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How You’ve Been Misled About Statins


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/11/demasi-statin-wars.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     
March 11, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • More than 35 million Americans are on a statin drug, making it one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the U.S. Lipitor — which is just one of several brand name statin drugs — is the most profitable drug in the history of medicine
  • The “statin empire” is built on prescribing these drugs to people who really don’t need them and are likely to suffer side effects without getting any benefits
  • By simply revising the definition of “high cholesterol,” which was done in 2000 and again in 2004 in the U.S., millions of people became eligible for statin treatment, without any evidence whatsoever that it would actually benefit them
  • In 2013, the American College of Cardiology and AHA revised their statin guideline to include a CVD risk calculation rather than a single cholesterol number. This resulted in another 12.8 million Americans being put on statin treatment even though they didn’t have any real risk factors for CVD
  • Industry-biased research, the hiding of raw study data, deceptive statistical tricks, silencing of dissenters, censoring of critics and the use of fear-based PR are other strategies employed to manipulate public opinion and doctors to keep prescribing statins to an ever-widening population base

Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors; that is, they block the enzyme in your liver responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase). According to Drugs.com, more than 35 million Americans are on a statin drug, making it one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the U.S.1

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data suggest 47.6% of seniors over the age of 75 are on a statin drug.2 Lipitor — which is just one of several brand name statin drugs — is the most profitable drug in the history of medicine.3,4

Collectively, statins have earned over $1 trillion since they were introduced.5 This, despite their being off patent. There is simply no doubt that selling them is big business with major financial incentives to distort the truth to continue their sales.

Statin recommendations have become fairly complex, as they’re recommended for various age groups under different circumstances, and whether they’re used as primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), or secondary prevention. Guidelines also vary slightly depending on the organization providing the recommendation and the country you’re in.6

In the U.S., the two guidelines available are from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF),7 and the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.8,9 The USPSTF guidelines recommend using a statin for the primary prevention of CVD when a patient:10

  • Is between the age of 40 to 75
  • Has one or more CVD risk factors (dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension or smoking)
  • Has a calculated 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event of 10% or greater

In secondary prevention of CVD, statins are “a mainstay,” according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.11 Secondary prevention means the drug is used to prevent a recurrence of a heart attack or stroke in patients who have already had one.

Regulators’ Role Questioned

A February 2020 analysis12 in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine (paywall) brings up the fact that while the use of statins in primary prevention of CVD “has been controversial” and there’s ongoing debate as to “whether the benefits outweigh the harms,” drug regulators around the world — which have approved statins for the prevention of CVD — have stayed out of the debate. Should they? The analysis goes on to note:

“Our aim was to navigate the decision-making processes of European drug regulators and ultimately request the data upon which statins were approved. Our findings revealed a system of fragmented regulation in which many countries licensed statins but did not analyze the data themselves.

There is no easily accessible archive containing information about the licensing approval of statins or a central location for holding the trial data. This is an unsustainable model and serves neither the general public, nor researchers.”

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Have We Been Misled by the Evidence?

In her 2018 peer-reviewed narrative review,13 “Statin Wars: Have We Been Misled About the Evidence?” published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Maryanne Demasi, Ph.D., a former medical science major turned investigative health reporter, delves into some of these ongoing controversies.

“A bitter dispute has erupted among doctors over suggestions that statins should be prescribed to millions of healthy people at low risk of heart disease. There are concerns that the benefits have been exaggerated and the risks have been underplayed.

Also, the raw data on the efficacy and safety of statins are being kept secret and have not been subjected to scrutiny by other scientists. This lack of transparency has led to an erosion of public confidence.

Doctors and patients are being misled about the true benefits and harms of statins, and it is now a matter of urgency that the raw data from the clinical trials are released,” Demasi writes.14

While Demasi’s paper is behind a paywall, she reviews her arguments in the featured video above. Among them is the fact that the “statin empire” is built on prescribing these drugs to people who really don’t need them and are likely to suffer side effects without getting any benefits.

For example, some have recommended statins should be given to everyone over the age of 50, regardless of their cholesterol level. Others have suggested screening and dosing young children.

Even more outrageous suggestions over the past few years include statin “’condiments’ in burger outlets to counter the negative effects of a fast food meal,’” and adding statins to the municipal water supply.

Simple Tricks, Big Payoffs

Medical professionals are now largely divided into two camps, one saying statins are lifesaving and safe enough for everyone, and the other saying they’re largely unnecessary and harmful to boot. How did such a divide arise, when all have access to the same research and data?

Demasi suggests that in order to understand how health professionals can be so divided on this issue, you have to follow the money. The cost of developing and getting market approval for a new drug exceeds $2.5 billion. “A more effective way to fast-track company profits is to broaden the use of an existing drug,” Demasi says, and this is precisely what happened with statins.

By simply revising the definition of “high cholesterol,” which was done in 2000 and again in 2004, millions of people became eligible for statin treatment, without any evidence whatsoever that it would actually benefit them.

As it turns out, eight of the nine members on the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program panel responsible for these revisions had “direct ties to statin manufacturers,” Demasi says, and that public revelation sowed the first seed of suspicion in many people’s minds.

Skepticism ratcheted up even more when, in 2013, the American College of Cardiology and AHA revised their statin guideline to include a CVD risk calculation rather than a single cholesterol number. U.S. patients with a 7.5% risk of developing CVD in the next 10 years were now put on a statin. (In the U.K., the percentage used was a more reasonable 20%.)

This resulted in another 12.8 million Americans being put on statin treatment even though they didn’t have any real risk factors for CVD. Worse, a majority of these were older people without heart disease — the very population that stand to gain the least from these medications.

What’s worse, 4 of 5 calculators were eventually found to overestimate the risk of CVD, some by as much as 115%, which means the rate of overprescription was even greater than previously suspected.

Industry Bias

While simple revisions of the definitions of high cholesterol and CVD risk massively augmented the statin market, industry-funded studies have further fueled the overprescription trend. As noted by Demasi, when U.S. President Ronald Reagan cut funding to the National Institutes of Health, private industry moved in to sponsor their own clinical trials.

The vast majority of statin trials are funded by the manufacturers, and research has repeatedly found that funding plays a major role in research outcomes. It’s not surprising then that most statin studies overestimate drug benefits and underestimate risks.

Demasi quotes Dr. Peter Gøtzsche, a Danish physician-researcher who in 1993 co-founded the Cochrane Collaboration and later launched the Nordic Cochrane Centre:

“When drug industry sponsored trials cannot be examined and questioned by independent researchers, science ceases to exist and it becomes nothing more than marketing.”

“The very nature of science is its contestability,” Demasi notes. “We need to be able to challenge and rechallenge scientific results to ensure they’re reproducible and legitimate.” However, there’s been a “cloud of secrecy” around clinical statin trials, Demasi says, as the raw data on side effects have never been released to the public, nor other scientists.

The data are being held by the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists (CTT) Collaboration at CTSU Oxford, headed by Rory Collins, which periodically publishes meta-analyses of the otherwise inaccessible data. While the CTT claims to be an independent organization, it has received more than £260 million from statin makers.

Inevitably, its conclusions end up promoting wider use of statins, and no independent review is possible to contest or confirm the CTT Collaboration’s conclusions.

Tricks Used to Minimize Harms in Clinical Trials

As explained by Demasi, there are many ways in which researchers can influence the outcome of a drug trial. One is by designing the study in such a way that it minimizes the chances of finding harm. The example she gives in her lecture is the Heart Protection Study.

Before the trial got started, all participants were given a statin drug for six weeks. By the end of that run-in period, 36% of the participants had dropped out due to side effects or lack of compliance. Once they had this “freshly culled” population, where those suffering side effects had already been eliminated, that’s when the trial actually started.

