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 This study shows that upon re-examination of the data, including data that was previously unpublished, that not only does the data not support the lipid theory of heart disease, but it shows that taking interventions to lower one's cholesterol actually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.
Statins are the most profitable drugs in the history of the Big Pharma Cartel. In the U.S., the most stunning statistic about statin drugs is that nearly one-third of adult Americans currently take a statin medication. And, if the Powers-That-Be have their way, all Americans over the age of 50 would be prescribed a statin drug. Why do so many people take a statin drug? Statins are prescribed for elevated cholesterol levels with the idea that statin use will lower the mortality from heart disease. What most health care providers and patients don’t know is that twenty years of research has failed to show that statin use significantly lowers the risk of dying from heart disease. A recent British Medical Journal study looked at the mortality benefit from taking a statin medication for two to six years. They reported that if you are taking a statin medication for two to six years to prevent your first heart attack—this is referred to as primary prevention—your death will be postponed by an average of 3.2 days. If you have already suffered a heart attack and are taking a statin to prevent another cardiac event—this is referred to as secondary prevention—your death will be postponed an average of 4.1 days.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are the best-selling drugs of all time. Lipitor is by far the most profitable drug in the history of mankind among all pharmaceutical products. Sales to date from this one particular cholesterol-lowering statin drug have exceeded $140 billion. Before its patent expired, it outsold nearly all other drugs on the market combined! There is one major flaw with cholesterol-lowering drugs: they neither improve heart health nor prolong life according to scientific studies! They simply lower cholesterol levels, which is assumed to contribute to better health. However, our bodies need cholesterol, and a whole range of side effects are now known to accompany statin drug usage, such as neurological diseases, breast cancer, liver injury, memory loss, diabetes, and muscle damage. Since blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drugs like Lipitor now have expired patents, millions of dollars have been spent in research to develop new cholesterol-lowering drugs. In 2016 was announced that a new drug that Eli Lilly was developing to lower cholesterol was abandoned because it offered no improvement in heart health. Similar drugs have also failed.
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.
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.
Heart disease, as many of us know, is one of the leading causes of death in the US, killing about 610,000 people each year. Big Pharma—in the belief that cholesterol is the primary factor in heart disease—developed statin drugs that would lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The drugs, which have been accompanied by massive marketing campaigns, are huge moneymakers for the drug industry, to the tune of about $29 billion worth of sales in 2013. That’s the kind of outrageous money you make when you convince one in four Americans over the age of 45 to take statins. What the American Heart Association does not seem to understand is that cholesterol is vital to human health. We’ve noted in the past that cholesterol isn’t the ticking time bomb most people have been led to think—in fact, the real danger is that our cholesterol levels can get too low as we age! Even “bad” cholesterol is essential.
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.
My father was a cardiologist who started his practice in the 1970’s. In those days, the beauty and art of medicine were in the diagnosis of heart disease. They didn’t have many “tools” to treat patients. There were only a few pharmaceuticals and surgery was new on the scene. Fast forward to 2015. If you walk into a cardiology office you will walk out with a stack of prescriptions and orders for testing such as treadmills and ultrasounds. But what are the benefits?