Insights into Cholesterol Meds / Statins and Excellent Alternatives

You’ve probably heard and seen the statin adverts many times: simvastatin, atorvastatin, lipitor, fluvastatin, lescol, lovastatin, pitavastatin, pivalo, pravastatin, pravachol, rosuvastatin, crestor - all cholesterol lowering drugs, with all sorts of reasons to partake re good HDL might be too high, bad LDL is making plaque in, but ignoring the many, many, serious dangerous side effects starting with sore muscles and followed by fatigue and actual muscle breakdown - about 9 percent of users report statin-related problems (in an industry funded report no less!). And normally only 10% of any problems and side-effects are ever reported.
The results of yet another older study (Eurekalert September 25, 2008 - so many un-believers) show that statins at higher doses may also negatively affect the ability of the skeletal muscles (which allow your body to move), to repair and regenerate themselves. That's NO small side-affect. And this particular research circulated 11 years ago!
 

These cardiovascular drugs - HMG-Co-A reductase inhibitors - interfere at the cellular level with the ATP cycle inside each mirichondria or each of our thirty trillon cells. This includes messing with the natural making of CoQ10 - a brilliant anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
With at least 49 million North Americans taking statins and experts’ recommendations that another 45 million of us ