Dr Dingle's Blog / statins
A recent large study of 2500 participants (mean age 66 years, 54% women), a higher Omega-3 Index was associated with significantly lower risks for total mortality, for non-CVD and non-cancer mortality, and for total CVD events. Those in the highest omega 3 levels compared to those in the lowest had a 34% lower risk for death from any cause and 39% lower risk for incident CVD. These associations were generally stronger for docosahexaenoic acid than for eicosapentaenoic acid. When total cholesterol was compared it was not significantly related with the health outcomes.
Early studies in the 1980s investigating Greenland Eskimos began the research into the benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids. In Greenland, the fatty acid intake from seafood is high and there is a lower prevalence of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Omega 3 has been shown in many studies to help inhibit and even reverse inflammation. The omega 3 fatty acids found in walnuts, flaxseed, butternuts, and fish oils have anti-inflammatory properties, decreasing the amount of arachidonic acid in cell membranes.
Several recent studies have linked higher blood levels and/or dietary intakes of the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with greater longevity. Blood omega 3 levels were inversely associated with total mortality rates in the Cardiovascular Health Study, and similar results were seen in the Heart and Soul Study. Consistent with this, there is an inverse relationship between the Omega-3 Index and the rate of telomere attrition, a marker of cellular aging.
Omega 3 fatty acids work through a number of mechanisms, each having different effects, to reduce inflammation. As well recent studies suggest that some of the beneficial effects of fish oil are due, in part, to their antioxidant benefit.
I have been researching and writing on cholesterol and statin drugs for more than 10 years and millions of people still take them. Cholesterol is not the killer it is inflammation, oxidation and acidosis. No one has ever died from cholesterol. It is associated with CVD but not the cause. So if you lower cholesterol you do not lower the risk of CVD more than 1%.
The statin drugs are at best ineffective but in reality are dangerous. The real cause of heart attacks and strokes, Cardiovascular disease is inflammation and oxidation. If you want to lower your risk of these conditions lower your inflammation, oxidation and acidosis.
In support of this a recent study out of Oxford University showed that one apple a day out performs the statin drugs without the side effects of diabetes, muscle disease, dementia and other serous side effects.
Using mathematical modelling, the researchers say that eating an apple a day could prevent 8,500 deaths from heart disease every year if 70 per cent of the total population of over-50s ate one, compared to 9,400 saved lives if everyone took a statin.
Source: BMJ, 2013; 347: f7267. A statin a day keeps the doctor away: comparative proverb assessment modelling study. BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7267
While another study in the Journal of Functional Foods back in 2012 found the consumption of just one apple/day for 4 weeks drastically lowered plasma concentrations of oxidized low-density lipoprotein and showed that an easily accomplished dietary intervention had a major effect on an atherosclerosis risk factor, in part via polyphenols. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2012.08.010)
Unlike stain drugs apples are full of nutrients that lower inflammation and your risk of all forms of chronic illness.
Apples are rich in polyphenols, which provide antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties and modulation of gut microbiota.
Cholesterol is not the killer it is inflammation.
For information on inflammation and how to lower it
History tells us that when money is involved the medical establishments will do anything to keep profits and power. Good examples of this include tobacco and alcohol. Most people may not remember but the various medical associations around the world have been prominent supporters of these deadly products in the pursuit of profit. All too often our memories are too short or we think the basic behaviours of people will change.
While evidence of the toxic effects of tobacco smoke has been around for hundreds of years, the correlation between tobacco and cancer was first officially reported in 1939 in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It took until 1962 before any action was taken. However, even after being exposed, the tobacco industry has continued to survive and even thrive in some places. They even continue to produce evidence to show that tobacco smoke is not bad for you and fund medical and health journals to print these studies.