Now, patients were divided into statin and placebo groups. But since everyone had already taken a statin before the trial began, the side effects found in the statin and placebo groups by the end of the trial were relatively similar.

In short, this strategy grossly underestimates the percentage of the population that will experience side effects, and this “may explain why the rate of side effects in statin trials is wildly different from the rate of side effects seen in real-world observations,” Demasi says.

Deception Through Statistics

Public opinion can also be influenced by exaggerating statistics. A common statistic used to promote statins is that they lower your risk of heart attack by about 36%.15 This statistic is derived from a 2008 study16 in the European Heart Journal. One of the authors on this study is Rory Collins, who heads up the CTT Collaboration.

Table 4 in this study shows the rate of heart attack in the placebo group was 3.1% while the statin group’s rate was 2% — a 36% reduction in relative risk. However, the absolute risk reduction — the actual difference between the two groups, i.e., 3.1% minus 2% — is only 1.1%, which really isn’t very impressive.

In other words, in the real world, if you take a statin, your chance of a heart attack is only 1.1% lower than if you’re not taking it. At the end of the day, what really matters is what your risk of death is the absolute risk. The study, however, only stresses the relative risk (36%), not the absolute risk (1.1%).

As noted in the review,17 “How Statistical Deception Created the Appearance That Statins Are Safe and Effective in Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease,” it’s very easy to confuse and mislead people with relative risks. You can learn more about absolute and relative risk in my 2015 interview with David Diamond, Ph.D., who co-wrote that paper.

Silencing Dissenters and Fear-Based PR

Yet another strategy used to mislead people is to create the illusion of “consensus” by silencing dissenters, discrediting critics and/or censoring differing views.

In her lecture, Demasi quotes Collins of the CTT Collaboration saying that “those who questioned statin side effects were ‘far worse’ and had probably ‘killed more people’ than ‘the paper on the MMR vaccine” … “Accusing you of murdering people is an effective way [to] discredit you,” she says.

Demasi also highlights the case of a French cardiologist who questioned the value of statins in his book. It received widespread attention in the French press, until critics started saying the book and resulting press coverage posed a danger to public health.

One report blamed the book for causing a 50% increase in statin discontinuation, which was predicted would lead to the death of 10,000 people. On this particular occasion, however, researchers analyzed the number of actual deaths based on national statistics, and found the actual death toll decreased in the year following the release of the book.

The authors, Demasi says, noted that it was “’not evidence-based to claim that statin discontinuation increases mortality,’ and that in the future, scientists should assess ‘real effects of statin discontinuation rather than making dubious extrapolations and calculations.’”

Trillion-Dollar Business Based on Flimsy Evidence

Statins, originally introduced three decades ago as secondary prevention for those with established CVD and patients with congenital and familial hyperlipidemias, have now vastly expanded thanks to the strategies summarized above.

Tens if not hundreds of millions of people are now on these drugs, without any scientific evidence to show they will actually benefit from them. As noted in the EBM analysis, “Statins for Primary Prevention: What Is the Regulator’s Role?”:18

“The central clinical controversy has been a fierce debate over whether their benefits in primary prevention outweigh their harms … The largest known statin usage survey conducted in the USA found that 75% of new statin users discontinued their therapy by the end of the first year, with 62% of them saying it was because of the side effects.

Regardless of what level of prevention statin prescription is aimed at, the proposed widening of the population to over 75s de facto includes people with multiple pathologies, whether symptomatic or not, and bypasses the distinction between primary and secondary prevention …

The CTT Collaboration estimates the frequency of myopathy is quite rare, at five cases per 10,000 statin users over five years. But others have contended that the CTT Collaboration’s work ‘simply does not match clinical experience’ … [Muscle-related adverse events] reportedly occur with a frequency of … as many as 20% of patients in clinical practice.”

Regulators Have a Duty to Create Transparency

Considering the discrepancy in reported side effects between statin trials, clinical practice and statin usage surveys, what responsibility do regulators have?

According to “Statins for Primary Prevention: What Is the Regulator’s Role?”19 regulators have a responsibility to “engage and publicly articulate their position on the controversy and make the evidence base underlying those judgments available to third parties for independent scrutiny,” none of which has been done to date. The paper adds:

“Regulators holding clinical trial data, particularly for public health drugs, should make these data available in searchable format with curated and dedicated web-based resource. If national regulators are not resourced for this, pooling or centralizing resources may be necessary.

The isolation of regulators from the realities of prescribing medications based on incomplete or distorted information is not enshrined in law but is a product of a subculture in which commercial confidentiality is more important than people. This also needs to change.”

Do Your Homework Before Taking a Statin

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest drug company-sponsored statin research and its PR cannot be trusted, and that few of the millions of people currently taking these drugs actually benefit from them.

Some of the research questioning the veracity of oft-cited statin trials is reviewed in “Statins’ Flawed Studies and Flawed Advertising” and “Statins Shown to Extend Life by Mere Days.”

To learn more about the potential harms of statins, see “Statins Double Diabetes Rates,” “Statins Trigger Brain Changes With Devastating Effects,” and “5 Great Reasons You Should Not Take Statins.”

New Study Sheds Light on Stroke Recovery


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/03/05/stroke-recovery.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     
March 05, 2020

Breaking NEWS: Vaccine-like injection touted as better than statins for “preventing” heart disease

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/heart-disease-injection-3276.html
by:  | 2nd February 2020

heart-disease-shot(NaturalHealth365) We’ve reported on the dangers of statins many times on NaturalHealth365.  From mood dysfunction to memory loss, the world’s top-selling drug – prescribed to lower blood cholesterol in the hopes of managing or preventing heart disease – comes with many questionable side effects. Now, doctors in the United Kingdom are rushing to test a new cholesterol-lowering drug – only this one is a pricey injection.The new “heart jab” is supposed to work like a vaccine. It contains a drug called inclisiran, and the National Health Service (NHS) of Britain seems extremely hopeful about its potential impact on patients’ heart health. But is it safe long-term?

So-called “wonder jab” alleged to slash cholesterol levels is expensive and lacks support from long-term data

Inclisiran is from a class of drugs called PCSK9 inhibitors. PCSK9 inhibitors – including alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha) – are very new to the British health market. They allegedly work by blocking the action of an enzyme called PCSK9; by inhibiting this enzyme, the liver can remove “lousy” LDL cholesterol from the blood more quickly.

Unlike alirocumab and evolocumab, however – which require a once or bi-monthly injection – inclisiran reportedly only needs to be injected once or twice per year. The drug works by turning off genes which normally make the PCSK9 enzyme. Reported side effects include back pain, aching muscles, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue.

Prior research on the drug revealed that inclisiran can decrease cholesterol by as much as 50 percent. Now, researchers, drug manufacturers, and the NHS seem so excited about this “wonder jab” that the NHS gave the green light for a new trial in Britain involving 40,000 middle-aged men and women who are taking statins and still have high cholesterol.

The very hopeful researchers claim that rolling out this drug onto the market could prevent as many as 55,000 heart attacks and strokes in the coming decade. Unfortunately, there are several valid points of contention with this new drug, and with the new trial that’s been shuttled so quickly down the pipeline:

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  • No one knows whether inclisiran and the other PCSK9 inhibitors are safe long-term.
  • Inclisiran is about 100 times as expensive as statin drugs.
  • The PCSK9 enzyme is involved in multiple bodily processes – and nobody yet knows what kind of widespread consequences there will be, if any, of shutting the enzyme down.
  • Inclisiran does appear to reduce cholesterol levels – but there’s no proof it reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • It’s not entirely clear that improving your cholesterol levels is the key to improving heart health anyway! Several recent papers provide evidence which challenges the long-held belief that high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. In fact, the true culprit appears to be chronic inflammation – which is something that inclisiran doesn’t influence.

