For well over 30 years, every medical student has been taught that high cholesterol levels are responsible for causing heart disease—the number one killer in the US. And, the public has been similarly educated that eating a low-fat diet (having less cholesterol) is the best way to avoid becoming a cardiac patient. At my medical school graduation (nearly 30 years ago—oy vey!) the dean told us that we were trained with the latest medical information. He continued by stating that, unfortunately, over 50% of what was just taught to us was incorrect. He told us that it was our job to figure out what is fact and what is fiction. Perhaps my dean would be proud of me as I have dedicated my professional career to determining what is right and what is wrong with medicine. Now I can state, without equivalence, that the cholesterol=heart disease hypothesis is terribly wrong. Keep in mind, I came to that conclusion many years ago after studying the literature.
As American Heart Association Prepares to Revise Guidelines for Cholesterol, Harvard Doctor Speak Outs on Conflict of Interests
The American Heart Association (AHA) will soon be meeting in Chicago to set new guidelines for treating high cholesterol, the first big update since 2013. Medical doctors are not at all unified in their position on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, although pharmaceutical companies and their front groups, such as the AHA, would like the public to believe all doctors are in favor of lowering cholesterol via medication. Independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson recently covered the issue of the "Statin Wars" on her TV show, Full Measure. In the introduction to her show, Attkisson states: "Past (cholesterol) guidelines have said more and more of us should take cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statins” to prevent heart attacks and save lives. But the recommendations aren’t without controversy. And they raise a larger debate in medicine— over who’s paying the doctors and groups deciding what’s good for us." She interviewed three people with different perspectives on statin drugs.
Network of Cholesterol Skeptics Researchers: Abandon the LDL Cholesterol Theory of Heart Disease and Look at More Important Risk Factors
Dr. Malcom Kendrick is the author of the book The Great Cholesterol Con. He is the co-author of a recently published paper that looks at important risk factors related to cardiovascular disease, pointing out that looking at LDL cholesterol levels are not a good indicator of heart disease. Dr. Malcom Kendrick is part of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS). The lead author of this recently published paper is Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, author of Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You, and the leader of THINCS. We have featured both men's writings frequently here on Health Impact News over the years, as they expose the cholesterol myth and the statin scam. Referring to Dr. Ravnskov and THINCS, Dr. Kendrick wrote in a recent blog post: "As you may know I am a member of an organisation known as The International Network of Cholesterol Sceptics (THINCS). When I say this, people always laugh. I suppose it is better than people shouting and screaming and slapping you repeatedly. The man who set it up was Uffe Ravnskov – our glorious leader. He has done far better than me. His first book The Cholesterol Myths, was burnt, live on air, in a television studio in Finland. I am very jealous. Having your critics become so enraged, that the only thing they can think to do is burn your book, is a very great ‘sceptic’ honour. Although one must be slightly fearful that the mob doesn’t stop at burning your books." So if LDL cholesterol is not a contributing factor in heart disease, what is? This White Paper recently published in the journal Medical Hypotheses encourages researchers to abandon the LDL cholesterol theory of heart disease, and consider other, more important, risk factors.
Scottish medical doctor, Malcolm Kendrick, has just written a brilliant expose on his blog explaining, scientifically, why it is impossible for saturated fats to raise LDL cholesterol levels. As I have written many times over the years, this is the kind of information that can save your life and help you make wise dietary choices, but it is information that the U.S. government, Big Pharma, and the corporate-sponsored "mainstream" media cannot afford to publish. Because to do so would be to admit guilt in one of the biggest medical scams of all time: the lipid theory of heart disease. This theory, which has been proven scientifically to be false, has been an economic success for cholesterol-lowering statin medical drugs, the most profitable class of medical drugs all time. This theory also promotes the low-fat diet which encourages consumption of carbohydrates from U.S. subsidized crops, as well as polyunsaturated oil, also derived from U.S. subsidized crops. This theory of heart disease, which condemns cholesterol and saturated fat, has probably been responsible for many millions of people's early deaths and the life-long suffering of autoimmune diseases for an entire generation.
