Waver and wobble…

I read one thing that makes me think I should resume taking the statins, then I read something else that makes me think I should not:


As severe as some of these short-term side effects can be, they pale into relative insignificance when compared to the potential long-term problems. The chief difficulty here is that no one knows what the long-term effects may be from altering the basic biochemistry of the human body over a period of time. Because cholesterol is the key element in the formation of cell membranes, which are the protective coat for the cells, it may be that blocking cholesterol’s production will weaken the protective barrier and allow the entry of toxins or carcinogens that were previously excluded. There are disturbing reports of increased cancer in some cholesterol-lowering studies, but, in fact, this process may take many years to play out. It’s enough at this point to acknowledge that the long-term effects are completely unknown. This is a risk that should receive serious attention before half the population is placed on these drugs, that, in effect, accomplish nothing more than low-dose aspirin or an extra glass or two of water each day.


Curtis E  (passim) The Cholesterol Delusion http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/statins/statin-madness/


For me the jury is still out, but that seems a good enough reason not to do something that’s changes the body’s natural metabolism so drastically.


Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

JAMA. 2006;295:655-666.
Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular
The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled
Dietary Modification Trial
Over a mean of 8.1 years, a dietary intervention that reduced total fat intake and increased intakes

of vegetables, fruits, and grains did not significantly reduce the risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD in
postmenopausal women and achieved only modest effects on CVD risk factors, suggesting that more
focused diet and lifestyle interventions may be needed to improve risk factors and reduce CVD risk. “
I would really like to get hold of this article. The study looked at nearly 50,000 women over 8 years, dividing them into two groups- intervention and non-intervention.  All were free living so their diet was not clinically controlled.
Conclusions of the study were as stated above.




Next study to be researched. The argument about Co enzyme Q10 seems to me to be very important.  Perhaps the answer is not to take statins until I know they are going to do me more good than harm.

All very confusing

I’ve read a lot more websites and journal articles and am none the wiser, just more confused.  Many of the opponents of the diet heart thesis appear to be cranks or doctors with private practice and their own string of supplements to push. Others seem genuine.  The NHS Choices website sounds vaguely sceptical about Statins – or at least doesn’t push them.I’m going back to taking them for now though because there does seem such a  lot of evidence that they are helpful for people who’ve already had heart disease and that LDL is implicated in atherosclerosis.  However, I plan to collect some key articles and discuss it with Dr Paton.  GIven that my cholesterol is not terribly high (in fact it’s in what Kendrick sees as the ideal range) and that the heart disease is minor, I do wonder why I’m taking these powerful drugs.

Cardiologists, dieticians, professors…

So who’s got it right?  Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist at Croydon University Hospital published an article in the BMJ last October (20013)arguing that the evidence shows that reducing saturated fat intake “has paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks”.

This, he says, has led to over-medication with statins. “Adopting a Mediterranean diet after a heart attack is almost three times as  powerful in reducing mortality as taking a statin…”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24625808 In this interview, we have a very confident dietician saying that he’s wrong – no dealing with the arguments, just a restatement of the received wisdom.  The Medical Director of the BHF is less categorical…

studies on the link between diet and disease frequently produce conflicting results.

Unlike drug trials, it is difficult to carry out a controlled, randomised study, he says.

“However, people with highest cholesterol levels are at highest risk of a heart attack and it’s also clear that lowering cholesterol, by whatever means, lowers risk.”

But the evidence doesn’t seem to bear out the relationship between high cholesterol and a heart attack… That’s Dr Mahotra’s point, and no-one is giving a factual response to it.

By the way, do arteries really get full of white fatty sludge as another BBC article suggests?  that doesn’t seem to me to be in the least what atheroscleroma is…

Atherosclerosis is the most common type of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and caused by plaque building up in the vessel. Over time the plaque causes thickening of the walls of the artery. Stiffness and a loss of elasticity also result. http://surgery.about.com/od/beforesurgery/f/ArteriosclerosisAtherosclerosis.htm