Data from the CDC in 2017 show heart disease causes one death every 37 seconds in America and that it is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It created a financial burden of $219 billion in 2014 and 2015. Every 40 seconds someone has a heart attack. Those at higher risk are smokers and those who have high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and/or diabetes. Since researchers believed cholesterol levels contribute greatly to heart disease, pharmaceutical companies focused on developing a drug that might be marketed to millions when they first began searching for a “cure” to what is known as “hardening of the arteries.” After a historical journey beginning in the mid-20th century,3 the first statin drug was released in 1987 — lovastatin. As mainstream medicine continues to prescribe statin medications to a growing number of patients whether they currently have cholesterol levels deemed higher than normal or not, others are warning this trend is likely placing more people at risk than it is helping. Dr. Beatrice Golomb is a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, whose recent research has focused on statin use. In her answer to a question by a Scientific American reader, she writes about how statins affect your neurological system and, more specifically, your brain:7 "Between 2003 and 2012 roughly one in four Americans aged 40 and older were taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But studies show that statins can influence our sleep and behavior — and perhaps even change the course of neurodegenerative conditions, including dementia. In 2015, my colleagues and I observed that women taking statins, on average, showed increased aggression; men typically showed less, possibly because of reduced testosterone levels. Some men in our study did experience a marked increase in aggression, which was correlated with worsening sleep."
Yesterday (1.15.20) a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal was titled, “Heart Disease Roars Back, Even in Healthy Places.” The article reports, “Americans are dying of heart disease and stroke at a risking rate in middle age, normally considered the prime years of life.” How can that be? We have spent untold trillions of dollars fighting this scourge. Americans spend more on health care than any other people on the planet, yet these are the headlines we are faced with. Big Pharma would like you to believe that the lower your cholesterol level, the healthier you will be. Additionally, the Powers-That-Be (which includes conventional medicine) have been pushing the idea that everyone needs to be treated with cholesterol-lowering medications in order to lower the rate of heart disease. And, guess what? Over this time period, our cholesterol levels have been falling. If statins were so great at preventing heart disease, you would think that studies would show a declining heart disease rate over the last 25 years. That has not happened. You would think cardiologists would finally get the idea that the cholesterol=heart diseases hypothesis should be scrapped. But alas, statins are the most profitable medications in the history of Big Pharma. Over one-third of adult Americans are currently prescribed a statin medication. That number has been steadily increasing over the last 25 years.
Do Cholesterol-lowering Statin Drugs Really Work? Who Benefits? Who Has the Power to Cover Up the Side Effects?
For decades, the medical establishment in the U.S., Canada, and the UK has promoted statin drugs for an ever increasing population. Concomitantly, public health officials have advocated a low fat high carbohydrate diet, and the replacement of saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats. By following this regimen, the medical “authorities” claimed, will prevent heart disease. Nobel Prize winners Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Joseph Goldstein who discovered the central role that blood cholesterol played in the development of heart disease, prompted the pharmaceutical industry to develop statins. Although the scientists’ prediction that heart disease will have disappeared by the beginning of the 21st century, was decidedly wrong, the manufacturers of statins have profited beyond expectations – even though the drugs have not reduced heart disease. Like so many flawed, but widely recommended medical regimens, this one is not about improving public health. Independent physicians who are not industry lackeys agree that cardiovascular disease are likely to be preventable through modifying the diet by lower sugar and carbohydrates, increased exercise, and eliminating tobacco use. But healthy lifestyle regimens don’t generate billions of dollars!
