In a world saturated with information, much of which is conflicting, it can be hard to discern the truth as patient. When it comes to one of our nation's most common preventable diseases, I would ask you the patient to be highly skepticle when, a.) There is A LOT of money to be made off of the product b.) Incidence of the disease it supposedly treats is increasing despite increased implimentation of the product, and c.) You don't know why you're taking it.
In the case of cholesterol lowering drugs, we've blindly accepted what big pharma wants us to believe so that they can keep us sick, keep us drugged, and make a great big pile of money off of it. And oh yes, they DO make a whole lot of $...
"Strangely enough, I’ve seen some people criticizing the idea that conflicts of interest would affect statin prescriptions because most statins are no longer protected by patent are thus not profitable for drug manufacturers. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past 5 years, statin prescriptions in the U.S. have grown 20 percent to 264 million a year (a shockingly high number in a country with a population of 314 million). Total global sales of cholesterol-lowering medications, including statins, were $35 billion in 2012. Statin sales amounted to $29 billion worldwide and $10 billion in the U.S. Those are enormous figures. In fact, statin drug sales account for approximately 10% of all drugs sold in the U.S., with a single statin (Lipitor) generating almost $8 billion in sales alone. I think it’s pretty safe to say that drug companies are making a killing selling statins." (1)
What if America spent 10 billion dollars more per year on organic, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables?
CHOLESTEROL DOES NOT CAUSE HEART DISEASE. Hyperglycemia, induced by processed food diets along with inadequate exercise does cause heart disease. A high glycemic, high calorie, nutrient-poor diet (sugar, flour, pasta, baked goods, bread, the American diet) causes deterioration of blood vessels. The human body is simply mal-adapted to eat a high-glycemic , nutrient-poor diet. One of the many consequences of this is arterial wall damage. Here's a rundown of the disease process...
Once damage is done, it must be repaired by a cell that also has the job of transporting cholesterol. But instead of moving on after the repair, it stays there, with the cholesterol still attached. Over time this causes plaque build up and arterial occlusion, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Cholesterol doesn't do anything! It doesn't cause any damage, it's just getting shuttled by the cell that also happens to have this other function. And this has been physiologically inconsequential for millions of years up until the industrialized food revolution. It's like burning unseasoned pine in your wood stove and concluding that the creosote build up was the cause of your chimney fire. Just don't burn pine!
Reduction of CoQ10 synethesis caused by statin drugs can lead to problems such as angina, arrhythmia, heart failure, and high blood pressure.
Now, cholesterol-lowering drugs might not be that bad if they first, did no harm. However, they do do harm. In addition to lowering cholesterol, they block synthesis of an essential factor in cell metabolism, CoQ10. CoQ10 plays a vital role in a chain of metabolic chemical reactions that produce energy in the cell. It is especially present in cells that require higher energy outputs, such as heart muscle. Yeah, pretty important for cardiac health, wouldn't you say? The liver and kidneys are also highly dependent on healthy levels of CoQ10. Guess we would like those to function too. This is also the reason patients commonly experience muscle fatigue and soreness while taking this class of drugs. Makes it kind of hard to exercise with impaired muscle function. Reduction of CoQ10 synethesis caused by cholesterol-lowering drugs can lead to problems such as angina, arrhythmia, heart failure, and high blood pressure. Yes, drug companies can proudly advertise (only in America and Australia) that statins can lower cholesterol. But cholesterol isn't bad and statins might cause heart failure. They don't advertise that.
So where do we go from here?
Ask your doctor if there might be more important indicators of heart disease to follow and treat.
Reduce controllable risks. Change your behaviors.
Eat real, whole foods.
Start implimenting burst/interval workouts regularly.
Do a cleanse that regulates blood sugar naturally and reinforces healthy eating habits.
Increase omega-3 fatty acids (if you're not already on blood thinners)
Educate yourself. Become informed.
Don't do it alone. We are social animals. Get your family and friends in on it so you can all have a support group.
Do it today. Investing in your health requires a lifestyle of regular healthy behaviors. Not unlike a retirement account that requires a lifetime habit of saving.
This kind of change, though crucial, can be daunting. Take little steps. Make little changes. Don't blame yourself or feel guilty. And make these changes not just for yourself, but for your family, for future generations, for the earth, and for a purposeful life.