The Full Story of Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
Cholesterol lowering drugs is not the first step to fight heart disease. The optimum way to getand remain healthy is through nutrition. NOT nutrition plus pharmaceutical drugs--but nutritionalone. Nutrition should be obtained from whole, natural foods as much as possible. This is foodas found in nature. As Hippocrates so wisely stated, "Let food by thy medicine."The number one killer of Americans today is heart disease. This fact has led medical researchersinto seeking the cause, and the remedy for that cause. Sadly, after many studies, mainstreammedicine has made up its mind about the cause. High cholesterol has been named the culprit. Ofcourse the pharmaceutical companies' answer is cholesterol lowering drugs. Now is a good time to state what cholesterol IS NOT. There is no such thing as LDL cholesteroland HDL cholesterol. There is JUST cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein; HDLstands for high-density lipoprotein. 'Lipo' means lipid or fat. Low-density is a combination of fatand protein which is transported by the blood.
The common misunderstanding about cholesterol would mean that there are two cholesterols. Orthat there are two types of cholesterol. Neither one is true.
Because of the marketing and educational campaigns of the powerful pharmaceutical industry,cholesterol has been presented as practically evil. Don't underestimate the power of thepharmaceutical industry. They set the standards for and educate the medical profession. Theirvery, very deep pockets control both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and ourhealthcare system.
The pharmaceutical industry has invented cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) to controlcholesterol levels. But they first invented a disease which they could control by drugs. Thisdisease is called hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemia is defined as: 'the presence ofabnormal amounts of cholesterol in cells of the body and in the plasma of blood; it is associatedwith risk of atherosclerosis.'
I should mention that there is no physical sign from anyone suffering from hypercholesterolemia,or too much cholesterol in the blood. As a matter of fact, people with high cholesterol feel great.
Throughout the years what is considered high levels of cholesterol has changed. Twenty-five tothirty years ago if you were a middle-aged male and your cholesterol was greater than 240, andthere were other risk factors, you were a candidate for drugs. After the Cholesterol ConsensusConference of 1984, anyone with cholesterol greater than 200 was a candidate. Now if yourcholesterol is over 180, you are a candidate for a cholesterol lowering drug.
The latest recommendation about cholesterol levels is that they should be as low as possible. Thiseliminates it being done by exercise, diet, or any lifestyle change. You must take a statin(cholesterol lowering drug.) Not surprisingly, eight of the nine panelists were on the payroll of apharmaceutical company.
Coincidentally, each revision made more people candidates for the pharmaceutical companies'cholesterol lowering drugs. These drugs are known as statins. The primary job of statins is toinhibit the production of cholesterol in the body.
The total cholesterol readings that you normally get from your doctor are practically worthless. Iread of a doctor who knew a 39-year old woman who had a total cholesterol reading of 125mg/dL. Naturally her doctor thought she was in great health.
However, this woman's HDL, the good cholesterol, was only 15 mg/dL. The HDL should be atleast 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women. Obviously this woman's reading was much toolow. She later developed coronary heart disease.
Cholesterol lowering drugs only lower LDL. Therefore they could not be of use to this womanwho had low HDL.
The total cholesterol reading so common in mainstream or traditional medicine is composed ofthe combined readings of HDL, LDL (the bad cholesterol), and VLDL (very-low-densitylipoprotein.) VLDL is just as bad as LDL because high levels have been linked to heart disease.
The body produces cholesterol. If it didn't, life would not exist. Cholesterol:
* makes our cells waterproof* is used for cellular repair* forms bile salts which are necessary for the digestion of fat* is a precursor (a substance from which another substance is made) for vitamin D (in otherwords, without cholesterol, the body could not make vitamin D)* is an antioxidant (See.)* is necessary for proper neurological function* is a precursor for all hormones produced in the adrenal cortex
A recent study performed by researchers at Texas A&M University showed that cholesterol isimportant for muscle strength. Study participants were 55 men and women between the ages of60 and 69 years of age who exercised three days a week for twelve weeks.
