I've been noticing a number of individuals who seem very anxious, sometime frightened, about a diagnosis of high-cholesterol from their doctors. I think this is a result of the aggressive marketing of statins to doctors, many of whom are totally unaware of their side-effects, or how they work... Many doctors seem to be scaring their patients into taking statins... To me this is unethical and bad medicine!!
Before you have a heart-attack from worry over a number which may or may not predict heart disease - take a look at some opinions from the other side of the fence - from those not taking money from the pharmaceutical industry who dare to challenge the advise of the Pfizers & Mercks of the world...
There is an organization called THINC - The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics - a growing body of doctors and scientists who dare to doubt the guidance that the lower your cholesterol the better, and who feel statins are grossly oversubscribed. Their web link is [url]http://www.thincs.org/index.htm[/url] (pre-approved by moderator1).
Take a look at some of the discussions and articles on this site - some of the articles present information you will NEVER hear from any of the medical experts who have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry (which includes most of the researchers who have conducted the 'big' statin-studies to date...).
There are a lot of interesting articles in the LINKS tab under "About Cholesterol and it's Lowering" that casts doubt on the idea that low cholesterol is beneficial to overall health... At least the articles will make you think and present you with information you won't get from the mainstream medical establishment... For example, has your doctor ever told you that statins and fibrates have been shown to cause cancer in a number of studies? Has he/she told you that overall death rates for those on statins tend to be the same or slightly higher than those not taking statins (because although deaths from CHD are lowered, deaths from Cancers and other causes rise)? Has he/she discussed some of the more common statin side-effects with you (muscle aches, weakness, loss of memory, lowered cognitive function...)?
I for one believe that the current cholesterol guidelines put 'target' cholesterol levels into the potential danger zone. I'm also doubting whether cholesterol level is as tightly related to CHD as I've been told over the years, or whether it is low-level chronic inflamation (indicated by such markers as CRP and homocysteine) that leads to CHD. I'm also beginning to think there's something to Dr. Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath MD's theory that chronic vitamin-c deficiency is one of the root causes of cardiovascular disease...)..
I also don't believe that statins reduce CHD by lowering cholesterol levels, but rather by their anti-inflammatory properties (and you can fight inflammation with vitamin B1, B2, B6, Omega-3s, Folic Acid and low-dose buffered aspirin for a lot less money and with less side effects than with statins).
Browse the above site if you want to hear the other-side of the cholesterol/statin debate...
Before you are scared into taking medications, or have a heart-attack from worrying about your 'high' cholesterol level... get some info to balance the picture a bit more...
Hubble..I haven't read that exact link, but have seen other's. I agree with you, people should research their drugs and drs. should also give U a chance with diet and exercise before taking out that prescription pad. These days if U are 5 pts. over on just about anything, BP, cholesterol, etc. U are labeled "PRE" everything. Worst part of all this is, most dr.s will not agree with you that these drugs cause alot of people pain or other problems. It tells U right on tv, if U experience certain symptoms to tell your dr., yet if U do, they say.."no way".
I switched drs. twice, as neither would work with me. When I told the dr. some day these things are going to be off the market, he told me, NO way, they were the best thing since sliced bread, and I was on Baycol at the time, and we see how THAT went. Many times if U don't take what the dr. wants, they treat U different, and your labeled uncooperative, it is almost a catch 22 situation.
Oh well, off my soapbox, as I have no answers to this problem anymore then most folks. Just have to hope and pray U get a dr. that will work with you and not dismiss your ideas if you choose to go a natural route. Have a great day, and stay well....
BTW...spring has finally sprung here for a few days, yahooooo.
I am puzzled as to how a low-carb diet and a low-fat diet can both be beneficial to good health. I done a lot of reading about the two diets and both seem to have good theory. Now we have the “optimal” diet, or Polish Diet which recommends the high consumption of fat daily. I read of one case where a man with a prior MI and CAD developed diabetes while on the low-fat diet and in desperation tried the “optimal” diet with astonishingly good results.
My best lipid profile was while on the low-carb diet but that fact is tainted because I was also taking 10mg of Lipitor at the time.
How can both diets be right? Maybe, in spite of their differences, they have something in common. Just a thought.
