For many decades, the idea that saturated fats caused heart disease reigned supreme, and diets shifted sharply away from saturated animal fats such as butter and lard, toward partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine. However, as people abandoned saturated fats and replaced them with trans fats, rates of heart disease continued on a steady upward climb. And, the more aggressive the recommendations for low-fat diets, the worse this trend became. Last year, butter consumption in the US reached a 40-year peak, and the resurgence of butter has been attributed to a shift in consumer preferences away from processed foods and back toward natural foods. This is a positive trend, showing that the old myth claiming that saturated fat is bad for you is finally starting to crumble. People are also starting to recognize that refined sugar is far worse for your heart than dietary fat was, and processed low-fat foods are typically loaded with sugar. According to the film, the long held view that saturated fats and cholesterol caused heart disease came under closer scrutiny in the 1990s, when researchers like Kurt Ellison with the Boston University started taking notice of what became known as the French Paradox. The French eat a lot more fat than many other nations, yet they don't have higher rates of heart disease. For example, in the UK people on average eat 13.5 percent of their total calories as saturated fat, whereas the French eat 15.5 percent saturated fat, yet their rate of heart disease deaths is about one-third of that in the UK — just 22 heart disease deaths per 100,000 compared to 63 per 100,000 in the UK.
Let’s look at statin guidelines. The new guidelines recommend nearly half of Americans over the age of 40—more than 50 million people—may qualify for taking a statin drug in order to lower their heart attack risk. I have written in my blog posts, newsletter, and in my book, The Statin Disaster, that statin drugs fail nearly 99% who take them—they neither prevent heart attacks nor have they been shown to help people live longer. Where is the evidence that statins help lower coronary calcium levels? There isn’t any. In fact, the opposite is true: research has shown that statin use actually increases the deposition of calcium in coronary arteries. Yes, you read that right. In fact, researchers reported, “…coronary artery calcium progression was fastest among participants using statins…” This wasn’t the only study to report that fact. Other researchers have concluded, “Independent of their plaque-regressive effects, statins promote coronary atheroma calcification.” Folks, evidence-based medicine should be used and embraced. It is too bad that conventional medicine fails to use it when it comes to statins (as well as many other drug therapies). The evidence behind the statin studies should expose statins as one of the greatest failures in modern medicine.
The best metric for measuring the effectiveness of a drug is the NNT or the number of patients needed to be treated with the drug to prevent 1 clinically significant endpoint. In the case of statins and presumably in the case of the new class of drug to lower cholesterol the NNT for primary prevention is between 100-500!! I would not want to take an expensive dangerous drug that is likely to increase my incidence of diabetes (which in and of itself increased heart attacks), heart failure, dementia, muscle aches, fatigue, and oxidative stress as a result of lower vitamin D and coenzyme Q10. For what? To lower my chances of an MI or stroke by less than 1%? I would rather take up jogging and eat better. I would rather bet on black. The statin drugs have been a disaster as they don’t work in the majority of people who take them. Now, we want to spend over $14,000 per year in a new class of cholesterol-lowering drugs? We must be out of our minds.
One in three Americans aged 40 and over take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, and nearly half of people over age 75 are on them, despite their risks, and the fact that “high” cholesterol is not always the enemy it’s made out to be. Statins have a long list of side effects, and may even lead to the very problem you’re trying to avoid — heart disease — as the drug inhibits both Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin K2. Statins also reduce squalene, which can raise your risk of immune system dysfunction. Now, the drug industry is rolling out yet another cholesterol-lowering medication that may turn out to be even worse than statins.