The study revealed that the participants who had the highest levels of dietary cholesterolexperienced the most strength gains. Lower cholesterol levels reduced muscle strength. According to the researchers, "Our findings show that the restricting of cholesterol--while in theprocess of exercising--appears to affect building muscle mass in a negative manner."
".Nowhere is the failing of our medical system more evident than in the wholesale acceptance ofcholesterol reduction as a way to prevent disease--have all these doctors forgotten what theylearned in biochemistry 101 about the many roles of cholesterol in the human biochemistry?"(Mary G. Enig, PhD.)
Low cholesterol levels interfere with the production of bile salt. People on statins can experience
difficulties digesting fats. This presents another set of problems. Naturally the pharmaceuticalgiants such as Pfizer (Lipitor) would like to keep the public ignorant to the possible dangers ofcholesterol lowering drugs.
Cholesterol is as important for the body as is water and blood. But cholesterol lowering drugs orstatins are the pharmaceutical companies' BIGGEST SELLING DRUGS OF ALL TIME!Currently 16 million Americans take the statin Lipitor. Lipitor, made by the pharmaceutical giantPfizer, is the best-selling statin on the market.
Other cholesterol lowering drugs include Zocor (Merck), Pravachol (Bristol-Myers Squibb),Lescol (Novartis), Meracor (Merck), and Crestor (AstraZeneca.) Not satisfied, thepharmaceutical industry says that an additional 36 million Americans are candidates for statins!A couple of years ago, the sale of statins brought the pharmaceutical industry $12.5 billion!
Statin drugs are very expensive. Their cost ranges anywhere from $900 to $1,400 per year. Thisbreaks down to $75 to $117 per month.
Cholesterol lowering drugs are not without side effects. A 1999 study performed at St. Thomas'Hospital in London found that 36% of their patients taking Lipitor's highest dose reported sideeffects. At its lowest dose, 10% of the patients reported side effects. The most common sideeffect is muscle pain and weakness. This is most likely due to coenzyme Q10 depletion. Coenzyme Q10 is important because it supports muscle function.
Lipitor has the following disclaimer in fine print: "has not been shown to prevent heart disease orheart attack!" Remember, it is the pharmaceutical companies' contention that high cholesterol isresponsible for heart disease!
In summary, cholesterol is important for overall health. The body produces it. Artificially andarbitrarily lowering cholesterol levels is harmful. Remember, statins deplete the body ofcoenzyme Q10. This enzyme is necessary in order for muscles to function. The heart is a muscle. The heart muscle requires large amounts of coenzyme Q10 to work.
Despite protestations to the contrary by the pharmaceutical industry, diet and exercise arebeneficial. Note the following nutritional plan:
* avoid all trans fats* take cod liver oil (a good source of vitamins A, D, and EPA)* eat plenty of saturated fat (encourages production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins)* take evening primrose, borage or black currant oil* eat foods high in copper, especially liver* avoid refined sugars, especially fructose* eat coconut oil and coconut products* avoid reduced fat milks, powered milk products such as whey
Myth: LDL (low density lipoprotein), also known as 'bad' cholesterol, is the single biggest factorin the development of heart disease. Truth: the true determining factor is the ratio of your total cholesterol to your HDL (high density lipoprotein) or 'good' cholesterol. The pharmaceutical companies promote the LDL cholesterol lie because their statin drugs work by lowering LDL cholesterol.
Documents which are posted on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) website say thatstudies conducted by Merck and Schering-Plough suggest that the drug Zetia could pose risks forthe liver. The studies indicated that Zetia, a non-statin drug, could cause liver damage when usedlong-term and combined with statins such as Lipitor, Crestor, or Zocor. Merck andSchering-Plough never published the studies.
Merck and Schering-Plough were criticized for not publishing data from another study. Thisstudy known as Enhance revealed that patients were dropped when tests discovered that theirliver enzymes were elevated. Elevated enzymes are a possible sign of liver damage.
Zetia was approved by the FDA in 2002. However, one FDA reviewer warned that animal studieshad shown liver damage when Zetia was combined with statins. Millions of Americans combinestatin and non-statin drugs in an effort to control their cholesterol. Some people take Vytorinwhich combines Zetia with Zocor in a single pill.
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