Keep moving, it makes it harder for the undertaker to catch you. Don
Don't feel bad, half of us are so stinking confused it is pathedic.
All I know is we are trying to add more fruits and veggies to our diet, as we are not big meat eaters anyway. Still think the best way to go is almost everything in moderation. I have never spent so much time looking stuff up on a computer since I had it, and sometimes the more I read, the more confused I get. Hang in there, we all are in the same boat, as I don't think there is a REAL clear cut answer for everyone. I know somedays I just want to throw up my hands and say...I QUIT!! Good luck....
Just remember... Beach Bums don't care about things like HDL, LDL, HDL/LDL ratio, Total Cholesterol, CRP, homocysteine, vitamin B1, B2, B6, C, Folic Acid, Omega-3, blah-blah-blah..... They enjoy life, and don't fret (at least not until the hurricane eye wall is passing over...)...
They probably outlive us all, and if they don't, they go with a smile on their face.
I agree - the lack of any clear guidance makes you go nuts if you take it too seriously!!
Oh I love your thinking Hubble. Sometimes I really do think all the worrying does absolutely NO good at all. What ever happened to ..LIVE..LOVE AND BE HAPPY??
Like I told hubby tonight, we will do the best we can, up the veggie and fruit stuff and let the cards fall where they may. I'm with you, those beach bums probably don't give cholesterol etc. another thought, they are too busy being happy..GOD BLESS THEM!!
Definitely let me know which beach, I've got all the cleaning tools to make those shack huts look just fine....
Best of wishes, and hope U are enjoy this small warm up we have going. Got us some rain coming tonight, but hey, it was nice yesterday...
Think ole lady nature forgot spring is suppose to be here, maybe she is on STATINS and is suffering mind depletion.
donsabi - I think a part of the problem is the individual difference in the way our bodies react. A personal example: I get huge cysts on my face from eating too much fat, even just one day. When I told my dermatologist that back in the early 70s, his reply is if I was getting them from eating fat, I must really be eating a terrible diet. Ha! At that time I even ate my toast dry and my salad dry. I did a one-week food study of my diet not long after that and my usual diet then was only about 20% fat. That kept things under reasonable control, but if I misbehaved and ate something like French fries or fried chicken just one day, I'd invariably have one or more cysts the next day. And it is still happening thirty-some years later, though I have the liberty of going higher on my average fat consumption without trouble. I'm guessing 30%, which is quite tolerable and I rarely get them. But how many people have a reaction like that? There is just something about my body that doesn't like excessive fats. I think some of the anecdotal situations we hear about and very small studies with results that don't seem to jibe with what we think we know are like that.
The large studies are a different matter. Probably some of the differences in results there may be with the sample chosen. Who knows what additional factors come into play when a study is done with subjects of one race or another, living in one location or another, having a specific disease or none, male or female, etc.
Some of the differences in results could also be a result of the length of the study. A given result at one point just might not be there if the length of the study was longer or shorter.
But I, too, am about ready to throw up my hands after reading and reading. I'm beginning to think that cholesterol may have a very minor role in the whole heart health picture, that it may be just a marker for CVD under some circumstances, not a causative factor.
Hubble and JJ, you've got a good point there. Hey, I LIVE on the beach and am retired. What am I doing sitting here at this computer? Now that the monsoon that hit this afternoon is over, I think I'll forget all this LDL/HDL stuff, put on my boots and go take a walk on the beach. It will probably do my heart a lot more good than any change I might get in my cholesterol anyway.
Yesterday was gorgeous here, and I was so busy I never gave cholesterol another thought, probably the best day I've had in months. Can't wait for more days like that so I can occupy my mind with something relaxing. I know from looking around the yard yesterday, it's going to be a major cleanup for the yard this year. All those snow storms did a number on the place. Oh well, that will be my spring exercise.
Hope U had a great walk on the beach, can't wait till it warms up so I can get this body more active, what a long winter it seems to have been.
Take care, and I see they took another drug off the market today. I swear they are trying to kill us off, one way or another....
Ahhhh, give me the good ole days, when all I worried about was how fast I could get the kids off to school, and myself off to work. CYL...
I, like you have difficulty believing that both a LOW FAT DIET and a HIGH FAT DIET can both be beneficial to our cardiac health. My conclusion, after years of experimenting and research is that proponents of one of them ARE LYING to sell books!