Prevent heart disease and improve your heart health with these 5 nutrients

Does the world really need another expensive drug, anyway? If you’re of the millions of people around the world diagnosed with or at risk for heart disease, then be sure you’re getting these five nutrients into your diet regularly:

As we’ve previously reported, these and other nutrients work synergistically to optimize heart health. Studies show that these nutrients (from both food and supplements) decrease many risk factors associated with heart disease, including systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, heart failure, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.

So before asking your doctor about the latest and “greatest” drugs, try evaluating your plate, first – a move that many health experts are urging the public to do.

Sources for this article include:

Yahoo.com
CDC.gov
Dailymail.co.uk
AJMC.com
BMJ.com
NaturalHealth365.com
NIH.gov

Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, typically very painful, especially in response to pressure, and sometimes patients have symptoms like stiff muscles, joints and connective tissues.
Other symptoms often include depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, difficulty swallowing, bowel and bladder problems, numbness and tingling, muscle spasms or twitching, weakness, nerve pain, palpitations,
cognitive dysfunction (“foggy thinking”).
Around 2% of the population are affected, usually between the ages of 20 and 50, although not all patients have all symptoms.
Women are nine times more likely than men to suffer from the condition, giving weight to the theory that hormones play a big part in the cause and treatment.
Diagnosis is difficult because there is no formal test. Symptoms are vague and similar to many other conditions.
Often patients with celiac disease are mistakenly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and do better on a gluten-free diet.
In fact, nearly everyone will do better on a gluten-free diet, or even better, a diet free from all grains, flour and any other product of grains, regardless of refined, wholemeal or any other form.
Some medical specialists say it is “all in the head” but few patients would agree with this!

Testing

Although there is no formal testing for fibromyalgia, the following tests should be arranged by the doctor to eliminate some factors that may indicate or aggravate Fibromyalgia:

  • Ferritin (Iron Study) – A serum ferritin level under 50 ng/ml means a 650% increased risk for Fibromyalgia
  • Thyroid Function – If autoimmune hypothyroidism is present, it should be treated first to see if Fibromyalgia symptoms subside
  • Other autoimmune conditions – Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and others can resemble Fibromyalgia symptoms and should be treated first
  • CRP (C-Reactive Protein) – An inflammation marker. Source of any inflammation should be treated first
  • The FM/a blood test (plasma and PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells) – Tests cytokine concentration. Low cytokines may indicate Fibromyalgia

Treatment

Doctors say there is no known cause or cure. However, some approaches can be very effective in reducing symptoms, including:

Therapeutic options

  • Mindfulness Training reduces psychological distress and depression
  • Yoga, Tai-Chi and other stretching exercises are helpful as they stimulate the lymph glands, increasing our HDL (good cholesterol), improving waste product and toxin removal, also reducing pain, fatigue, mood, cortisol levels and improves coping ability

Diet

  • Raw Food has been shown in studies to significantly improve the majority of fibromyalgia patients
  • Vitamin C and Broccoli consumption in a study found that the combination of 100mg of vitamin C from food, plus a 400mg broccoli supplement reduced pain by 20% and decreased 17% in Fibromyalgia impact scores

Things to avoid

Exposures to toxins definitely increase fibromyalgia risk:

  • Breast Implants have been linked to cancer, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia and chronic pain
  • Aspartame (an artificial sweetener) should be eliminated from the diet, as it turns into formaldehyde in the body, which can aggravate fibromyalgia.
    Natural sweeteners such as Erythritol, Xylitol and pure Stevia are healthy alternatives
  • MSG (MonoSodium Glutamate) should be eliminated from the diet. Known to cause headaches and fibromyalgia
  • Vaccine Adjuvants containing mercury or aluminium have been shown to cause musculoskeletal pain conditions like fibromyalgia
  • Fluoride comes from fluoridated tap water, foods irrigated with fluoridated water, toothpaste, dental treatments and antibiotics, and must be avoided. A fluoridated water supply should be switched to rainwater and/or install a Reverse Osmosis water system for all drinking and cooking. Ordinary water filters do not remove fluoride, and even boiling water makes little difference

Prescription Medications increase risk

Many prescription medications increase risk of fibromyalgia, or actually cause it.

  • Statin Drugs reduce CoQ10 and vitamin D3, causing hundreds of health problems, including fibromyalgia and muscle pain, vastly outweighing any benefit in many cases
  • Prescription antidepressants like Celexa (Citalopram), Paxil (Paroxetine) and Prozac (Fluoxetine) include fluoride which makes fibromyalgia even worse, and causes weight gain.
    Antidepressants increase risk of cancer by over 40%, and most of the time do not work any better than a placebo
  • Many drugs contain bromide, which is even worse than fluoride, and more easily displaces iodine from the thyroid gland
  • Antibiotics destroy many bad bacteria, but also much of the good bacteria as well, compromising our immune system, which can take up to two years to rebuild
  • Paracetamol, Panadol, Tylenol and other names for acetaminophen should be avoided as studies show them to start causing liver issues even at the recommended dose two 500 mg tablets four times a day (4000 mg) for a few days. Unfortunately, patients who experience a lot of pain invariably over-dose, and just a 50% increase starts causing severe liver damage. The advertising slogan “safe and effective” is one of the biggest lies of the drug industry, and the most common cause of liver poisoning in the Western world. The majority of all patients on the liver transplant waiting list are there because of Panadol overdose. Panadol also reacts with an enzyme in the body to destroy our natural glutathione, which is one of the body’s main defenses against pathogens, often called the “master antioxidant”. Less glutathione means more Fibromyalgia

Here is a list of some drugs commonly prescribed that contain Fluoride or Bromide, two halogens that displace iodine from the thyroid and cause hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, depression, weight gain, hair loss, cancer, and will aggravate Fibromyalgia:

  • Advair (fluticasone) – fluoride
  • Alphagen (brimonidine) – bromide
  • Atrovent (Ipratropium) – bromide
  • Avelox (moxifloxacin) – fluoride
  • Adovart (dulasteride) – fluoride
  • Celebrex (celecoxib) – fluoride
  • Celexa (citalopram) – fluoride and bromide
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin) – fluoride
  • Clinoril (sulindac) – fluoride
  • Combivent (from the ipratropium) – bromide
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin) – fluoride
  • Diflucan (fluconazole) – fluoride
  • DuoNeb (nebulized Combivent) – fluoride
  • Enablex (darifenacin) – bromide
  • Flonase (fluticasone) – fluoride
  • Flovent (fluticasone) – fluoride
  • Guaifenex DM (dextromethorphan) – bromide
  • Lescol (fluvastatin) – fluoride
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin) – fluoride
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) – fluoride
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin) – fluoride
  • Lotrisone topical cream – fluoride
  • Paxil (paroxetine) – fluoride
  • Prevacid (lansoprazole) – fluoride
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) – fluoride
  • Prozac (fluoxetine) – fluoride
  • Pulmicort (budesonide) – fluoride
  • Razadyne (galantamine) – bromide
  • Risperdal (risperidone) – fluoride
  • Spiriva (tiotropium) – bromide
  • Tobra Dex (from dexamethasone) – fluoride
  • Travatan (travoprost) – fluoride
  • Triamcinolone – fluoride
  • Vigamox (moxifloxacin) – fluoride
  • Vytorin (from eztimibe) – fluoride
  • Zetia (eztimibe) – fluoride

An immune response to intestinal bacteria may cause some symptoms, so an alkaline diet with plenty of enzyme-rich raw vegetables and fresh fruit may help, along with a little cheese, yogurt, whey, fermented vegetables such as Sauerkraut, and/or supplemental probiotics such as Acidophilus
to build up beneficial intestinal bacteria. 75% of our immune system is in the gut, and this is where the immune system often first breaks down.