A recent meta-analysis review study looked into the association of cholesterol-lowering statin drug use with herpes zoster or shingles outbreaks, and determined there was a strong association of higher risk of shingles for older people who take statin drugs. Herpes zoster, more commonly known as shingles, is a painful skin irritation marked by rows of small sores with tiny blisters. It often strikes people over 50 who have experienced chickenpox during childhood. It’s suspected that this occurs when one’s cellular immune system is lowered enough to allow activating the dormant varicella virus (chicken pox) remaining after an earlier recovery from it. What may appear at first as non-threatening small skin lesions can become painful and more debilitating than chickenpox. This reactivated, more virulent form of varicella virus can damage nerves enough to develop into postherpetic neuralgia, which rephrased in layperson's language is "after herpes came intense nerve pain." Acute and chronic peripheral nerve pain may exist in the areas where the shingles skin lesions are located. The consequences can be lethal.
Experts Review of 107 Scientific Studies: Cholesterol Does Not Cause Heart Disease – Statin Drugs are Useless
A recent massive study review coordinated by 16 medical scholars and practicing MDs throughout England, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Sweden, and the USA has confirmed the falsity of the lipid theory of heart disease that blames cholesterol, and the disinformation and dangers of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Its title is LDL-C Does Not Cause Cardiovascular Disease: a comprehensive review of current literature. LDL-C stands for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, aka the "bad cholesterol". This review was not funded by any government agency, non-government organization, or pharmaceutical company. It was not funded at all.
As the "baby-boomer" generations move into their senior years, they are seen as a "cash-cow" for pharmaceutical companies. For example, it is estimated that about one out of every four Americans over the age of 55 are currently being prescribed cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, in spite of the evidence that these drugs do not prolong lifespans, and have very serious side effects. Studies have confirmed that dementia, especially early onset dementia, is often caused by too many pharmaceutical drugs. A Harvard Medical School publication, "Guide to Coping with Alzheimer's Disease," states: "Medications are common culprits in mental decline. With aging, the liver becomes less efficient at metabolizing drugs, and the kidneys eliminate them from the body more slowly. As a result, drugs tend to accumulate in the body. Elderly people in poor health and those taking several different medications are especially vulnerable." As people age, they wind up taking, on average, more than four prescribed pharmaceutical drugs daily. Many of these medications are for heart disease prevention by lowering cholesterol and also for lowering blood pressure. These drugs are intended to be taken till death. The side effects from those drugs alone can create the need for more prescriptions. The pharmaceutical business model depends on sick customers staying sick, not healing them.
The least publicized actual side effect of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs that complements the dangerous intended effect of reducing cholesterol is they also block CoQ10 production, which is already waning among those aged 40 and older. That’s the age when people begin getting prescribed statins per the newest statin drug guidelines. The irony is that CoQ10 is vital for good heart health! CoQ10 is on high demand from cells in muscle tissue, and the muscle that works the most without rest is the heart. Instead of supplementing CoQ10 when one reaches the 40 year plus mark, he or she will likely be prescribed statin drugs for life as a preventative against cardiovascular disease and heart attack. As statin drugs decrease one’s already lowered CoQ10 production from aging, the heart can get slowly weaker, leading to congestive heart failure. This is when the heart keeps beating, but it is so weak it isn’t strong enough to maintain blood flow throughout to meet the body's needs. Instead of the pain that accompanies a sudden heart attack, gradually one begins to have less and less energy. Excessive tiredness comes in that may be incorrectly attributed to aging or being out of shape. Exercise only further exposes one’s breathing problems. Distended belly and leg swelling also occur. This can go on for years with increasing disability until there is a total heart failure. The newest guidelines for statins almost require physicians to put patients on statins as a preventative practice for life. As the CoQ10 deficiency worsens from statins, the poor patient goes into a debilitating spiral without any recognition to its true cause.
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.
The saturated fat lie is officially exposed now that the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a division of the BMJ (British Medical Journal) emphatically declared: “Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions.” The beginning of this very recent BMJ letter, 31 March 2017, reviewing several mega-studies, states early in their editorial: “Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong.” Wrong, unequivocally and indisputably, not maybe or could be or further studies needed, but completely wrong. It’s over. And the root cause of arterial inflammation is cited with dietary recommendations that lean toward the Mediterranean Diet.
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.