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Surgeon: Why I’ve ditched statins for good after quitting sugar and eating more animal fat

Published on March 25, 2014,

The Telegraph has a fascinating article from a vascular surgeon who takes issue with the latest recommendations that statins should be given to more people to prevent heart disease and stroke and says he feels better without them after giving up sugar and eating more animal fats…

Why I’ve ditched statins for goodThe only major changes I’d made to my lifestyle since coming off statins were eliminating sugar (including alcohol and starchy foods such as bread) and eating more animal fat. Many experts now believe that sugar is emerging as a true villain in the heart-disease story; while after decades of demonisation, saturated fat has been acquitted of causing heart disease by a recent “meta” analysis of 70 studies by Cambridge University. Typically, I was eating red meat three or four times a week and enjoying butter, full-fat milk and plenty of eggs. You would have thought that after three months on a diet so high in saturated fat, my cholesterol would have shot back up to pre-statin levels – but no, it came down and has stayed down seven months on.

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Video: Statin Nation – The Great Cholesterol Cover Up – Watch Free Online For One Week Only

Published on May 11, 2013,

A new documentary has just been released by film director Justin Smith which challenges the conventional wisdom about saturated fat, cholesterol and statins. The arguments won’t be new to readers of this site but are radically different to what we hear from health authorities and government agencies…

STATIN NATIONThe great news, reported by Dr Mercola, is that the full documentary film is available to view free online for just one week so please take a look and share as widely as you can…

Here is the link to view Statin Nation on Vimeo

See the Statin Nation website here

More about cholesterol and Statin Nation from Dr Mercola at: Statin Nation: The Great Cholesterol Cover-Up

Statins: Side Effects Could Be Much More Common Than Statistics Suggest and They Could Cause Diabetes

Published on March 20, 2013,

Two recent online articles have shone a light onto both the nature of and the scale of side effects of the cholesterol lowering drugs statins. The Diet Doctor looks at a recent acknowledgement by the Swedish catalogue of approved drugs that diabetes is a possible side effect of statins, whilst Dr Briffa explains why side-effects from statins could actually be much higher than official statistics suggest…

Drugs and Medications

First this is from the Diet Doctor…

Cholesterol-lowering drugs, so called statins, may decrease the risk for heart disease somewhat. But they may also lead to side effects, such as: muscle pain, muscle fatigue, disorientation and a lower IQfatigue, impotence and so on.

One side effect that has long been known is that statins increase the risk of developing diabetes. You could, for example, have read about this on my Swedish blog three years ago and in my Swedish book The Food rEvolution, 2011. Now, a few years later, it’s been added as a “very important” update of the text in the Swedish catalogue of approved drugs, FASS: Diabetes is a possible side effect.

Hence another reason not to spread statins far and wide to heart-healthy individuals with “high cholesterol” – which is often defined as 200 mg/dl and above. Most of the healthy population has a total cholesterol number above 200 mg/dl, so this is one of the more obvious cases of disease mongering (the “selling of sickness”) you can imagine.

When it comes to heart disease (angina, previous heart attack) the benefit of statin treatment might be worth the risk. But if you treat your normal cholesterol number with statins you risk getting diabetes for no good reason. Does this sound like a good idea? Hardly, but it happens many times every day.

More at:  Statins May Cause Diabetes

Then Dr Briffa considers why side effects might be much more prevalent than suggested…

I was interested to read about a recent review in which the frequency of adverse effects from statins was assessed over time. The authors of this study make the point that when side effects occur, these can often come on quite soon after therapy is commenced (just as in the man referred to above). However, they also point out that side effects can be delayed for several years too. The relatively short duration of studies leads the authors to conclude that it is: “…impossible to determine with certainty the frequency of long-term side effects with these drugs.”

In reality, though, there’s a pretty good chance those who start statins will not be taking them in the long term. That’s because about three-quarters of people who start statins promptly stop them within a year. And last year, a poll conducted by drug company Eli Lilly discovered that the most common reason for people discontinuing their statin was side-effects. In fact, 62 per cent of people cited this as the reason. By my reckoning, it seems that getting on for half of people will stop their statin within a year of starting because of side effects.

Despite this sort of data, we are often assured that the side-effects from statins are ‘rare’. In fact, if you look at the studies in which people are treated with statins, this generally appears to hold true. However, there’s a number of ways in which the design of studies can downplay the risk of side effects. Here’s a few:

1. short duration and ‘early termination’ of studies (this also tends to exaggerate benefits)

2. screening out those susceptible to side effects before the study begins

3. logging side effects only if there’s extreme deviation from normal biochemistry (some studies only log side effects once biochemical markers are several times the upper limit of normal)

4. not looking for certain side effects in the first place

These devices help explain the disparity between what studies show in terms of statin side effects, and our apparent experience in the real world. My own experience (and that of many doctors I speak too) tells me that statin side effects are much more common than official statistics would have us believe.

More, including study references at: Some reasons why the side effects of statins are likely to be much more common than official statistics suggest

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