MSG (monosodium glutamate) has been shown to aggravate symptoms, so most processed food, which contains MSG, often hidden in the ingredients list by being called other names or chemicals, should be eliminated.

Eliminating yeast from the diet may also help. Yeast is a raising agent found in most breads and other flour-based baked foods, also Vegemite. Changing to a fresh food diet of vegetables and fruit can eliminate yeast, lose excess weight, build immunity and improve general health.

Casein from milk and other milk products may also help, although some people are sensitive to dairy products and do better with no milk or other dairy products.

Food allergies can be a problem and I would start by eliminating wheat, flour, bread, cakes, anything made from flour, sugar, soy, milk, corn, eggs and nuts for at least a week or two.
If that helps, introduce them back into the diet one at a time (except sugar, which should be omitted forever, and all flour products), until the culprit is found.

If that is not enough, see my Vaccinations article and read about the relationship between Panadol, Vaccinations, Glutathione and Autism.

Many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and SLE or Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), but the above treatments can improve all of these conditions.
While these natural alternatives may not work for everyone, nearly all patients report improvement in their condition, and of course, these are all good for weight loss, fighting diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, better sleep, improved mood, reduced pain, better pain tolerance, building muscle and reduced cancer risk. Many patients are deficient in GH (growth hormone) so high-intensity exercise and weight loss will help by increasing natural production of Growth Hormone.

LeanMachine online supplements

Updated 24th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285

The cancer fighting benefits of Coenzyme Q10

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/benefits-of-coq10-3221.html

by:  

benefits-of-coq10

(NaturalHealth365) Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a substance found in every cell of our body. It is in a variety of foods, and healthy people are not likely to develop a deficiency of this nutrient. But, you might want to think about taking in some extra CoQ10 – especially if you’re taking a statin to lower your cholesterol levels.

CoQ10 has many potential health benefits, including possibly lowering the risk of certain cancers. Women, especially, should take note, since recent research points to links between breast cancer risk and lower levels of CoQ10 in the blood.

Clearing up the confusion about CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is technically not a vitamin because your body can synthesize it, so you do not need to get it from food. However, its structure is similar to that of vitamins. Also like vitamins, it acts as a coenzyme functions in your body’s metabolic reactions.

CoQ10 also has powerful antioxidant properties. For example, it helps prevent harmful oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and it supplements the work of vitamin E, or tocopherol. When your blood levels of CoQ10 are lower, your body needs more vitamin E from the diet to carry out heart-healthy antioxidant reactions.

What are the health benefits associated with CoQ10?

Can a Coenzyme Q10 deficiency increase the risk of cancer?

Since the 1960s, researchers have noted associations between lower blood levels of CoQ10 and cancer. People with lymphoma, myeloma, and lung, head, neck, and prostate cancers tend to have lower levels of CoQ10.

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A recent study looking into links between CoQ10 and breast cancer examined data from nearly 1,000 women aged 40 to 70 in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. Those who had serum levels of CoQ10 in the bottom fifth of participants had a 90 percent greater chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those whose levels were in the middle fifth.

“The current Shanghai Women’s Health Study, with relatively larger sample size and longer follow-up time suggests an inverse association for plasma CoQ10 levels with breast cancer risk in Chinese women,” according to study authors Robert V. Cooney of the University of Hawaii and colleagues. Based on these results, future research should investigate potential effects of supplementation on the risk of breast cancer.

The study also confirmed the association between low CoQ10 and higher risk of cervical cancer, myeloma, and melanoma. This makes the results relevant to men as well as women. This study is far from definitive, but it seems likely that there is a link between healthy CoQ10 levels and reduction in cancer risk.

CoQ10 is in a variety of foods, including meat, fish, and eggs, and organ meats, such as heart, kidney, and liver, are especially rich sources. You can also find CoQ10 in plant-based foods, such as cauliflower, peanuts, soybean oil, and strawberries.

Obviously, you can obtain additional benefits, with ease, by supplementing your diet with a high quality CoQ10 supplement.

Sources for this article include:

Healthline.com
NaturalHealth365.com

Cracking the Cholesterol Myth: How Statins Harm The Body and Mind

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Cracking the Cholesterol Myth: How Statins Harm The Body and Mind

The chemical war against cholesterol using statin drugs has been wrongly justified through statistical deception and the ongoing cover up of over 300 adverse health effects documented in the biomedical literature.

Better safe than sorry, right? This is the logic that defines the grasp that the pharmaceutical company has on our psyche. Perhaps your mother, father, brother, and boyfriend have been recommended cholesterol-lowering medication, just to help hedge their bets around a possible chest-clutching demise. In fact, recent guidelines have expanded the pool of potential statin medication recipients, so that there are very few of us who seem to be walking around with acceptable levels of artery clogging sludge.

But how is it that drug companies got a foothold? How have they convinced doctors that their patients need these medications, and need them now? They are banking (literally) on the fact that you haven’t brushed up on statistics in a while.

It turns out that a common sleight of hand in the medical literature is the popularization of claims around “relative risk reduction” which can make an effect appear meaningful, when the “absolute risk reduction” reveals its insignificance.  In this way, 100 people are treated with statin medications to offer 1 person benefit, and 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.

Perhaps this would still qualify as better safe than sorry if these medications weren’t some of the most toxic chemicals willfully ingested, with at least 300 adverse health effects evident in the published literature so far, with at least 28 distinct modes of toxicity, including:

Beyond the known fact that statin drugs deplete the body of two essential nutrients: coenzyme Q10 and selenium, they are also highly myotoxic and neurotoxic. Because the heart is one of the most nerve-saturated muscles in the human body, these two modes of toxicity combined represent a ‘perfect storm’ of cardiotoxicity – a highly ironic fact considering statin drugs are promoted as having ‘life-saving’ cardioprotective properties.

powerful expert review by Diamond and Ravnskov decimates any plausible indication for these cholesterol-lowering agents, giving full consideration to the above mentioned side effects.

They plainly state:

“Overall, our goal in this review is to explain how the war on cholesterol has been fought by advocates that have used statistical deception to create the appearance that statins are wonder drugs, when the reality is that their trivial benefit is more than offset by their adverse effects.”

The Cholesterol Meme

It’s tempting to look the number one killer of Americans in the eye, and say, “WHO did this? Who is responsible?” It is also consistent with American perceptions of health and wellness to demonize a natural and vital part of our physiology rather than look at lifestyle factors including government subsidies of inflammatory food products.

Not only is low cholesterol a problem, but it puts an individual at risk for viral infection, cancer, and mental illness because of the vital role that lipids play in cell membrane integrity, hormone production, and immunity.

A broadly toxic xenobiotic chemical, statin medications have only been demonstrated to be of slight benefit by statistical manipulation. For example, Diamond and Raynskov elucidate that:

  • The JUPITER trial of Crestor vs placebo resulted in increased fatal heart attacks in the treatment group which were obscured by combing fatal and nonfatal infarctions.
  • In the ASCOT trial was used to generate PR copy boasting Lipitor’s 36% reduction of heart attack risk, a figure arrived at through use of relative risk reduction from 3 to 2%.
  • The HPS study has 26% drop out rate prior to the beginning of the trial (which also demonstrated a 1% improvement with treatment), so that those with significant side effects were functionally excluded from the study.

