How to Sift Out the Truth About Cholesterol
Scared of Statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs? You should be. What man tinkers with, often becomes Frankenstein.
First off, I am not a doctor. I don’t need to be to lower cholesterol, and you don’t either. You can lower your cholesterol with timed release Niacin, a water soluable B vitamin. The question is, do you really need to lower it to protect your heart?
I have always found it hard to believe that my body is manufacturing some substance to take me out, making more cholesterol than it needs, choking my arteries until my heart fails. Our bodies generally repair and heal themselves, not manufacture lethal substances. Clearly our war on cholesterol is misguided, drugs designed to moderate it are dangerous, and we need a better understanding of it’s role before we convict it.
After suffering memory problems and leg pains while on Stantins, I began researching cholesterol lowering drugs and found a growing community of doctors who reject the theory that cholesterol causes heart disease. I read numerous books, among them “The Cholesterol Myths,” by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD; “The Inflammation Cure,” by William Joel Meggs, MD, Phd and “Lipitor, Thief Of Memory by Duane Graveline, Jay S. Cohen and Kilmer McCully, and “Hidden Truth About Cholesterol Lowering Drugs” by Shane Ellison. Free thinkers, these doctors don’t get on board without hard factual evidence, and in the case of cholesterol as causative, there is a great lack of evidence, and a plethora of skewed studies. You can find a dozen more good books.
While boning up, I learned that Statin drugs can increase the risk of breast cancers, cause short and long term memory problems, and a host of side effects, that my doctor never told me about. She handed me a prescription without warning me about reported side effects like gastrointestinal pain and gas, bloating, constipation, vomiting and nausea. The worst fact I learned is that drug therapy has not been proven to lower mortality, and yet doctors keep pushing them. Since I am at high risk for breast cancer, my doctor should have considered
me a non-candidate for Statins. Herein lies the problem: The medical community isn’t even aware of many risks associated with using drugs
to lower cholesterol. They have been conditioned to see these drugs as “life saving” and perpetuate this thinking without question.
In his book, “The Cholesterol Myths,” Dr. Ravnskov says: “In the package insert for Statin drugs, you can read about the risk of various less danerous side effects although none of these was reported significantly more often in the treatment group. But nothing is mentioned about the possible risk of breast cancer, the only significant side effect.” On page 215 he states: “In any case, the aim of the treament was to lower mortality and most certainly no lowering was achieved.” “It is safe to assume that it is not a harmless enterprise to lower cholesterol by drugs.” He goes on to say that there is much more to the role that cholesterol plays in the body, that it is not the cause of heart disease, and that more research is needed before we go monkey-ing with things our bodies make naturally, since our bodies have worked well for us up to this point. Remember; We fed them better before heart disease became the malady of modern man.
Why do we need to take cholesterol lowering drugs if there is no proof they protect our hearts, especially if there are such significant side effects? What if there are even more side effects than those we are currently aware of, that lie in wait? Not one study shows that drug therapy lowers the death rate significantly, while the studies do suggest an increase in the risk of breast cancer by 15%.The long term effects from altering the ratio between good and bad cholesterol are not clearly understood, either. The evidence contraindicates drug therapy for lowering cholesterol, although many doctors may not know it, as their continuing education comes from biased drug company representatives, rather than the latest Journal of American Medicine article or their colleagues. What if by making nutritional changes, (adding supplements) and incorporating exercise we can eliminate heart disease and make dangerous drugs obsolete? Heart disease became prevalent when we stopped eating the way we did for centuries, whole foods that were unadulterated with modern additives, and stopped doing hard physical work like carrying the water from the well, and chopping firewood.
So much of the modern diet is fast food, high in sodium, additives, hormones, antibiotics and contaminants, coupled with very little nutrition. We spend the day sitting at computers, inviting an early demise to our hearts through inactivity as well, since the body was designed to work and move, and must do so to stay healthy. Embrace nutrition’s role in health; Eat well, eliminate the risks associated with processed foods and man made pharmaceuticals, and supplement a healthy life with vitamins A through E. Don’t deprive yourself and suffer needlessly on low fat or no fat diets, which don’t work anyway due to the way they hammer your metabolism, and may not prove to be good for you in the longrun. Read and think for yourself in order to sift out the truth about cholesterol: Be proactive in your own health, and don’t be surprised if you meet resistance from your doctor. They bully us into taking drugs many times because they believe the drugs do good. They’re angry when we don’t follow their directions or question their authority. Some stagnate, too busy to read the latest research and they struggle against their own set of problems while diagnosing and treating disease. Be nicely assertive, and insist that they listen to your views; They are paid well enough to do so.
Question anything and everything when it comes to your health, and sift out the truth if you can discern it. If you can’t, choose the path that causes the least harm. I had to weigh out whether I wanted to die of the heart disease my doctor claimed might take me at any time, simply because I had elevated cholesterol and tryglicerides, or an agonizing death from breast cancer: Let’s see: Quick death by heart attack on this hand without drugs, or maybe years of cancer treatments, pain and suffering on that hand….hymm? I think I’ll take the quick death.
Luckily, my doctor was wrong. It turns out that it was a good thing that I didn’t just blindly follow her advice without questioning.
I know every other commercial touts some wonder drug, conditioning you to accept their claims and swallow their pills, but the bottom line is, drug companies make billions of dollars on Statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs, and this fact alone should make you stop and think. Remember Vioxx? Erythromycin? I hope you can remember a few more, while sifting out the truth for yourself.