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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WARNING: - Statins Worsen Heart Function

More people have suffered with and died from heart disease in the United States than any other disease. In 2009, more than 615,000 people died from heart disease. With such a high number of deaths from heart disease, the health care community has spent time and money trying to reduce the number of people that are affected. A major risk factor for heart disease is high cholesterol, while treatment and control of high cholesterol reduces the risk. The most popular form of treatment has become the use of statins to lower cholesterol. While these drugs are being prescribed like candy to millions of Americans, recent research has shed light on just how dangerous these drugs can be.

A new study published in Clinical Cardiology found that statin drugs are associated with decreased myocardial (heart muscle) function.1 Statin use is also known to be associated with myopathy, muscle weakness and rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle fibers resulting in the release of muscle fiber contents into the bloodstream. With such a growing body of evidence on the risk of statins, you must think long and hard before deciding to take these dangerous medications.

If you do have high cholesterol, it is critical to understand how important cholesterol is to our body and what it is used for. Cholesterol is necessary to create vital hormones in the body, repair cell membranes, make Vitamin D, make bile acids to digest fats, allow healthy neurological function, as well as repair damaged cells. In fact, it is not cholesterol that is the problem; it is the OXIDATION of cholesterol. When arteries are damaged, cholesterol is sent to help repair the area, but if there is chronic inflammation in the body, many times due to sugars or damaged fats, then that cholesterol may be oxidized causing it to cling to the walls of the arteries.

When cholesterol levels become too high in the body, this is commonly a sign that there is chronic inflammation in the body.  The cause of the problem must be addressed instead of focusing on the symptom that is produced in the body. With this startling discovery about cholesterol and the dangers of statins, it is easy to see that restoring your health and finding the cause is more important than ever before.

Let’s look for the cause of health problems.

Inflammation can be addressed through:

  1. Diet and limiting or eliminating grains, sugars, and bad fats.  
  2. Exercise by understanding stress caused by low intensity, long duration types of exercise.  
  3. Knowing the most dangerous toxins and how to safely eliminate them from your body.  
  4. Reducing nerve irritation.  
  5. Managing stress

Many researchers will tell you that Inflammation may be the most common cause of disease.  It’s a side-effect of modern living.  It is important to correct the causes of inflammation.  By addressing one or all of these causes, you are fighting for your health so you don’t end up fighting for disease.  That’s the real definition of prevention.

1“Statin therapy decreases myocardial function as evaluated via strain imaging.” Clin Cardiol. 2009 Dec ;32(12):684-9.
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My Personal Story of Statin Poisoning
As it happened, this first appointment with a physician did absolutely nothing to ease my growing suspicion of modern cardiac medicine. He reiterated the message from Dr. Ghoul: my medical needs could not be met in Naples and I was being referred to a surgeon in Tampa for a heart transplant.

I asked Dr. Babbitt about the Lipitor dose he had prescribed me. By then, I had already found for myself the safety and efficacy FDA studies that originally approved Lipitor. These studies had used doses of 2.5 mg and 5 mg daily. Yet interestingly, the lowest available dose of Lipitor manufactured by the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, was 10mg – double the highest dose used in the FDA studies for safety and effectiveness! 

If that wasn’t enough to raise my eyebrows, Dr. Babbitt prescribed 80 mg daily doses of Lipitor – 16 to 32 times the doses used in the FDA studies. I told my doctor about my research on the FDA studies.

“You shouldn’t worry about those FDA reports – I have studies showing that 80 milligrams per day are safe, and more effective than those lower doses.”

 I asked him who had done his studies. 

I didn’t tell him that I was already aware of the Pfizer sponsored studies.

I suspect that Dr. Babbitt never saw the actual Pfizer studies, but had simply taken the word of a “detail man,” a representative of a drug manufacturer who calls on doctors to promote the products from that company. I wondered if he would be so enthusiastic about high-dose Lipitor had he actually read the study.

In 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report funded by Pfizer that described the efficacy of high-dose Lipitor in cardiovascular disease. The authors concluded that high-dose Lipitor (80 mg) was superior to a ‘standard dose’ (10 mg) in reducing negative cardiovascular events in coronary heart disease (CHD) patients. Ten thousand CHD patients participated in the five-year study. Half of them received a daily dose of 80 mg of Lipitor, while the other half received a control, ‘standard’ dose of 10 mg/day.

The Pfizer study observed a reduction in major cardiovascular events in the high-dose Lipitor group (heart attack and/or stroke) over the course of the experiment. In the 80 mg group, 8.7% (or 434 patients) suffered a major cardiovascular event, compared to 10.9% (or 548 patients) of patients in the standard 10 mg group. When you do the math, that’s a difference of 2.2% – or 104 fewer cardiovascular incidences in the high-dose Lipitor group – a statistically significant improvement over standard treatment. Furthermore, only 126 patients in the 80 mg/day Lipitor group died from cardiovascular problems during the study, as compared to 155 in the 10 mg/day group.
I was surprised to discover that treatments were tested and put into practice with such small efficacy ratings. But, 2.2% is better than nothing, right?

Not when you take into account that in this same study, 158 deaths due to non-cardiovascular events occurred in the 80 mg/day group (3.2%), versus only 127 (2.5%) in the lower dose condition. Cancer, particularly lung and gastrointestinal, was responsible for more than half of these deaths. Hemorrhagic stroke and other, non-traumatic causes contributed to the remainder of non-cardiovascular deaths in both treatment conditions. However, this difference of 31 more deaths from non-cardiac related causes in the high-dose group brings the total deaths to 282 in the 10 mg Lipitor group, and 284 in the 80 mg group – statistically, that means there was no difference at all. Your chances of survival were actually 1 in 5000 lower if you took a high dose rather than a standard dose of Lipitor.

Between the actual statistics revealing the serious side effects associated with Lipitor and other statin drugs, and the failure to improve overall survival rate by using higher doses of Lipitor, I suspected that my doctor, had he actually been up on the facts, could have made a wiser choice. However, the professional to whom I was entrusting my life didn’t seem to be as well informed on the subject as I was. Later I was to discover that this isn’t unusual; it doesn’t take much research to be better informed than some doctors.

However, it was easy to understand why the drug salesmen from Pfizer only talked about the (tiny) advantage in reducing cardiac events and failed to mention the fact that there was no overall advantage in reducing death.
So why were the patients in the high-dose Lipitor study dying more frequently from non-cardiovascular causes? At this point, the mechanisms underlying this effect are unclear – we just can’t tell. But as one expert in the field wrote, “we need further reassurance as to the safety of this approach before making this higher dose a standard practice in CHD pharmacological therapy.” Despite their prevalence, the statins are not the only available method that can be used to lower LDL-C levels. Hybrid therapies with other drugs, natural therapies, and nutrition can all be effectively used for this purpose. But my highly paid doctor didn’t know that, either.

Read Sam & Bunny’s story of triumph over adversity!
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Another Example of Pfizer Killing People for Profit

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