While no study has ever shown any association between the degree of cholesterol lowering and beneficial outcomes described in terms of absolute risk reduction (likely because they would be perceived as insignificant), the adverse effects are not only always presented in these terms, but are also minimized through the technique of splitting common side effects up into multiple different categories to minimize the apparent incidence.

These side effects are real and common and include “increased rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairment and musculoskeletal disorders”.  Their paper focuses on three primary adverse effects, all of which  are likely to land you in the “sorry to have thought I would be better safe than sorry” category.

Cancer

In at least four trials, statistically significant increases in cancer incidence was found, and handily dismissed by all authors as insignificant because they claimed “no known potential biological basis” is known.  This may be because the authors are still thinking of cancer as a genetic time bomb that has nothing to do with mitochondrial dysfunction, loss of lipid integrity, or environmental exposures.

With statistically significant increases in cancer incidence and deaths, in some trials, the minimal cardiovascular benefit is far eclipsed by the cancer mortality. In one of the only long-term trials, there was a doubling of the incidence of ductal and lobular breast cancer in women taking statins for more than ten years. One of many reasons that women should never be treated with these medications.

Myopathy

As one of the more well-known side effects of statins, muscle breakdown and associated pain, or myopathy has also been obscured in the literature.  Despite an incidence up to 40% in the first months of treatment, researchers only catalogue patients who had muscular symptoms in addition to elevations in a blood measure called creatine kinase (CK) at ten times normal for two measures (not 9.9, not 8, and not one measure).

In fact, a 2006 study in the Journal of Pathology found that statin therapy induces ultrastructural damage in skeletal muscle in patients without myalgia,” indicating that statin-associated muscle damage may be a universal, albeit mostly subclinical problem for the millions put on them.

Central Nervous System Dysfunction

Linked to suicide in men, depression including postpartum, and cognitive dysfunction, low cholesterol is not a desirable goal for the average psychiatric patient, aka half of the American population.

It turns out that 25% of the total amount of cholesterol found in the human body is localized in the brain, most of it in the myelin sheath that coats and insulates the nerves:

 “It has been estimated that up to 70% of the brain cholesterol is associated with myelin. Because up to half of the white matter may be composed of myelin, it is unsurprising that the brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ in the body. The concentration of cholesterol in the brain, and particularly in myelin, is consistent with an essential function related to its membrane properties. “[i]

The cell membrane, specifically, is highly vulnerable to damage by statins:

“The cell membrane is an 8 nanometer thick magical pearly gate where information, nutrients, and cellular messengers are trafficked through protein gates supported of phospholipids and their polyunsaturated fatty acids. Cholesterol and saturated fat provide essential rigidity in balance with other membrane components. Without them, the membrane becomes a porous, dysfunctional swinging gate. In a self-preservational effort, cholesterol supports production of bile acids, integral to the breakdown and absorption of consumed essential dietary fats.” Source

By extension, behavioral and cognitive adverse effects may be the manifestation of this fat-based interference.  Diamond and Ravnskov state:

“A low serum cholesterol level has also been found to serve as a biological marker of major depression and suicidal behavior, whereas high cholesterol is protective [54–57]. In a study by Davison and Kaplan [58], the incidence of suicidal ideation among adults with mood disorders was more than 2.5-times greater in those taking statins. Moreover, several studies have shown that low cholesterol is associated with lower cognition and Alzheimer’s disease and that high cholesterol is protective.”

review article called Neuropsychiatric Adverse Events Associated with Statins: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Prevention and Management discusses the state of the literature around the intersection between mental health and cholesterol control. Despite generally dismissing a strong signal for concerning psychiatric adverse events, the article seems to conclude the following:

  • Severe irritability, homicidal impulses, threats, road rage, depression and violence, paranoia, alienation, and antisocial behavior; cognitive and memory impairments; sleep disturbance; and sexual dysfunction have all been reported in case series and national registries of those taking statin medications.  Sound like the laundry list of rapidly spoken side effects at the end of a drug commercial? To anyone with a history of or current psychiatric symptoms, the role of these now ubiquitous medications should be appreciated.
  • The signal for lipophilic statins – simvastatin and atorvastatin – was stronger which makes mechanistic sense since these medications penetrate the brain and brain cholesterol deficiency has been implicated in bipolar, major depression, and schizophrenia.

Of course, none of these findings nor their suppression should be surprising because there is no pharmaceutical free lunch, and because Americans are so accustomed to interfacing with human health through the lens of a one pill-one ill model. We are yanking on that spider web and expecting only one thread to pull out.  This perspective would be less disturbing if it didn’t serve as the foundation for medical practice, determined by boards such as the American College of Cardiology and The American Heart Association , the majority of whom have extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry. An industry that has paid out 19.2 billion dollars for civil and criminal charges in the last 5 years alone.

So, the next time you hear of a doctor recommending a cholesterol-lowering intervention, tell him you’ll take that 1% risk and spare yourself cancer, cognitive dysfunction, myopathy, and diabetes. And then go have a 3 egg omelette WITH the yolks.

Originally published: 2015-02-27

Article updated: 2019-08-26

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Cholesterol does not cause heart disease

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked July 24, 2019
Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/07/24/cholesterol-myth-what-really-causes-heart-disease.aspx
cholesterol myth what really causes heart disease

Story at-a-glance

  • A 2018 scientific review presents substantial evidence that high LDL and total cholesterol are not an indication of heart disease risk, and that statin treatment is of doubtful benefit as a form of primary prevention for this reason
  • Three recent reviews that supported the cholesterol hypothesis were found to have misrepresented data and findings of previous studies to support their own conclusions
  • Overall, the analysis found the association between total cholesterol and CVD is weak, absent or inverse in many studies
  • Older people with high LDL do not die prematurely — they actually live the longest, outliving both those with untreated low LDL and those on statin treatment
  • A 2015 meta-analysis of 11 statin drug studies found statin use postponed death by a mere 3.2 days in primary prevention trials and 4.1 days in secondary prevention trials

For the past six decades, the U.S. dietary advice has warned against eating cholesterol-rich foods, claiming dietary cholesterol promotes arterial plaque formation that leads to heart disease. We now have overwhelming evidence to the contrary, yet dogmatic thinking can be persistent, to say the least.

After decades’ worth of research failed to demonstrate a correlation between dietary cholesterol and heart disease, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans1,2 finally addressed this scientific shortcoming, announcing “cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

To this day, the evidence keeps mounting, showing there’s no link between the two. Similarly, the evidence supporting the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to lower your risk of heart disease is slim to none, and is likely little more than the manufactured work of statin makers — at least that’s the implied conclusion of a scientific review3 published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology in 2018.

Cholesterol myth kept alive by statin advocates?

The 2018 review4 identified significant flaws in three recent studies “published by statin advocates” attempting “to validate the current dogma.” The paper presents substantial evidence that total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels are not an indication of heart disease risk, and that statin treatment is of “doubtful benefit” as a form of primary prevention for this reason. According to the authors:5

“According to the British-Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, a theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be shown to be false. If it cannot be falsified, it is not a scientific hypothesis. In the following, we have followed Popper’s principle to see whether it is possible to falsify the cholesterol hypothesis.

We have also assessed whether the conclusions from three recent reviews by its supporters are based on an accurate and comprehensive review of the research on lipids and cardiovascular disease (CVD) …

Our search for falsifications of the cholesterol hypothesis confirms that it is unable to satisfy any of the Bradford Hill criteria for causality and that the conclusions of the authors of the three reviews are based on misleading statistics, exclusion of unsuccessful trials and by ignoring numerous contradictory observations.”

