- New treatment guidelines for high cholesterol will likely DOUBLE the number of Americans being prescribed these dangerous drugs, bringing the total to an estimated 72 million people
- 12 of the 16 panel members of the new guidelines are affiliated with more than 50 different drug companies, many of which have a financial interest in the outcome of this report
- The guideline committee has vowed to examine the flaws to determine if and what changes are needed to make it more accurate. Until then, beware the calculator appears to overestimate your risk by anywhere from 75 to 150 percent
By Dr. Mercola
One in four Americans over the age of 45 currently take a statin drug, despite the fact that there are over 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk.Now, new treatment guidelines for high cholesterol will likely DOUBLE the number of Americans being prescribed these dangerous drugs, bringing the total to an estimated—and staggering—72 million people!
How May the New Guidelines Affect You?As explained by the American Heart Association,4 the new guidelines advise doctors to look at certain risk factors in order to determine if a patient should be prescribed a statin drug, or whether he or she should simply focus on heart healthy lifestyle changes. The problem is, virtually no one will fall into the latter category.If you answer “yes” to ANY of the following four questions, the treatment protocol calls for a statin drug:
- Do you have heart disease?
- Do you have diabetes? (either type 1 or type 2)
- Is your LDL cholesterol above 190?
- Is your 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 7.5 percent?
Well-Known Integrated Cardiologist Decimates Treatment Guidelines
Dr. Stephen Sinatra7 wrote an in-depth article in which he decimates every single one of these four treatment guidelines. According to him, the new guidelines are at best 20-25 percent accurate, and here’s why:
- The heart disease criteria, while it might be appropriate for older men, does not really work for women. There’s no data demonstrating that the benefits of statins outweigh the health risks in women—risks that include diabetes and breast cancer.According to Dr. Sinatra: “[I]n my opinion, the only women who should be on statins are those with advanced coronary artery disease who continue to deteriorate despite lifestyle interventions. I believe that less than one percent of women with coronary artery disease fall into this category.”
- In short, giving a drug that causes diabetes to someone who already hasdiabetes is nonsensical. It can only make matters worse. What’s more, data indicates that statins can cause arterial calcification in diabetic men who take the drug. Thirdly, statins can cause cataracts, which is a common problem in diabetics. The drug may therefore increase this risk.
- This may be appropriate if you have genetic familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes you resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol, such as diet and exercise. This condition is quite rare, affecting an estimated one in 500. In the absence of this genetic situation, treating high LDL levels has little validity.
- As you will see below, the 10-year heart attack risk calculation has been “programmed” in such a way as to make patients out of virtually everyone. Besides that, Dr. Sinatra points out that the complexity of estimating risk based on age, race, blood pressure, smoking habits and other criteria is quite likely to lead to overzealous prescribing.
Statins Are Hardly Preventive Medicine
But the biggest “sham” of all is that statin drugs, touted as “preventive medicine” to protect your heart health, can actually havedetrimental effects on your heart. For example, a study published just last year in the journal Atherosclerosis,12 showed that statin use is associated with a 52 percent increased prevalence and extent of calcified coronary plaque compared to non-users. And coronary artery calcification is the hallmark of potentially lethal heart disease. Just what kind of prevention is that?The panel members have concocted a bizarre justification for these actions, trying to make it sound like the new recommendations are focused on prevention through lifestyle modifications along with statin therapy. This is a gross misapplication of the word “prevention,” as these drugs cannot address the underlying conditions of heart or cardiovascular disease. Even more egregious, they have apparently chosen to completely ignore recent research showing that statins can effectively negate the benefits of exercise, which is one of the primary heart disease prevention strategies!
Statin Drugs Can Wreck Your Health in Multiple Ways
Statins have also been shown to increase your risk of diabetes via a number of different mechanisms, so if you weren’t put on a statin because you have diabetes, you may end up with a diabetes diagnosis courtesy of the drug. Two of these mechanisms include:
- Increasing insulin resistance, which can be extremely harmful to your health. Increased insulin resistance contributes to chronic inflammation in your body, and inflammation is the hallmark of most diseases. In fact, increased insulin resistance can lead to heart disease, which, again, is the primary reason for taking a statin in the first place. It can also promote belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and cancer.
- Raising your blood sugar. When you eat a meal that contains starches and sugar, some of the excess sugar goes to your liver, which then stores it away as cholesterol and triglycerides. Statins work by preventing your liver from making cholesterol. As a result, your liver returns the sugar to your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.Drug-induced diabetes and genuine type 2 diabetes are not necessarily identical. If you're on a statin drug and find that your blood glucose is elevated, it's possible that what you have is just hyperglycemia—a side effect, and the result of your medication. Unfortunately, many doctors will at that point mistakenly diagnose you with "type 2 diabetes," and possibly prescribe anotherdrug, when all you may need to do is simply discontinue the statin in order for your blood glucose levels to revert back to normal.Statin drugs also interfere with other biological functions. Of utmost importance, statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which accounts for many of its devastating results. Therefore, if you take a statin, you must take supplemental CoQ10, or better, the reduced form called ubiquinol. Statins also interfere with the mevalonate pathway, which is the central pathway for the steroid management in your body. Products of this pathway that are negatively affected by statins include:
- All your sex hormones
- The dolichols, which are involved in keeping the membranes inside your cells healthy
- All sterols, including cholesterol and vitamin D (which is similar to cholesterol and is produced from cholesterol in your skin)
12 of 16 Panel Members have Ties to Drug Industry
Dr. Stone claims the panel could not have been created unless members with conflicts of interest were included, because anyone involved in a statin drug trial would be considered a consultant. “And you can’t have expertise without having done clinical trials,” he told Time. However, according to the IOM, panels charged with devising treatment guidelines do NOT really have to be experts in the field. While helpful, clinical experience is not critical because the job of the panel is to assess available research for sound methodology and accuracy of data.Two years ago, the New York Times19 criticized the cholesterol panel, including Dr. Stone, for its many apparent conflicts of interest. Stone told the NYT that the group was taking “extraordinary measures to reduce bias,” but with the evidence I've found on this group, how could they possibly not be biased toward the use of statins? At least 12 of the 16 members have financial ties with the pharmaceutical industry! Even more egregious, only seven of them chose to disclose such ties. After hours of internet research, I discovered five more authors had potential conflicts of interest with industry. It's nothing short of outrageous that an entire nation of people may be prescribed these hazardous drugs based on the decision by a group that has so many financial ties to so many drug companies.The panel’s conflicts of interest again came under fire in a recent article in Time Magazine,20 which noted that:“The Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent organization of scientists that analyzes available data and provides advice on medical issues, recommends that chairs of guideline committees should have no conflicts of interest if possible, and that the entire panel should also be free of ties to industry; if that’s not possible, then at least half of the members should meet this criterion...Those policies stem from studies suggesting that biases do creep into people’s behaviors, whether consciously or not. In one study published earlier this year, for example, scientists compared the guidelines proposed by two different groups of experts for treating a blood clotting disorder; the panel in which 73% of members reported connections to pharmaceutical companies suggested stronger recommendations for turning to drug-based treatments compared to a panel in which none of the members had ties to industry.”
For a much more detailed Article please follow the link. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/27/statins-cholesterol-treatment-guidelines.aspx?e_cid=20131127Z1A_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20131127Z1A&et_cid=DM34111&et_rid=350510905