Prior to 1962, the American Cancer Society would admit only a possible link between smoking and lung cancer and was associated with many aspects of the tobacco industry including marketing products and trying to make a “safer cigarette.” The medical establishments including the AMA continued to back the tobacco industry even under an avalanche of evidence and ran prominent ads in their medical journals. The ACS, like governments around the world today, including state and federal here in Australia, have delayed tobacco controls that could have helped and could still help a lot of people. A prominent Australian premier repeatedly blocked tobacco control legislation in the early 2000s only to take a lucrative position as a director in a major tobacco company when he retired from politics. This political corruption was and still is rampant in all Western nations. I saw firsthand the delaying tactics of governments to introduce tobacco control legislation despite more than 50 years of good science and thousands of studies—even a couple of studies I did with my students.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture to this day continues to support tobacco growing and export to third world nations. This is the same organisation that gave us the food pyramid, which was created for the sole purpose of selling more grain products (at any expense) and classified pizza as a vegetable in 2012 so it could be sold to American schools.
We learnt from smoking. Stop smoking and you reduce mortality and morbidity. It was hard but we educated the public against the vested interests of the tobacco lobby and we started to really win the war on cancer.
Along with the forebears of modern medicine like Hippocrates and Galen, in 1676 Richard Wiseman, a prominent English surgeon, wrote that diet could promote cancer especially the consumption of alcohol and meat. Despite this knowledge hundreds and even thousands of years earlier, for the past three decades health and medical professionals have been promoting wine as a healthful drink based on no science whatsoever and going against more than 50 years of good science.
This myth was started when early studies showed that the highest consumer of saturated fat in Europe was the French but they also has the lowest death rate from cardiovascular disease with four per 100,000 for women and 22 per 100,000 for men. For years this was called the “French paradox,” which I’ll write more about in the chapter on saturated fats. In fact what it showed was that most of the countries in that region had high fat and low CVD so maybe fat was not linked with CVD. This did not fit the current medical myth, as fat and cholesterol were the number one enemies. So they made up a myth and said wine was good for you because the French drink more wine, despite 50 years of good science linking all forms of alcohol with mortality and morbidity. The myth also failed to mention the low-key and relaxed, low-stress lifestyle of the French, the long lunches and sipping on wine over a long meal talking with friends. There are so many factors to consider but wine was the simplest and most easily understood by the public and the most profitable. Very wrong but easily understood. Now, 30 years later the ads tell people that any alcohol is bad for you and we are supposed to ignore the 30 years of poor advice that spawned a generation of people justifying drinking more alcohol.
Similarly the Japanese are one of the longest-lived populations in the world despite their high rates of smoking and stress. They also eat a little bit of fermented soya bean in the form of tempeh and soya sauce. So in the manufacturing of another health myth, the food industry, which was already feeding vast amounts of soya to cattle, along with the medical industry, saw an opportunity to tell everyone to eat more soya products because they contain some “phyto estrogens” and because women in Asia have very low levels of breast cancer. Asian culture has a little bit of fermented soya along with lots of green vegetables and a large amount of fish and seafood including seaweed. Only now we are starting to wake up to the fact that soya milk and soya products are toxic to the body if they are not fermented. Not to mention all the chemicals in our Western lifestyle that mimic oestrogen and that are linked to breast and prostate cancers.
Once started, a myth is hard to break down especially with billions of dollars of funding behind it. But even people with the best intentions can get caught up in it. At one point everyone thought the world was flat and the sun rotated around it. If it were not for science and some very courageous people, some who lost their lives because of their convictions, we would still be thinking the same.
We continually hear about the miracle cure that is just around the corner. Every month a current affairs program introduces the next one. Ninety-nine percent go no further than an initial media blitz and at best one percent have a minimal, if any, effect. But it is an attempt by the drug industry and media to convince the public they need to put more money into research to find a cure—even when we already know how to prevent the illness and in many cases reverse the condition. Unfortunately none of these miracle drugs have ever come to fruition and billions of dollars are wasted, but even more unfortunate is that people don’t hear the real solutions such as healthy nutritious lifestyles.
The drug companies spend billions of dollars trying to convince people that they are sicker than they actually are and are very ill or have an illness that has only just been made up. They seem to be able to turn almost anything into a disease as long as there is a drug to treat it. Suddenly all the normal conditions we suffer and learn to get over are life-threatening illnesses that need to be medicated. We are literally creating diseases that we need to treat with drugs. In psychiatry the new manual, the “DSM-5,” labels practically every human emotion a mental disorder and all those modern disorders require treatment with high-profit pharmaceuticals. Recently they classified caffeine withdrawal, restless leg, and too much online activity each as a disease but not self-harm?
