High Cholesterol is a big problem. In America alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreports that 73.5 million adults (31.7%) have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. Statin cholesterol-lowering drugs are one of the biggest drugs prescribed to patients for this problem, making a profit of $20 billion a year. Statins are taken by one in four Americans over the age of 45, predominately to protect themselves against heart attacks and strokes.
As with any health concern in life, it’s important to first find the root of the cause to determine how you got where you are in the first place, and having high cholesterol is no exception. What lifestyle choices have been made that could have initially caused this situation? Eating, drinking, and exercising for your health are number one. But upon diagnosis, doing things that promote a healthy heart and reverse high cholesterol levels seems to come second to taking pills.
How Statin Drugs Work:
Statin drugs work by inhibiting the enzyme in your liver which makes cholesterol. The problem with this is that having cholesterol is actually an essential part of our wellbeing, as it produces cell membranes, a variety of hormones, and bile acids necessary for digesting fat. Furthermore, cholesterol is responsible for ensuring you have proper brain function to think, learn, and form memories. So while these drugs do lower cholesterol, they’re also affecting other parts of your health.
Of course the idea of suffering a stroke or heart attack as a result of having high levels of bad cholesterol is scary, but are statins really the answer? Plenty of studies seem to think otherwise.
How Pharmaceutical Companies Are Tricking You
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine” Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and long time Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ) (source)
People are being deceived by the statistics. For instance, when you take into consideration the absolute risk, these drugs do little to ensure prevention against heart attacks, with just one percent of the population — as in one in 100 people — protected from having one less heart attack. Rather than seeing the truth, as GreenMedInfo reports, “the change from a 2% to a 1% heart attack rate is billed a 50% reduction rather than a 1% improvement, which is what it actually is.” What we’re missing is that relative risk tells us nothing about the actual risk.
In the Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, researchers stated, “It is beginning to dawn on some clinicians that contemporary treatments are not only failing to impact on our most prevalent diseases, but they may be causing more damage than good. A perfect example of such an issue is the statin saga.”
Drug companies deceive the population legally this way, providing you information on what the effectiveness is in terms of relative risk. As Dr. Mercola points out, this can be understood by examining a simple study. For instance, let’s say researchers observe 200 women in regards to the effect a drug can have on the risk of breast cancer, with only half actually taking the drug and the other taking a placebo. Over the course of five years, two women who took the drug develop the disease as do four women in the placebo. To compare these findings, headlines could either say that this new drug cuts breast cancer risk by 50 percent, or they could say that it results in a 2 percent drop in breast cancer risk. Legally, both would be allowed. We are being deceived, and many of us don’t even know it.
And it’s not just how little they’re doing for our health, it’s also how they’re harming it, too.