studies, Dr. Kendrick offers his personal and professional experiences of taking patients off statins and watching them recover from torn or ravaged muscles and early onset dementia, among other side effects. Dr. Kendrick’s father, whose side effects had him wheel chair bound until his doctor-son convinced him to quit taking statins is an example he offered. No nocebo effects had them in such terrible shape that was relieved when they got off statins.
A 2017 meta-analysis of 29 studies has concluded that consuming dietary dairy fat has no negative effects on all cause mortality or mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD). This includes dairy fats of all types. One of the researchers, Ian Givens of England’s Reading University, commented on the record: “There’s been a lot of publicity over the last 5 to 10 years about how saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and a belief has grown up that they must increase the risk, but they don’t.” Actually, dairy and other animal sourced saturated fats have been wrongly condemned as a contributor to obesity and higher cardiovascular risk since Ancel Keys' notorious seven countries study over 50 years ago, which spawned the “lipid theory” of heart disease and obesity.
Since 2015 there have been a few pharmaceutical companies working on a new cholesterol-lowering drug type as a replacement for the older class of statin drugs, such as Lipitor. Lipitor was the best-selling drug of all time, but its patent expired a few years ago. The new mantra is getting LDL cholesterol levels lower than statin drugs. The drug class of these new cholesterol-lowering drugs is a PCSK9 inhibitor. Of course, this is madness for two reasons: (1) Cholesterol and fats, in general, are not the cause of heart disease; (2) cholesterol is vital for hormone production and nervous system and brain function. The fact is that cholesterol is vitally essential for good health, and lowering cholesterol artificially can and does lead to more immediate health problems, and a lower life expectancy. So why the focus for a new cholesterol-lowering drug? Once again, we follow the money.
War on Saturated Fats Has Harmed People in Poor Countries Who Shunned Traditional Fats Like Coconut Oil
One of the most pervasive dangerous food myths has been the lipid hypothesis or theory of heart disease. It proclaims that eating foods containing saturated fats are the root cause of obesity and heart disease. It has prevailed for over a half-century and is only now beginning to deteriorate. The most obvious harm done by the false propaganda against saturated fats in traditional foods are with regions that relied heavily on saturated fats for centuries, especially edible tropical oils such as coconut oil prior to the lipid hypothesis or theory's dogma that permeated and replaced their traditional diets. A recent paper, “Coconut oil and palm oil's role in nutrition, health and national development: A review,” was published in the September 2016 Ghana Medical Journal (GMJ).
Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed. A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level lived longer. The authors have called for a re-evaluation of the guidelines for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, because “the benefits from statin treatment have been exaggerated”.
Health Impact has presented a great deal of material thoroughly explaining the dangers of statin drugs and the wrong information that has been publicized regarding saturated fats and cholesterol over the years. In a nutshell, the cholesterol-saturated fat lipid theory of heart disease is false, and not supported by science. Statin drugs are harmful, and cholesterol is necessary for brain and hormone health. If you're convinced that modern medical heart health dogma misses the mark, you should know about inexpensive and effective natural solutions, starting with the least known suppressed protocol.
Is saturated fat really the health hazard it’s been made out to be? Dr. Aseem Malhotra is an interventional cardiologist consultant in London, U.K., who gained quite a bit of publicity after the publication of his peer-reviewed editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2013. In it, he seriously challenges the conventional view on saturated fats, and reviews how recent studies have failed to find any significant association between saturated fat and cardiovascular risk. In fact, Malhotra reports that two-thirds of people admitted to hospitals with acute myocardial infarction have completely normal cholesterol levels.
In 2013 we reported on the research fraud regarding a scientific study that was used to support the theory that high levels of cholesterol and saturated fats were linked to an increase in heart disease. This study, the Sydney Diet Heart Study, was supposed to support the claim that dietary saturated fats led to high levels of heart disease, and that one needed to switch to polyunsaturated oils and also take cholesterol-lowering drugs to avoid these so-called dangerous levels of cholesterol. But researchers uncovered data that was not previously published which contradicted the conclusions of the study. The problem is that the science has never supported this theory, the lipid theory of heart disease. But it did create a multi-billion dollar industry for cholesterol-lowering drugs and polyunsaturated oils, the new expeller-pressed vegetable oils mainly from corn and soybeans, that only entered the food chain after World War II and the age of industrialization. The British Medical Journal published a report in 2016 showing more research fraud on another landmark study from the past that supposedly showed this link between dietary fats, cholesterol, and heart disease. This time, they examined the data from the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, carried out between 1968 and 1973. This study shows that upon re-examination of the data, including data that was previously unpublished, that not only does the data not support the lipid theory of heart disease, but it shows that taking interventions to lower one's cholesterol actually increased mortality rates.