We have created illnesses out of normal conditions and require specialists to manipulate and control some of the most natural aspects of life, such as giving birth, ageing and menopause. Accepting them would be too simple. Better still, we can approach them by making healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices.
Here is another nail in the coffin of the cholesterol theory. For the last 40 years the cholesterol theory (yes theory) has continued to change to suit the growing evidence against it. In science if a theory is disproved it is tossed out. Not this one. It keeps being reborn and of course you are now told it is the oxidized LDL cholesterol. And it is. But the problem is not the cholesterol it is the oxidation which leads to inflammation. Stop the oxidation and stop the inflammation.
The study—which monitored more than 10,000 heart patients—was inspired by the observation that around half of the people who suffer a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels and that lowering cholesterol has no significant reduction in mortality. The study showed that reducing inflammation without affecting lipid (cholesterol) levels reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In the study they used a drug, canakinumab, involving 10,061 patients with previous heart attack (myocardial infarction) and a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein- inflammation. At a follow-up of 3.7 years, the incidence rate for heart attacks was 4.50 percent in the placebo group, 4.11 and about 3.90 percent for the higher dose groups. In medicine this is seen as breakthrough and a 16% reduction. The need for by-pass surgery and angioplasty was also reduced by 30 per cent. Cholesterol-lowering statins have a far lower success rate.
However, Canakinumab was associated with a higher incidence of fatal infection than was placebo, that is one in every 1,000 participants suffered a fatal infection. In other words, 10 people died as a direct result of taking the drug. There was no significant difference in all-cause mortality (canakinumab vs. placebo). The cost of the drug treatment is estimated to be more than $65000 US a year.
Despite the results the take-home message is that it is not cholesterol it is inflammation, cholesterol, is associated with CVD but not the cause. The real take home message is that inflammation is best controlled through diet and lifestyle.
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February 1, 2017 : Probiotics, People and Poo
http://tix.yt/probiotics February 8, 2017 : Reducing Toxic Overload in our Kids
http://tix.yt/toxic-kids February 15, 2017 : 7 Steps To Permanent Weight Loss
February 22, 2017 : Living Longer, Ageing Well. The science of living a full life http://tix.yt/ageingwell
Exposure to “obesogenic” chemicals has an important role in the obesity and diabetes pandemic. Studies dating back to the 1970s have shown that low-dose chemical exposures were associated with weight gain in experimental animals. Since then, a growing number of studies show links between toxins and weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Known or suspected culprits behind negative epigenetic changes include toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, plastic compounds including BPA, diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, hormones, radioactivity, viruses, bacteria and endocrine disrupting chemicals.
The main role of fat cells is to store energy and release it when needed. Scientists now know that fat tissue acts as an endocrine (hormone) organ, releasing hormones related to appetite and metabolism. Research to date suggests that different obesogenic compounds may have different mechanisms of action, some affecting the number of fat cells, others the size of fat cells, and still others the hormones that influence appetite, satiety, food preferences, and energy metabolism. Another mechanism through which these chemical obesogens can contribute to weight gain is through their impact on the gut microbiome, linking gut ecology and environmental chemicals to obesity and diabetes.
BPA, or bisphenol-A, a chemical found in everything from plastic bottles to metal food containers, may be partly to blame for our excess weight. BPA has been shown to alter the body’s metabolism, increasing weight gain and making it difficult to lose weight. In a study of 1,326 children, girls between ages 9 and 12 with high BPA levels had double the risk of being obese than girls with low BPA levels, validating previous animal and human studies. The chemical can alter the body’s metabolism and make it harder to lose weight. Girls with high levels of BPA, two micrograms per litre or more, were twice as likely to be obese as girls with lower levels of BPA in the same age group. Girls with very high levels of BPA, more than 10 micrograms per litre, were five times more likely to be obese, the study showed. In animal experiments, a mother’s exposure to BPA is producing the same outcomes that we see in humans born light at birth: an increase in abdominal fat and glucose intolerance. BPA affected rodent fat cells at very low doses, 1,000 times below the dose that regulatory agencies presume causes no effect in humans.A growing body of evidence shows that the use of certain pesticides may also be associated with weight gain and diabetes risk. In animal experiments, mice fed high-fat diets gained about 30% more weight and had higher blood sugar than other mice eating the same high-fat diets when they also ingested doses of a brominated flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which is used in building materials and insulation. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is a ubiquitous chemical, used in non-stick cookware, Gore-Tex™ waterproof clothing, Scotchgard™ stain repellent on carpeting and mattresses and is a potential endocrine disruptor. Researchers gave pregnant mice PFOA during pregnancy and when the offspring reached adulthood, they became obese, reaching significantly higher weight levels than controls. Phthalates are plasticizers that have been related to obesity in humans and occur in many PVC items as well as in scented items such as air fresheners, laundry products, and personal care products, and many plastics.
