Cholesterol has been a heated, controversial subject for decades, and because of the popularity of the “low fat” dietary lifestyle and its endorsement by government agencies, the connection between cholesterol and heart disease has been accepted as an iron-clad truth.
But what if everything we knew about cholesterol and heart disease risk is wrong?
While the immensely statin profitable drugs used to treat high cholesterol have been hailed as a breakthrough success by mainstream medicine, these drugs also come with a high rate of debilitating side effects. And now, their effectiveness is being called into question by a new study showing statin drugs to be a “waste of time,” arguing that lowering one’s cholesterol essentially does nothing to prevent heart disease after all.
New Study Shows: Cholesterol Has No Connection to Coronary Heart Disease
Is the cholesterol-heart disease connection completely overblown? According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, the answer is a resounding yes.
The international study reviewed research including almost 70,000 subjects and found no connection between bad cholesterol levels and death caused by coronary heart disease, reported Telegraph.
In actuality, the researchers found the opposite to be true. Their results showed that people with high “bad” cholesterol levels lived longer and had lower heart disease rates — 92 percent of those with higher cholesterol lived longer.
“Lowering cholesterol with medications for primary cardiovascular prevention in those aged over 60 is a total waste of time and resources,” said Professor Sherif Sultan from the University of Ireland.
The medical establishment is, of course, not believing the study, choosing to rely on earlier research instead. But since the widespread adoption of statin drugs, has anything really improved when it comes to America’s #1 killer, heart disease?
Cardiovascular disease affects 65 million Americans, and almost 1 million die from heart attacks annually. In fact, 1 in 3 deaths in the U.S. are due to cardiovascular disease. Meanwhile, statin use is very high — 50% of men and 36% of women ages 65-74 take statins; and the numbers are 45% and 39% for ages 75 and older.
The heart disease numbers, although lower than in the 1990s (potentially due to less cigarette smoking and other factors), are still very high.
It is also important to note that 75% of people who had heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels, and many countries who have on average higher cholesterol levels actually have less heart disease.
Taking all of this into account together with the new study points to the very real possibility that statins do not help heart disease after all. No only that, but statins come with a long list of bad side effects that often ruin the patient’s health.
Statins Are Bad News For Your Health
Seeing the new evidence that statins do nothing for heart disease prevention is especially unsettling while knowing how much damage they can do to a human body.
Andy Whyman is a man in his 60s from New Zealand (one of only two major countries, along with the U.S., that allows direct-to-consumer drug advertising according to the AMA), whose life became a “nightmare” after taking Zocor, a popular statin drug.
After taking this medication daily, Andy experienced debilitating muscle pain and weakness. Instead of taking him off Zocor, the doctors increased his dose from 10 to 40 mg daily. Andy had to stop going to work because he could no longer stand well. His general practitioner said she knew statins had side effects, but had never seen them so bad.
But his story is not rare. Here is what another patient has said about her experience with these drugs:
“I have permanent damage to my muscles and they continue to deteriorate.”
“I stopped taking them more than a year ago and I am still in pain, still can’t walk upstairs without pain and my muscle enzymes are still elevated; so are my liver enzymes.”
“Some people develop rhabdomyolosis from taking statins and some even die from it. They are harmful and there’s no getting around that.”
“I used to walk 2 miles a day and lift free weights to stay in shape. Now I can no longer do that. I can’t sleep soundly anymore.”
“I hurt all over most of the time but I continue to go to work and try not to think about the pain.”
“My doctor frightened me into taking them. She told me if I didn’t take them I would die of a heart attack or liver disease.”
Because cholesterol has been demonized as the enemy for so long in the United States, many people are scared into believing that their levels absolutely must remain low to avoid catastrophic health consequences.
But what most people don’t realize is that cholesterol is necessary for the body to continue to grow and regenerate healthy cells for all different organs in the body, as Dr. Ron Rosedale notes in this article.
“First and foremost, cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol,” Rosedale said.
“That will automatically tell you that, in and of itself, it cannot be evil. In fact, it is one of our best friends…We would not be here without it…
“No wonder lowering cholesterol too much increases one’s risk of dying. Cholesterol is also a precursor to all of the steroid hormones. You cannot make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone and a host of other vital hormones without cholesterol.”
Statins’ Side Effects Can Be Serious
The side effects of statin drugs include:
-Increased blood sugar
-Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
And the most severe is life-threatening muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis, which leads to severe muscle pain as well as life threatening conditions including serious liver damage and kidney failure.
What Actually Keeps Heart Disease at Bay
Instead of taking harmful medication, there are many things that can be done to prevent heart disease.
Nutrition: Getting enough of these vitamins and minerals in your diet or taking them separately as supplements: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10 (which is often prescribed in Europe to go with statin drugs and to mitigate their harmful effects), potassium and magnesium for a healthy heart.
Avoid things that hurt your heart: Statin drugs, NSAIDs like Tylenol, and wheat (Dr. William Davis, author of the best-selling book Wheat Belly, wrote on his blog that too much grain consumption along with a sedentary lifestyle is a huge issue for heart health that has led to drug companies overcompensating with statin drugs).
Lifestyle: Drink high quality green tea; get enough sleep; take 20-minute walks daily. Movement is generally most effective throughout the day, because sitting for too long can be especially damaging for your circulatory health.
Of course, the most important step for anyone taking statins if to consult with a licensed, holistic-minded physician who has had experience in transitioning people off of them, or at the very least supporting patients with the correct nutrition and other protocols in order to facilitate health — whether you continue to take statin drugs or not.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; it is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any diseases; see our disclaimer here for more information.