Statins have been shown to reduce the risk of all-cause mortality among individuals with a clinical history of coronary heart disease, but it is the prescribing of statins as a ‘preventive’ for those without such history that is the issue here. They are routinely being given to people who are deemed at risk due to age and to lower cholesterol levels but there is so far no proof that they are of benefit for such people, and particularly not for women.
Case History Number One
Martha is 55 years old, healthy and no history of heart disease. Nonetheless, Martha has been taking a statin drug for “high cholesterol” under the care of “the top cardiologist” in South Florida for the past five years. Martha has also been under my care taking a bioidentical hormone program for menopausal symptoms, and doing very well. Every six months, we run a lab panel which always shows low cholesterol of 170, courtesy of her statin anti-cholesterol drug.
Every time Martha comes into the office to review her lab results, I print out a 2004 JAMA article by Judith Walsh, MD who reviewed thirteen statin drug clinical trials from 1966 to 2003 and from which Dr. Walsh concluded that cholesterol lowering drugs provide no health benefit for women. I give her this article and, at the same time, explain to her that no woman should be on a statin drug. Lowering cholesterol with a statin drug has no health benefit for women, that’s a fact, and public information is readily available.
Every six months I recommend to Martha stopping the statin drug, and every six month, her cardiologist puts her back on the statin drug. This has been going on for three years now.
On her last visit she is sitting in my office recounting multiple health problems for which she sees numerous doctors: back pain, asthma, sinus infections, skin problems, and allergies. I suggested to Martha the possibility that many of her health problems are caused by the low cholesterol from the statin drug. Martha finally sees the light, goes home and tosses the bottle of pills into the garbage can.
About a week later, Martha called me and reported, “I feel so much better off that statin drug, thank you so much! “. Apparently, the statin drug was causing adverse health effects, and Martha was now feeling much better. This case illustrates the difficulty in convincing patients to stop their statin drug. It is difficult to counter the drug company propaganda, and convince these patients they are harming their health with the statin drugs. Many continue to believe in the myth that cholesterol causes heart disease, and they go on to become statin drug medical victims. I see them every day. When we have a success like Martha who finally gets off her statin drug, this is a cause for celebration.
Case history Number Two
In case you think the non-benefits of statins only apply to men, Roger is a seventy one year old retired executive, and an avid tennis player. He has no history of coronary artery disease and has always been healthy. Two years ago, his cardiologist said his cholesterol of 210 was “too high”, and prescribed a statin anti-cholesterol drug. A year later, Roger’s tennis game deteriorated, he found his timing and balance was off, and he lost every game to players who could never beat him before.
I suggested to Roger that the decline in his tennis game was most likely an adverse effect of the statin drug on his muscle and nerve function. He was losing his balance and coordination. I recommended stopping the statin anti-cholesterol drug. Sadly, many people – and their doctors – still believe that lower cholesterol means less heart disease.
In order to counter the drug company cholesterol propaganda, I gave Roger a copy of the book, Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You, by Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD. This book reviews the medical studies which supposedly show that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease, and reveals that they do no such thing. This is a medical myth. Neither cholesterol consumption nor cholesterol blood levels cause heart disease. Similarly, many medical studies demonstrate that anti-cholesterol drugs work very well to reduce blood cholesterol levels, however, this treatment does not prolong life and makes most people sick with adverse side effects.
Two weeks later, off the statin drug, Roger was back to his old self, prancing about the tennis court like a gazelle, and winning every game with ease.”
If you are still thinking of taking statins, then take a look at this study published July 2010 in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. Ray. He reviewed 11 statin drug clinical trials with 65,229 participants followed for approximately 244,000 person-years. The astounding results showed the statin drug group all-cause mortality was THE SAME as the placebo group and there was no benefit from the statin drugs. This article was published in the mainstream medical literature but don’t be surprised if your doctor hasn’t read it.
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Oestrogen dominance, hormone balance and weight control are all key factors in dealing with high cholesterol so if you want to make some changes these articles will be helpful.