Estrogens are a group of naturally occurring hormones present in both male testes and female ovaries, with females producing a considerably higher amount. They are particularly influential during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy; however they also assist in regulating the growth of bones, skin, liver and organs of the cardiovascular system. Estrogens, like all hormones, act as chemical signals and are important in helping cells in various organs to sense and respond to changing physiological conditions; therefore the right balance of hormones is critical in order to carry out the functions required of a healthy, strong body. Estrogen binds to a protein, or estrogen receptor, and the estrogen receptor complex can then bind to specific genes and by this, alter the way they are expressed, resulting in a change in cell programming 1.
Environmental estrogens, are now present in everyday products such as polycarbonate plastics, food packaging and cans. However the greatest source for many people is through cosmetics and personal care products and include chemicals such as triclosan, cyclosiloxanes, parabens and phthalates which are often left on the skin to absorb and accumulate 2. Women are disproportionately exposed to many environmental estrogens like paraben and phthalates because they use more personal care products on average than men 3 and teenage girls tend to use even more products than women, averaging 17 different products per day, compared with 12 for women 4.
Since the 1980's, there has been a growing amount of research toward the potential interaction between these environmental estrogens and wild animals, with a number of reports detailing the emergence of 'feminised wildlife’ around the world, and a range of adverse effects in humans including decreased sperm count, increased cases of testicular cancer and testicular abnormalities, increased breast cancer in men and women and premature or precocious puberty. Other adverse health include headache, migraine, depression, gastrointestinal disturbances, insomnia, mastopathia, changes in vaginal bleeding 5. More chronic symptoms affect the cardiovascular system, the skin (itching, rash, abnormal pigmentation), the gallbladder, and tumours, particularly of the breast but also uterus, cervix, vagina and liver 5.
One of the most troubling is their association with breast cancer 6,7,8. Breast cancer is the major cancer affecting women in the Western world 9 and one of the most disturbing and well documented current trends is the alarming increase in breast cancer incidence over the past few decades. Fifty years ago the risk rate was one woman in 20; today it is one in 8 and approximately two-thirds of breast tumors are estrogen receptive, and environmental estrogens like parabens are known to bind to estrogen receptors. Estrogen-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer, are known to be highly responsive to estrogens for growth. Even more disturbing is the increase in numbers of young girls developing breast cancer. Although many factors such as radiation, alcohol, smoking and diet, add to the risk of developing breast cancer, the predominant influencing factor has been identified as the exposure to estrogens throughout an individual's lifetime 9.
The breast is under hormonal control and a fine balance of hormones is what allows the cell to cell communication. Interaction between these cells and the surrounding fluid of the breast tissue is what controls differentiation and growth of the breast 9. If there is a disruption of those hormones, i.e. through the use of synthetic chemicals, the balance of hormonal control is thrown and the cells do not function normally which may lead to breast cancer. In support of this clinical studies show that estrogen has the capacity to drive breast tumours to grow in laboratory studies. Animal experimental studies have also shown the role of estrogen on the growth of breast cancer cells 9. While chemicals which mimic estrogen have been shown to promote and stimulate the proliferation of breast cancer cells 2,10,11, and activate other processes involved in breast cancer 2,11,12. Recent studies have also shown other factors can dramatically increase the the toxicity of Xenoestrogens and studies of individual estrogens may seriously underestimate their growth and spreading effects in breast tissue cells and their potency to promote breast cancer, particularly at lower doses 13.