I agree with you completely!
IMO, there must be some similarities in both the low fat and low carb diets. At first look both diets cut out refined carbs and unhealthily oils. The “whites” are a no-no on both diets. They both advocate exercise and weight loss. Just maybe the real truth is that the diet doesn’t really matter but the consumption of refined carbs, sugar, high fructose syrup, refined flour, chemicals, and lack of exercise may be the true culprit.
We have been discussing the merits of these two diets and the real solution lies in the similarities and not the differences. I suggest we start a post devoted to this subject.
Keep moving, it makes it harder for the undertaker to catch you. Don
I also agree with what Hubble said earlier. I think that mainstream medicine, which is greatly influenced by the drug companies, is on the wrong track. They continue to aggressively attack the messenger (cholesterol) without ever getting at the root cause of atherosclerosis. Plausible theories, such as the one Linus Pauling presented, have been blatantly and suspiciously ignored for well over a decade.
In any case, I think that people should take it upon themselves to learn as much as they can about Pauling's theory, and decide for themselves whether it sounds plausible. As far as I'm concerned, it does make sense. Unlike those in mainstream medicine, Pauling made an effort to explain why and how atherosclerosis develops. From all that I have read about his theory, I got the impression that he was never pointing an accusing finger at cholesterol. Regardless of your cholesterol level, atherosclerosis can develop providing that the right conditions exist. The process usually begins with a lesion in the artery, probably the result of weakened and damaged arteries caused by sub-optimal ascorbate intake.
Anyway, in addition to the recommendations made by Linus Pauling, I honestly believe that people can do a great amount of good for themselves by adopting safer, more natural approaches in dealing with this epidemic problem. The effects may be much greater than those which can be obtained with the use of statins. In fact, fish oil alone may be more beneficial than statins. The amino acid L-arginine can raise nitric oxide levels, resulting in improved blood flow. Other valuable additions include vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, folic acid, niacin, garlic, and selenium, to name just a few.
"Men and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted."
I, for one, find the pronouncements of Linus Pauling on the subject of Vitamin C and it's miraculous curative properties completely IMPLAUSIBLE.
I'm sure MANY studies were done since the stuff was touted as the cure for the common cold and everything else decades ago. It's probable that none showed any results worth touting...or the Vitamin industry would be touting them hot and heavy and even Pfizer would be selling a special patented version of a methylated-DHEA-magnesio-poly-ascorbate complex with Lipitor for $4 a pill.
Linus Pauling had tunnel vision and saw EVERY disease as SCURVY. His was the perfect case of having one tool, Vitamin C was his hammer, and thus reducing the universe of disease to a nail, scurvy.
I applaud the medical community for letting this dead horse of a theory finally die in pasture as it well deserves.
Of couse anyone who wants to cure "all that ails him" is perfectly free to pump 100 grams a day of intravenous ascorbate or to eat as many Vitamin C tablets he can to the point of inflamed bowel, bladder and stomach. Perhaps the placebo effect will work and he will be cured of all known disease like Linus Pauling was.
(Oh yeah, according to Pauling, it cured AIDS too, which ALSO is really only scurvy!)
Actually, Pauling wasn't the only one to claim that vitamin C can reduce plaque deposits. In fact, this has been known since at least as far back as 1954, before Pauling even began studying vitamin C. A Canadian physician, G.C. Willis, conducted experiments on his patients. He divided patients into two groups. One group was given 500mg of vitamin C, three times daily. Willis was able to take pictures and see the inside of human arteries for the first time. What he discovered was that 60% of those taking vitamin C improved, that is, their plaques were reduced. In 30% the plaques remained about the same, and in 10% he saw their plaques increase slightly. None of the control's plaques were reduced. As promising as these results were, the scientific and medical communities showed little interest in the Willis experiments. And these results were obtained with only 1500mg vitamin C per day. We now know that 1500mg is probably not a high enough dose, and better results can most likely be obtained with doses closer to what Pauling recommended, along with the lipoprotein(a) binders lysine and proline. If the medical community had only paid attention to the Willis studies back in 1954, then I think the incidence of heart disease would be much lower today.
"Men and nations will act rationally when all other possibilities have been exhausted."