A recent study in Critical Care Medicine is titled, “Lipid Paradox in Acute Myocardial Infarction- The Association with 30-Day In-Hospital Mortality.” This study followed 724 hospitalized patients who suffered an acute heart attack (i.e., myocardial infarction). The scientists attempted to clarify the relationship between the lipid profiles and the 30-day mortality in patients who suffered a heart attack. The authors found that those with lower LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels had a significantly elevated mortality risk when compared to patients with higher LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Why would lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels be associated with a higher mortality rate? Fats from triglycerides are a major energy source and LDL-cholesterol is critical for cell membrane synthesis and is needed to fight infections. Adequate LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels may be critical for cell function and survival in the case of a heart attack—as well as in other conditions. Folks, we have been hoodwinked to believe that we must all take cholesterol-lowering medications in order to prevent and/or treat heart disease. People do not get heart disease because their cholesterol level is elevated. Remember, 50% of patients who suffer a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels.
Four Japanese researchers published an analysis on cholesterol guidelines and statin drugs in the April 2015 edition of the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, the Scottish doctor who wrote "The Great Cholesterol Con" recently stated on his blog that he has read the entire 116 page review: "For many years I have told anyone who will listen that, if you have a high cholesterol level, you will live longer. Equally, if you have a low cholesterol level, you will die younger. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fact. The older you become the more beneficial it is to have a high cholesterol level. This fact has become more difficult to demonstrate recently as so many people have been put on statins that the association between cholesterol levels and mortality has been twisted, bent and pumelled into the weirdest shapes imaginable. However, Japan, provides some very interesting data."
Another study has confirmed that statin drug use increases one's chance of developing diabetes. Statin drugs are the all-time leading prescription drugs sold in the U.S. and around the world, prescribed by doctors to lower people's cholesterol levels. It is estimated that one out of every 4 people in the United States over the age of 50 is currently taking statin drugs for cholesterol. This current study just published looked at 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare, the military health system. They found that those taking statin drugs to control their cholesterol were 87 percent more likely to develop diabetes. The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. This is just the latest study to link statin drugs to diabetes, especially in women. Studies published in 2014 caused over 2000 lawsuits to be filed against Pfizer, the maker of the best-selling drug of all-time, Lipitor.
Coronary artery calcification has been found to be associated with cardiovascular events. In other words, there are more cardiovascular events when there is a higher coronary artery calcification score. The coronary calcium score can be measured with a coronary CT scan or a coronary intravascular ultrasound scan. Coronary scans are frequently ordered by cardiologists and primary care physicians. If the coronary calcium score on the CT is elevated, the doctor is most likely to prescribe a statin medication. You might think that a statin medication, if it was effective at treating and preventing heart disease, would be shown to decrease coronary calcium burden. Well, you would think wrong. Statin drugs are the most profitable drugs in the history of Big Pharma. Presently, over 28% of all U.S. adults take a statin drug. Statins are prescribed by doctors to treat high cholesterol levels and heart disease. Furthermore, the Powers-That-Be proclaim that statins will prevent a healthy person from getting heart disease. Remember, just because the Powers-That-Be continue to make the above statements does not make them true.
The British Medical Journal has published a new meta-analysis looking at randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that were available to US and UK regulatory committees that adopted low-fat dietary guidelines in the 1970s and 1980s to supposedly reduce coronary heart disease (CHD). The authors of the study state that to date, no analysis of the evidence base for recommending a low-fat diet to reduce heart disease has ever been studied. So the authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the RCTs that were published prior to 1983, which examined the relationship between dietary fat, serum cholesterol and the development of coronary heart disease. After analyzing multiple studies that included 2467 males, the authors found "no differences in all-cause mortality and non-significant differences in CHD mortality, resulting from the dietary interventions." They therefore concluded that: "Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from RCTs." How many lives have been ruined by the low-fat theory of heart disease?
Statins work by poisoning an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) which is needed to produce cholesterol, adrenal and sex hormones, memory proteins and maintain cell energy. The highest concentration of cholesterol in the body is found in the brain. There were 36,605 reports of brain dysfunction from the FDA Adverse Events Databases which included memory impairment, transient cases of global amnesia, confusion, paranoia, disorientation, depression, and dementia related to statin use. Remember, this number is thought to represent only 1-10% of the true number of adverse drug reactions.