Although the vast majority of studies on breast cancer are aimed towards women, men can also suffer from the disease, indicating that they have similar risk factors, with one case in a hundred diagnosed breast cancers being a male 14. Although this number is relatively small, the rate of incidence has increased by 25% in 25 years.
Sperm count of the average male in the US or Europe has been found to be declining continuously over the past four decades, dierectly linked with environmental estrogen exposure, and today it is less than 50% of what it was forty years ago15,16. One result of this lower count is the increased rate of male infertility; which is also the single most common cause of infertility. The rate of infertility has quadrupled in the past forty years, from 4% in 1965 to at least 16% today 15.
Other conditions including undescended testes caused by prenatal estrogen exposure to environmental estrogens have also been found in studies on mice and it has been suggested undescended testes increases the rate of testicular cancer 17. The incidence of testicular cancer, namely affecting males between the ages of 20 to 30, has also seen an increase worldwide. Studies have found strong links with exposure to excessive levels of estrogen with hypospadias (abnormal congenital opening of male urethra upon under surface of the penis) 18,19, lower libido 19, congenital anomalies, cryptorchidism and testicular cancer 20,21,22.
Environmental estrogens have also been linked to early puberty in girls and increasing number of girls experiencing precocious puberty in recent years 15. A study in the United States of 17, 000 girls indicated that 7% of white and 27% of black girls exhibited physical signs of puberty by age seven, and for girls aged 10 the percentages increased to 68 and 95 respectively 16. This trend for earlier puberty has been found to be widespread, with similar cases found in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand (Trankina, M. V L., 2001).
Environmental estrogens are also suspected of disrupting thyroid functioning, sexual differentiation of the brain in foetal development and cognitive motor function 23. It is also believed that high levels of environmental estrogen exposure results in lower birth weights, smaller head circumferences, poorer neuromuscular maturity and visual recognition, delays in psychomotor development, short term memory problems, and growth retardation in newborn babies 24.
Prenatal exposure to environmental estrogens also poses a serious health risks to developing fetus and children as evidence of adverse effect on birth outcomes, childhood obesity, and intellectual disability are increasing 25. The placental barrier has been shown to allow these chemicals to cross as many of them have been measured in human fetal cord blood and tissue. More importantly, because organogenesis begins at the time when the fetus is solely dependent on maternal supply, early life exposure to environmental estrogens may lead to adverse short or long term health outcomes due to fetal reprogramming 26.
From testing on animals it has further been proposed that excessive estrogen levels could cause anxious behaviour 27,28, altered fecundency 29, reduced penis size 30 and increased embryo mortality 24. Environmental estrogens are not only capable of binding to estrogen receptors on cell membranes but are also able to bind to neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, neuroepinophrine and dopamine enabling estrogens to influence the body's central nervous system (CNS) 31. Environmental estrogens have also been shown to effect the body’s immune system 30. A large number of studies have also environmental estrogens to contributing to obesity and diabetes, independent of poor diet and physical inactivity; such chemicals including ingredients found in personal care products and cosmetics such as phthalates and phenols 32,33.
More recently studies have found effects of direct exposure to products instead of just individual chemicals. Extensive observational studies have indicated a relationship between certain hair product use and hormonally imbalances including early menache (puberty) 34,35 and uterine fibroids 36 as well as enlargement of breast tissue in boys and men 37.
However, estrogenic (or anti-estrogenic) effects of the personal care products as commercial mixtures have rarely ever been evaluated. In a study of eight commonly used hair and skin products four of the eight personal care products tested (Oil Hair Lotion, Extra-dry Skin Lotion, Intensive Skin Lotion and Petroleum Jelly demonstrated detectable estrogenic activity 38. The estrogenic activity of these products was not predictable by examining their listed ingredients. However, perhaps the most surprising finding about any one product was the estrogenic activity of SP4 (Petroleum Jelly). Petroleum jelly products are also often used on infants as low-cost therapies for common problems such as diaper rash and is manufactured by refinement of the crude petroleum product. While other studies have shown that hair oil use as a child was significantly associated with earlier menarche and hair relaxer use and uterine fibroids among participants in the 36. A third study found an elevated incidence of endometriosis and use of personal care products containing benzophenone-type UV filters 39.