As reported by Reason.com:6

“A comprehensive new study on cholesterol, based on results from more than a million patients, could help upend decades of government advice about diet, nutrition, health, prevention, and medication …

The study … centers on statins, a class of drugs used to lower levels of LDL-C, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, in the human body. According to the study, statins are pointless for most people …

The study also reports that ‘heart attack patients were shown to have lower than normal cholesterol levels of LDL-C’ and that older people with higher levels of bad cholesterol tend to live longer than those with lower levels.

No evidence cholesterol influences heart disease risk

Indeed, the authors of the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology analysis point out that were high total cholesterol in fact a major cause of atherosclerosis, “there should be exposure-response in cholesterol-lowering drug trials.”7 In other words, patients whose total cholesterol is lowered the most should also see the greatest benefit. Alas, that’s not the case.

A review of 16 relevant cholesterol-lowering trials (studies in which exposure-response was actually calculated), showed this kind of exposure-response was not detected in 15 of them. What’s more, the researchers point out that the only study8 showing a positive exposure-response to lowered cholesterol used exercise-only as the treatment.

Patients with high total cholesterol should also be at increased risk of death from CVD, but the researchers found no evidence of this either, not-so-subtly pointing out that this is “an idea supported by fraudulent reviews of the literature.” They provide the following example of how research has been misrepresented:9

“The hypothesis that high TC [total cholesterol] causes CVD was introduced in the 1960s by the authors of the Framingham Heart Study. However, in their 30-year follow-up study published in 1987, the authors reported that ‘For each 1 mg/dl drop in TC per year, there was an eleven percent increase in coronary and total mortality’.

Three years later, the American Heart Association and the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute published a joint summary concluding, ‘a one percent reduction in an individual’s TC results in an approximate two percent reduction in CHD risk’. The authors fraudulently referred to the Framingham publication to support this widely quoted false conclusion.”

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Contradictory findings routinely ignored or misrepresented

To determine whether the three reviews under analysis had misrepresented previous findings, they scoured the three papers for quotations from 12 studies reporting results “discordant with the cholesterol hypothesis.” Only one of the three reviews had quoted articles correctly, and even then, only two of the dozen studies were quoted correctly.10

“About half of the contradictory articles were ignored. In the rest, statistically nonsignificant findings in favor of the cholesterol hypothesis were inflated, and unsupportive results were quoted as if they were supportive. Only one of the six randomized cholesterol-lowering trials with a negative outcome was cited and only in one of the reviews.”

The researchers also highlight a large meta-analysis that simply ignored “at least a dozen studies” in which no or inverse association was shown. Overall, the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology analysis found that “the association between total cholesterol and CVD is weak, absent or inverse in many studies.”

No link between LDL and heart disease either

The Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology paper11 also tears apart claims that high LDL causes atherosclerosis and/or CVD. Just as with total cholesterol, if high LDL was in fact responsible for atherosclerosis, then patients with high LDL would be diagnosed with atherosclerosis more frequently, yet they’re not, and those with the highest levels would have the greatest severity of atherosclerosis, yet they don’t.

The researchers cite studies showing “no association” between LDL and coronary calcification or degree of atherosclerosis. Ditto for LDL and CVD. In fact, a study looking at nearly 140,000 patients with acute myocardial infarction found them to have lower than normal LDL at the time of admission.

Even more telling, another study, which had originally reported similar findings, still went ahead and lowered the patients’ LDL even more. At follow-up three years later, they discovered that patients with an LDL level below 105 mg/dl (2 mmol/L) had double the mortality rate of those with higher LDL.12

Interestingly, the authors suggest this inverse relationship may be due to low LDL increasing your risk for infectious diseases and cancer, both of which are common killers.

They also review evidence showing older people with high LDL do not die prematurely — they actually live the longest, outliving both those with untreated low LDL and those on statin treatment. One such study13,14 — a meta-analysis of 19 studies — found 92% of individuals with high cholesterol lived longer.

Benefits of statin treatment are overblown

Lastly, the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology paper analyzes statin claims, showing how studies exaggerate benefits through a variety of different tactics. Again, in some cases, by simply excluding unsuccessful trials.

“Furthermore, the most important outcome — an increase of life expectancy — has never been mentioned in any cholesterol-lowering trial, but as calculated recently by Kristensen et al.,15 statin treatment does not prolong lifespan by more than an average of a few days,” the authors state.16

Indeed, the study they’re referring to, published in BMJ Open in 2015, which looked at 11 studies with a follow-up between two and 6.1 years, found “Death was postponed between -5 and 19 days in primary prevention trials and between -10 and 27 days in secondary prevention trials.” The median postponement of death in primary prevention trials was 3.2 days, and in secondary prevention trials 4.1 days!

Considering the well-documented health risks associated with statins, this is a mind-bending finding that really should upend the dogma. And yet, the dogma remains, and may even strengthen in coming days.

JAMA editorial calls for end to ‘fake news’ about statins

The cholesterol myth has been a boon to the pharmaceutical industry, as cholesterol-lowering statins — often prescribed as a primary prevention against heart attack and stroke — have become one of the most frequently used drugs on the market. In 2012-2013, 27.8% of American adults over the age of 40 reported using a statin, up from 17.9% a decade earlier.17,18 But that was six years ago, I suspect over a third of adults over the age of 40 are now using statins.

In addition to the BMJ Open study cited above, an evidence report19 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, published November 2016 in JAMA, found 250 people need to take a statin for one to six years to prevent a single death from any cause; 233 had to take a statin for two to six years to prevent a single cardiovascular death specifically. To prevent a single cardiovascular event in people younger than 70, 94 individuals would have to take a statin.

As noted in a 2015 report,20 “statistical deception created the appearance that statins are safe and effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.” The paper points out that by using a statistical tool known as relative risk reduction, the trivial benefits of statins appear greatly amplified.

Scientific findings such as these are the core reason why statins are given negative press. However, we may soon see a reversal in the news cycle, with negative statin articles being tagged as “fake news.”

According to a June 2019 editorial21 in JAMA Cardiology, written by cardiologist Ann Marie Navar,22 statins are the victim of “fear-based medical information,” just like vaccines, and this is what’s driving patient nonadherence. Cardiovascular Business reported:23

“We know that what people read influences their actions, Navar said, and indeed, one 2016 study in the European Heart Journal found that on a population level, statin discontinuation increased after negative news stories about statins surfaced in those communities.

In another study, more than one in three heart patients said they declined a statin prescription solely for fears of adverse effects. ‘Measles outbreaks are highly visible: a rash appears, public health agencies respond, headlines are made and the medical community responds vocally,’ Navar wrote.

‘In contrast, when a patient who has refused a statin because of concerns stoked by false information has an MI, the result is less visible. Nevertheless, cardiologists and primary care physicians observe the smoldering outbreak of statin refusal daily.’”

Cardiovascular Business summarizes Navar’s suggestions for how doctors can fight back against false information about statins and build adherence, such as handing out yearlong prescriptions with automatic refills.24

When I first wrote about the censorship of anti-vaccine material occurring on every single online platform, I warned that this censorship would not stop at vaccines. And here we’re already seeing the call for censoring anti-statin information by glibly labeling it all “fake news.”

Chances are, the censoring of anti-statin information is already underway. A quick Google search for “statin side effects” garnered pages worth of links talking about minor risks, the benefits of statins, comparison articles, looking at two different brands — in other words, mostly positive news.

