By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
Is the earth round? Yes.
Can heart disease kill you? Yes.
Will statin drugs save your life? Whoa, there. Not so fast…
See how tricky that was? That’s exactly the game the drug companies are playing these days. It’s a shell game of assumptions, conjecture and advertising. And they are banking on the fact that millions of people – terrified of heart attacks and convinced cholesterol is the culprit – will believe them.
But the negative side effects of statin drugs are piling up higher than you can see. Most recently, there’s a study showing postmenopausal women who take statins have a higher risk of getting diabetes.
And still, the call for putting more and more healthy people on statin drugs gets louder. It has even been suggested that we put statins in the water supply, along with fluoride… just to make sure even our children get it. They say it’s that effective.
But effective at what, might be the real question…
It’s not the first time a connection has been made between statin drugs and diabetes, but it’s the most compelling data we’ve gotten so far. It emerged from the long-running Women’s Health Initiative. A staggering 50% increase in diabetes among longtime statin users.
There is a circular pattern to this news that’s especially disturbing.
Statins are supposed to lower your risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, cardiovascular disease is considered a major complication of diabetes!
About 65% of people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke than those without diabetes. And people with type 2 diabetes also tend to have high rates of high blood pressure, unbalanced lipids and obesity.
So if statins are supposed to decrease the risk of heart disease, how can they simultaneously increase the risk of diabetes, which can lead to… heart disease?
The co-author of the study is quoted as saying he doesn’t think the finding is cause for alarm, just for concern.
Well, I’m more concerned… I’m alarmed by it. And I think you should be, too. Especially since many doctors – and the pharmaceutical companies – are pushing statins on healthy people for prevention, not just treatment.
The truth about cholesterol is it isn’t the enemy the drug companies would have you think. And in fact, cholesterol is critical for many of our body’s functions. It is necessary for cell health in all mammals, and plays a role in cell membrane synthesis, in the synthesis of vitamin D and every hormone in your body. In fact, many cells begin as a cholesterol molecule before becoming another type of cell, such as cortisol, prenenolone, progesterone, estrogen, DHEA and testosterone.
Some research even indicates cholesterol may act as an antioxidant. Your body manufactures the vast majority of your cholesterol with only a smaller percentage coming from the food you eat. So why would it manufacture more unless the body needed a bit more?
The truth is that the relationship between cholesterol and the rest of the body is more symbiotic than we realize. So when statins cut off cholesterol production at the source, your heart is not the only affected part of your body.
It’s quite likely that statin drugs are exacerbating the problem, not solving it. And with this new research, it also seems possible that we don’t even know for sure what the problem is.
But once you build a multi-million dollar drug empire on a problem, it’s awfully hard to make it go away.
As a class of drugs, statins have been a gold rush for Big Pharma.
As the idea of lowering cholesterol took hold, the pool of possible customers grew exponentially each year. Right up until today, as more and more healthy people are leaving their annual physical with a statin prescription… just in case.
That’s right, I said customers. Not people. Not patients. We have to remember that the pharmaceutical industry is big business. This is as much an economic issue as a health issue – maybe more.
Here’s what no one is talking about…
Statin drugs are coming off patent protection. Prices plummet as generics enter the market. Leaving drug companies scrambling to replace billions of dollars to their bottom line.
Lipitor was first to come off patent protection, at the end of 2011. And now, Pfizer is scrambling to replace the $7.2 billion a year moneymaker. After a few promising trials for replacement drugs went belly up, they started getting creative.
Their big idea? Turn Lipitor into an over-the-counter drug. Which requires increasing public demand – and fear – so they can make up in volume what they were earning under patent protection.
It’s not health. It’s simple economics.
They aren’t going to make the big bucks marketing to doctors anymore. So they’re coming straight for the consumer.
Meanwhile, there are a number of natural approaches to maintaining a healthy balance of cholesterol without compromising your blood sugar, muscle function, liver and cognitive function. And yet, encouraging patients to try these approaches to health is considered “alternative” medicine.
Yes, I think the world has gone mad. And yes, it’s up to you to take control of your own health… and not buy the hype.
Here are some things you can try to manage your cholesterol naturally, and sidestep statins:
- Policosanol: 10mg – 20mg a day
- Ubiquinol: 200mg – 300mg a day if you are taking a statin, 100 mg/day if not
- Turmeric: 600mg – 1,200mg a day
- L-Arginine: 750mg to 3 grams a day, taken between (not with) meals
- Niacinimide: Take as Inositol hexaniacinate, 1-3gms daily
- Red Yeast Rice: Because of FDA scare tactics, many red yeast rice supplements do not have adequate amounts of the active natural lovastatin ingredient (similar to the ingredient in Mevacor, protected by the FDA). If you find a brand containing it, you will want to take a minimum 2000- 2400 mgm./day.
- Avoid cow’s milk dairy products and refined sugar.
You can read more about natural ways to naturally manage cholesterol in past issues, so do follow the links below for further information. Even if you are currently taking statins, it’s possible to stop. The drug companies are going to do everything in their power to convince you otherwise, but plenty of people do it. You’ll want to work with your doctor to keep a check on your cholesterol while you are making these changes.
Here’s the thing… the drug companies have $7.2 billion a year in profits to protect. That’s their challenge. And you have a long, healthy life to live. That’s your challenge.
I know whose side I’m on!
- Annie L. Culver, Statin Use and Risk of Diabetes Mellitus in Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative, Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(2):144-152.
- Smith LL., Another cholesterol hypothesis: cholesterol as antioxidant. Free Radic Biol Med. 1991;11(1):47-61.