Fortunately, studies have also shown it is relatively easy to reduce exposure by reducing personal care use or using safer products. In one study of around 100 girls they replaced their personal care products with safer alternatives for 3 days. The replacement products were chosen on the basis of whether their ingredient lists included triclosan, benzophenone-3, or parabens. Phthalates are not listed on ingredient lists, but they are often found in scented products. So the researchers avoided products that listed “fragrance” as an ingredient unless they were specifically labeled as phthalate free. More than 90% of the participants had detectible levels of phthalates, parabens, and benzophenone-3 before they started using the replacement products. After using the alternative products for 3 days urinary concentrations of methyl and propyl paraben decreased by 43.9% and 45.4%, respectively, mono-ethyl phthalate decreased by 27.4%, and triclosan decreased by 35.7%. However, there were increases in concentrations of butyl and ethyl paraben, which were detected in about half the girls. These chemicals might have been unintentional contaminants or unlabeled ingredients in replacement products, which they acknowledge they were unable to ensure were paraben free 40.
- McLachlan, J. A. & Arnold, S. F., 1996
- Darbre, 2003
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- Wróbel and Gregoraszczuk 2013
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- Pan S, et al 2016
- Williams, R. M., 2004
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If I was ever to create a business that made a lot of money I would first of all create a product that did not solve the problem but treated the symptoms. So people would use it repeatedly, preferably for the rest of their lives. I would then educate all the important people in this industry with a huge marketing budget that this is the only way to fix the problem. I would also educate them with a massive campaign that anything else is useless maybe even dangerous, even if it’s not. We would effectively control all of the media and marketing with a huge budget. We would also ensure that people who work in this area are educated only by us and taught no other paradigm and if they started to learn on their own they would be criticised and chastised. In fact they would even be taught by us that any alternatives are dangerous, whether they are or not. As is any form of alternative thinking.
We would be in control of the information and research and would be the only ones allowed to provide this to government for registration so we would effectively have a monopoly. Finally I would get the government to support everything we do and we would ensure that we have very close ties with the government. We would be in control of the information and research and would be the only ones allowed to provide this for government registration even if it was very biased. We would also not be required to show any negative results unless they were explicitly asked for. Even then we would try and hide them.
This sounds a little bit like the pharmaceutical companies who research their own product to convince the government it is true so they have a very strong vested interest to make sure the results are positive. And of course many of these companies have been caught out, but not all of them yet. But even the ones caught out and where thousands of people may have died as a result the company still goes on selling other pharmaceutical products. It seems to be the only industry that you can kill and not only get away with it but stay in business and friends with the government. The people who work in the government regulating them regularly cross between industry and the government so if anyone in government wants to change jobs they are likely to go into industry and visa versa, another strong vested interest.
The vast majority of pharmaceutical drugs treat the symptoms of illness and not the illness. Cholesterol lowering drugs, for example may lower cholesterol but only have a minimal impact on lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. But they do lower the cholesterol which is an indicator that there is a nutritional imbalance in the body. Cholesterol is only the messenger. By contrast, the right nutrition can lower cholesterol and reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke for the rest of your life. A much better indicator of heart attack and stroke is low levels of omega 3 fish oils in the blood and to solve the problem all you need to do is increase sure omega 3 oil consumption. Unfortunately, there is no money to be made in nutrition and according to modern medicine it may even be harmful. There are however thousands of scientific publications every single year published in reputable journals highlighting the benefits of nutrition for treating all forms of chronic illness. Unfortunately, this does not get out to the public.
The doctors who blatantly prescribed these drugs are educated by the pharmaceutical companies during their university years and after in practice. While their degree contains hundreds of hours of education on pharmaceuticals there is nothing or next to nothing on nutrition and lifestyle. Despite the fact that science, not medicine, shows the majority of chronic illness is caused by lifestyle and nutrition factors. How can the doctors know about nutrition if they are not taught it. The doctors, as well as the public are then informed that the only way to treat the illness is with pharmaceutical drugs. There is rarely ever a mention of nutrition to treat chronic illnesses. Some of these doctors and many of the scientists doing the research for the pharmaceutical companies also derive some direct and indirect benefit from the pharmaceutical companies. Any wonder some doctors prescribe a lot more pharmaceuticals than others.
All of these tactics reek of the tactics developed by the tobacco industry in the 1970s. Hopefully many of these pharmaceutical drugs that are over prescribed and have deadly side-effects will also go the same way as tobacco. Don’t get me wrong, there is a role for pharmaceutical support, but it comes after we have trained and educated all our medical staff about nutrition and lifestyle and the public are informed of the need for good nutrition in every meal and that there is no silver bullet.
An interesting dimension of pharmaceutical companies’ practices is that the same corrupt drug companies that reap money from drugs conduct the research, pay the researchers and control the research—including what is and is not published. Drug companies engage in censorship, bribery, corruption, fraud, suppression of negative studies and all varieties of unscrupulous tactics to sell their products; there are literally hundreds of studies that demonstrate this. At the simplest level, most medical research is financed by pharmaceutical companies seeking support for drugs that are either on the market or in development.
Recently, I wrote a couple of blogs that described the problems with the JUPITER study. The independent analysis of the same date showed no benefit and more importantly it bought into question the strong vested interests sponsoring the study. What was also neglected in the reports on the original JUPITER study was that it showed an increase in the risk of various side-effects including diabetes. But the biggest problem with the JUPITER study was the study itself. Most people assume that science is pure and there is not going to be any research bias. This is not the case and certainly not the case with JUPITER trial. First of all the exclusion criteria was very lengthy and contained common conditions including postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, past or current use of lipid lowering therapy, diabetes, liver disease, uncontrolled hypertension, cancer within five years, hypothyroidism, recent history of alcohol or drug abuse or other medical condition that might compromise the successful completion of the study, inflammatory conditions including severe arthritis lupus or inflammatory bowel disease and so on. That means a lot of people, average people could not be included in the study and its selected specifically to achieve a specific outcome.
In an earlier study called the CORONA trial they looked the same drug over a period of 32.8 months and found while it significantly lowered LDL cholesterol, similar to those reported in the JUPITER trial, it performed no better than a placebo on the primary outcome, deaths from cardiovascular causes, non-fatal MI and non-fatal stroke. There was also no difference between the drug and placebo cardiovascular cause, or cause death, or any coronary events.
This was further compounded by the fact that the JUPITER study was supposed to go of 3-4 years however was terminated at 1.9 years while some of the results appeared positive. You can’t change a study half way through it just because you might show some positive results.
Of the last 50 years we have seen a decrease in saturated fat, salt and cholesterol levels yet we continue to see increases in cardiovascular disease. We are doing more than ever before but still the disease continues to increase. Fortunately there appears to be the decreases in deaths as a result of cardiovascular disease primarily due to the early intervention once someone has had a heart attack or stroke. Because we have been targeting at risk population we would expect to see a decrease in cardiovascular disease within a few years of any program yet more people have heart attacks and strokes than ever before.
Maybe the time has come to separate out all the vested interests and silver bullet solutions and deal with the problem. Already in previous articles I have described to you that cholesterol is not the killer it is just a messenger. It is like a warning light on the car. When the light comes on you can fix the problem before it gets any worse, or you can get some tape and cover it over. Unfortunately we have become very adept at covering our own personal health warning light.
The reason we have become so fixated with lowering cholesterol is that it is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Australia alone. The costs of the drugs to the public and individuals is estimated to be about $1.5 billion each year. Add on to that the cost of monitoring and all the blood checks, another billion dollars then you can understand why it is almost impossible to stop this juggernaut. There is just too much money invested in it. Then you also have two consider all the cholesterol lowering foods, the claims made and organisations involved and you realise that the total is probably closer to $10 billion each year.
The outcome we are after is the lowering of cardiovascular disease not cholesterol. If we have not succeeded at this then we need to go back to the drawing board and start again and not just reinvent another cholesterol theory or a new cholesterol-lowering drug. The last 30 years has been an abject failure that has cost a fortune in money and lives.