A new study, published by the BMJ (British Medical Journal) in May 2018, found that people consuming eggs regularly were less at risk for heart disease than those who consumed no eggs. The title of the Chinese study is Associations of egg consumption with cardiovascular disease in a cohort study of 0.5 million Chinese adults. Over a half-million Chinese, between the ages of 30 and 79, were recruited across various regions of China and surveyed for egg consumption. Those with histories of cancer, heart disease, stroke, or diabetes were excluded from the study. Those remaining, slightly under a half-million, were followed for several years to determine incidents of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. The average egg consumption varied from none to over one a day. The study’s conclusion: "Our findings suggested that daily egg consumption (<1 egg) [actually .8 daily on average] was associated with lower risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease], IHD [ischemic heart disease], MCE [major coronary events], hemorrhagic stroke and ischaemic stroke among Chinese middle-aged adults. Our findings contribute scientific evidence to the dietary guidelines with regard to egg consumption for the healthy Chinese adult." The study noted that morbidity from strokes is higher in China than Western nations where deaths from ischemic heart disease (ISD) are higher. An average egg consumption of .8 could translate to five to six eggs per week. The Chinese study also referenced an earlier smaller Japanese study, the Life Span Study in Japan, and found that “daily egg consumption was associated with a 30% lower risk of total stroke mortality” compared to no or occasional consumption of eggs.
Big Pharma Cannot Explain Why People with Very High LDL Cholesterol Have No Cardiovascular Disease and Live Long Lives
If your hypothesis is that all swans are white, the discovery of one black swan refutes your hypothesis. That is how science works. Or at least that is how science should work. In the real world, scientists are highly adept at explaining away contradictions to their favoured hypotheses. They will use phrases such as, it’s a paradox, or inform you that you didn’t measure the correct things or say there are many other confounding factors – and suchlike. Anyway, accepting that the finding of someone with a very high LDL level, and no detectable atherosclerosis, will always be dismissed – in one way or another – I am still going to introduce you to a ‘case history’ of a seventy-two-year-old man with familial hypercholesterolaemia, who has been studied for many, many, years. Try as they might, the researchers have been unable to discover any evidence for cardiovascular disease (CVD) – of any sort. The paper was called ‘A 72-Year-Old Patient with Longstanding, Untreated Familial Hypercholesterolemia but no Coronary Artery Calcification: A Case Report.’ And just in case you believe this is a single outlier, something never seen before or since, let me introduce you to the Simon Broome registry, set up in the UK many years ago to study what happens to individuals diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). It is the longest, if not the largest, study on FH in the world. It has mainly been used as one of the pillars in support of the cholesterol hypothesis. However, when you start to look closely at it – fascinating things emerge. One of the most interesting is that people with FH have a lower than expected overall mortality rate – in comparison to the ‘normal’ population. Or, to put this another way. If you have FH, you live longer than the average person.
A recent study connecting increased statin drug use with rising ALS was discussed by Dr. Malcom Kendrick. He had followed earlier similar studies with similar concerns, but this one confirmed Dr. Kendrick’s suspicions. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), is also known as motor neuron disease (MND), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The study of concern is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Associated with Statin Use: A Disproportionality Analysis of the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System. It was published by the journal Drug Safety in April of 2018. The researchers at the University of California (San Diego) and Advera Health Analytics, Inc., Santa Rosa, California teamed up to analyze data from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) to determine what is known as reporting odds ratios (RORs) involving statin drugs users who have reported ALS symptoms. This study, which allegedly had no outside funding, concluded: "These findings extend previous evidence showing that significantly elevated ALS reporting extends to individual statin agents, and add to concerns about potential elevated occurrence of ALS-like conditions in association with statin usage."
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.
As we have reported frequently here at Health Impact News, sales of drugs to lower cholesterol are the top selling drugs of all time. It is a $100 billion a year industry. The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor is the best-selling drug of all time, grossing over $140 billion, with no serious close competitors in the history of pharmaceutical drugs. One out of every four Americans over the age of 50 is taking a statin drug to lower their cholesterol. However, these block buster drugs have run through their patent life, and now generics dominate the market. So Big Pharma is looking at new ways to patent new drugs to lower your cholesterol. The latest? A vaccine is being developed to lower your cholesterol. In recent years, class action lawsuits have been stacking up against statin drug manufacturers due to the terrible side effects, including diabetes. Is this another reason for turning to vaccines to "cure" cholesterol? In this country, lawsuits against vaccines are prohibited while civil suits against prescription or over-the-counter drugs are allowed.
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.