The scientific fact is, aside from being a “waste of time” and not doing anything to reduce mortality, statins also come with a long list of potential side effects and clinical challenges, including:

An increased risk for diabetes
Decreased heart function25
Nutrient depletions — Including CoQ10 and vitamin K2, both of which are important for cardiovascular and heart health
Impaired fertility — Importantly, statins are a Category X medication,26 meaning they cause serious birth defects,27 so they should never be used by a pregnant woman or women planning a pregnancy
Increased risk of cancer — Long-term statin use (10 years or longer) more than doubles women’s risk of two major types of breast cancer: invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma28
Nerve damage — Research has shown statin treatment lasting longer than two years causes “definite damage to peripheral nerves”29

How to assess your heart disease risk

 

cholesterol levels

As a general rule, cholesterol-lowering drugs are not required or prudent for the majority of people — especially if both high cholesterol and longevity run in your family. Remember, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests your overall cholesterol level has little to nothing to do with your risk for heart disease.For more information about cholesterol and what the different levels mean, take a look at the infographic above. You can also learn more about the benefits of cholesterol, and why you don’t want your level to be too low, in “Cholesterol Plays Key Role in Cell Signaling.” As for evaluating your heart disease risk, the following tests will provide you with a more accurate picture of your risk:

HDL/Cholesterol ratio — HDL percentage is a very potent heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your total cholesterol. That percentage should ideally be above 24%.
Triglyceride/HDL ratio — You can also do the same thing with your triglycerides and HDL ratio. That percentage should be below 2.
NMR LipoProfile Large LDL particles do not appear to be harmful. Only small dense LDL particles can potentially be a problem, as they can squeeze through the lining of your arteries. If they oxidize, they can cause damage and inflammation.

Some groups, such as the National Lipid Association, are now starting to shift the focus toward LDL particle number instead of total and LDL cholesterol to better assess your heart disease risk. Once you know your particle size numbers, you and your doctor can develop a more customized program to help manage your risk.

Your fasting insulin level — Heart disease is primarily rooted in insulin resistance,30 which is the result of a high-sugar diet. Sugar, not cholesterol or saturated fat, is the primary driver. Clinical trials have shown high fructose corn syrup can trigger risk factors for cardiovascular disease within as little as two weeks.31

Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar.

The insulin released from eating too many carbs promotes fat accumulation and makes it more difficult for your body to shed excess weight. Excess fat, particularly around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease.

Your fasting blood sugar level — Research has shown people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100 to 125 mg/dl have a nearly 300% increased higher risk of coronary heart disease than people with a level below 79 mg/dl.32,33
Your iron level — Iron can be a very potent oxidative stress, so if you have excess iron levels you can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease. Ideally, you should monitor your ferritin levels and make sure they are not much above 80 ng/ml.

The simplest way to lower them if they are elevated is to donate your blood. If that is not possible you can have a therapeutic phlebotomy and that will effectively eliminate the excess iron from your body.

Serious Threats to Public Health


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/07/20/serious-threats-to-public-health.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
July 20, 2019
This video unavailable here: To view video, go to original article above.

Visit the Mercola Video Library

Story at-a-glance

  • Over half of U.S. adults now have chronic health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke
  • Prevention of chronic health conditions is not a priority of traditional medicine
  • Statins only address one risk factor of heart disease and pose serious health risks
  • The herbicide glyphosate has been linked to liver, bile duct and thyroid cancers
  • High fructose corn syrup is correlated with metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic liver disease
  • Fluoride acts as an endocrine disrupter and lowers IQ in children

Six in 10 U.S. adults now have chronic health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke, and 4 in 10 have two or more of these diseases, according to the CDC.1,2

While many of these diseases can be blamed on drinking, smoking or overeating — in other words, “lifestyle” choices, most people don’t realize that much of their health care and subsequent wellness depends solely on corporations that value their profits over your well-being –– corporations like insurers, health benefit managers and food and drug makers.

It’s a sad fact that prevention of chronic health conditions is not a priority of these organizations –– healthy people do not need medical care, so no money is made by getting or keeping the population healthy.

According to the documentary, “The Big Secret,” unethical profiteering on the public’s health can be traced back to John D. Rockefeller, (1839–1937) a wealthy U.S. industrialist credited with creating much of our current medical system. Specifically, Rockefeller’s foundations along with the Carnegie foundation, revamped medical schools to emphasize the use of drugs made by companies they owned, instead of a less-drug intensive model that had been in use in schools.3

This “drugs first” approach to health care continues today at medical schools and in traditional medical practice, both of which are enmeshed with Big Pharma. The “patent medicines” Rockefeller pushed have simply been replaced by brand name drugs.

The sham of statins

A good example of our current medical system’s misplaced preference of drugs over prevention can be seen with statins. Statins have been a blockbuster for Big Pharma since they were first introduced, with4 Lipitor being the best-selling drug in the history of the pharmaceutical industry.5 Today, more than 1 in 4 Americans over age 45 are on a statin.6

Since statins lower cholesterol, it’s assumed they lower the risk of heart disease, yet cholesterol levels are only one risk factor in heart disease and, therefore, statins are much less effective than touted. In fact, studies show that less than half of those on statins actually ever reach the cholesterol goals intended.7

The real truth is cholesterol is found in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones (including the sex hormones testosterone, progesterone and estrogen) and bile acids that help you digest fat. It’s also important for the production of vitamin D.

Additionally, as experts point out in “The Big Secret,” cholesterol serves positive functions in the brain, hormone systems and many other parts of the human body, Moreover, there are negative effects from lowering it too much.

As I have written in my newsletters many times, statins are also associated with many dangerous side effects, from muscle aches and damage to inhibiting the enzyme that produces CoQ10 and ketones, which are crucial nutrients to feed your mitochondria. Statins also inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2 which protects your arteries from calcification and plaque.

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Doctors speak out against statins

Dr. Barbara H. Roberts, author of “The Truth About Statins,” served as director of the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and associate clinical professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She also spent two years at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she was involved in statin clinical trials. This is what she had to say in 2012 about the use of statins in clinical practice:8

“Every week in my practice I see patients with serious side effects to statins, and many did not need to be treated with statins in the first place. These side effects range from debilitating muscle and joint pain to transient global amnesia, neuropathy, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue and muscle weakness.

Most of these symptoms subside or improve when they are taken off statins. There is even growing evidence of a statin link to Lou Gehrig’s disease.

There is no question that many doctors have swallowed the Kool-Aid. Big Pharma has consistently exaggerated the benefits of statins and some physicians used scare tactics so that patients are afraid that if they go off the statins, they will have a heart attack immediately.

Yet high cholesterol, which the statins address, is a relatively weak risk factor for developing atherosclerosis. For example, diabetes and smoking are far more potent when it comes to increasing risk.”

Rather than statins, simply donating blood reduces the risk of stroke by 70%, says Dr. Jonathan Wright in “The Big Secret.” For more information on how this could be true, I encourage you to watch the video accompanying this article — you’ll be shocked at how something as simple as a blood donation can work as well as or better than a drug.

Food that doesn’t nourish

In 1971, President Richard Nixon’s secretary of agriculture, Earl Butz, debuted a dangerous method of farming that continues today, in the form of the use of heavy synthetic fertilizers. With the advent of chemicals to “feed” it, farmland was no longer given a rest but tilled incessantly, resulting in serious mineral depletion.9

As a result studies show that fruits and vegetables today have less nourishing nutrients, thanks to this emphasis on size and quick growth of produce that Butz instituted. Of course, GMOs were to follow. Not surprisingly, Butz served as a board member on agribusiness companies that made the chemicals he promoted.

The drop in nutritional values in crops stems from widely used pesticides and herbicides which kill the bacteria that would otherwise predigest minerals and make them available to crops, says Peter Glidden, a naturopathic doctor featured in “The Big Secret” documentary.

What’s worse, glyphosate, the ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is highly correlated with liver, bile duct and thyroid cancers and stroke. And now, thanks to subpoenaed evidence produced in lawsuits against Roundup’s manufacturer Monsanto, it’s been proven that Monsanto (now Bayer) buried negative studies and attacked whistleblowers who tried to expose the danger of its popular herbicide.

The farmers are suffering too: Thanks to contracts forced on them by Monsanto and other agribusiness giants like DuPont and Syngenta, farmers can no longer save their seeds for planting or buy unpatented seeds, says farmer Paul Porter.

And, the environment suffers: Despite farmers’ best efforts to avoid the harm of glyphosate and the many GMO seeds developed to survive the herbicide, glyphosate “drift” affects farmers who earnestly want to opt out of chemically produced food. Traces of glyphosate are now found everywhere, says the documentary –– in the soil, air, rain and even in most people’s urine.

A dangerous sweetener made from corn

Another point “The Big Secret” makes is that the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), used to sweeten soft drinks and many other processed foods, is also a result of an agriculture secretary’s decision-making. John Block, who served from 1981 to 1986 under President Ronald Reagan, abruptly ceased sugar imports when he took office, and boosted the use of HFSC, made from government subsidized corn.

One problem with HFCS, though, is that it’s highly correlated with metabolic syndrome –– the type of obesity in which fat is concentrated at the waist, resulting in more health risks than mere obesity –– and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

As an example, the documentary highlights a study of residents of a county in Texas where only soft drinks with real sugar were available. With no access to HFCS, these people had significantly less fatty liver disease, obesity and diabetes — highlighting the probable, deleterious effects of HFCS.

Next up on this revealing documentary’s list is the U.S. government’s campaign against fat, which began in 1980 and resulted in the low-fat craze — a move that got the science practically backward, says Dr. Robert Lustig. In this debacle, fat was blamed for the cardiovascular disease while fructose, the real culprit, was exonerated. “You would never think about giving your kid a beer, but you don’t think twice about giving them a Coke. They do the same thing,” he asserts.

The soft drink lobby has huge power

I know it’s hard to believe that governments would not protect their constituents from harmful food. But, time and again industry wins over any concern government may express for your health. For example, soft drink makers wield a huge amount of economic power. This is how Mother Jones described the conundrum in 2016:10

“Soda companies give big bucks to groups that promote public health — while at the same time lobbying against laws that are trying to do the same.

That’s the takeaway from a study [that showed] Coca-Cola and PepsiCo donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups like the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and Save the Children from 2011-2015. The two companies, represented by American Beverage Association, also spent millions lobbying to defeat legislation aimed at reducing soda consumption across the country.

Coke gave the National Institutes of health nearly $2 million in recent years while also spending $6 million each year from 2011 to 2015 to fight efforts on implementing soda tax in cities like Philadelphia.”

The bottom line is, government is literally taking handouts from the very industries that are making you sick! When you consider that the chief agency in charge of your health — the CDC — has been caught in a cozy relationship with Coke, to the point of allowing the beverage giant to influencing research, it makes you wonder just who to trust when it comes to health and wellness.

Real food provides natural weight control

Here’s an interesting thought that “The Big Secret” poses: What happens when food still contains all the minerals and nutrients it was meant to have — foods that haven’t been depleted by chemical farming and genetic engineering? The answer is people stop eating when they have had enough and do not overeat, Glidden says.

You see, overeating and obesity are a direct result of consumers failing to receive the nourishment they crave. In other words, the body seeks nourishment that is not there and you just continue eating.

This “missing nutrient” effect may be seen, for example, with artificial sweeteners. Research in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that artificially sweetened beverages may paradoxically cause people to gain, not lose, weight.11

“The negative impact of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on weight and other health outcomes has been increasingly recognized; therefore, many people have turned to high-intensity sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin as a way to reduce the risk of these consequences.

However, accumulating evidence suggests that frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes may also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

Artificial sweeteners also might be addictive unto themselves, according to a 2011 study conducted at the University of Bordeaux in France.12 Researchers found that rats, when they were given a choice between an artificial sweetener and cocaine, always picked the artificial sweetener. In fact, even cocaine-addicted rats chose the artificial sweetener.

Municipal fluoridation imperils public health

For many years I have warned against the dangers of fluoride in drinking water and its widespread use in municipal water systems, so you’re probably aware of how industry has overtaken the very water you drink. Fluoride is an endocrine-disrupting chemical13 and linked to the rising prevalence of thyroid disease which, in turn, is linked to obesity, heart disease, depression and other health problems.

Research in Environmental Health also suggests a link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents in the United States, which has become epidemic, and exposure to fluoridated water.14

“State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.

A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011.

Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined.”

Municipal fluoridation, says “The Big Secret,” saves local governments money by disposing of the neurotoxin while sparing the aluminum industry connected with its production, financial responsibility or harm.

There is also evidence that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can affect your bones, brain, thyroid, pineal gland and even your blood sugar levels.15 Importantly, it’s a known neurotoxin shown to lower IQ in children.16,17 It’s just another example of corporations and governments placing their profits over the public’s well-being –– many of which are well described in “The Big Secret.”

The message is clear: Many medicine practices, as well as popular foods and drugs are designed to make money, not protect public health.

About the Directors

I believe in bringing quality to my readers, which is why I wanted to share some information about the filmmakers, Dr. Susan Downs and Alex Voss, from “The Big Secret.” Here is a little more about them and what went in to making this film. Thank you, Susan and Alex, for sharing with us.

Susan Downs, MD

Susan is boarded in integrative medicine and in psychiatry in the U.S. and is on the consultant registry in the U.K. To further her goals of getting health information to the public, she hosts the radio show, “Occupy Health,” on Voiceamerica.com and is president of the cutting-edge Silicon Valley Health Institute.

Previously, she worked in 10 countries: for the NHS in the U.K.; as an assistant professor at INSEAD European School for Business Administration; and as a foreign service officer managing alternative energy projects in Asia. She has masters’ degrees in engineering from MIT and Stanford and a Master in Public Health from Loma Linda Medical Center. Her interests include medicine, economics, spirituality and making the world a better place.

Alex Voss

Alex is a national and regional Emmy award-winning SBE-certified broadcast engineer, documentary film producer and video producer with more than 45 years’ experience in television and radio production. Some of his work includes PBS news and documentary programs, with topics on people and drugs and “The Big Secret” documentary. He is also a member of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

What was Voss’ and Downs’ inspiration for making this film?

“The Big Secret” is the latest work by five-time Emmy Award-winning producer Alex Voss and multi-award-winning filmmaker and integrative physician, Susan Downs. What started as a personal journey to regain his health, Alex came face to face with the sad reality concerning the influence that big money has on our health and well-being.

In looking at the history of medicine in the U.S., Voss and Downs were disappointed in the influence that wealth and power have on doctors’ decisions concerning medical care. This shocking documentary is the result of research and personal interviews with leading experts in the fields of medicine and nutrition.

“Our goal is to empower people with knowledge and start a conversation that will ultimately lead to life-saving changes to our personal health, and reform in our healthcare system,” they explained.

However, “The Big Secret,” Voss and Downs have been threatened online and targeted by U.S. thought police censors. “The Big Secret” was removed from Amazon Prime and health videos were removed from Voss’ YouTube channel and cited as spam. Their IMDB page and accounts were hacked. Downs and Voss remain committed to get health information to the public and question why “book burning” is condoned by our government.

What was their favorite part of making the film?

Our goals are to get health information out to the public as the allopathic model of a symptom management is not serving us well. We strongly believe that health information should not be censored.

Where do the proceeds of the film go?

As we have funded the film ourselves, any proceeds will be put into our next film, “Toxified,” which will cover the health effects of the toxic soup we all are exposed to, such as EMF and toxins in food.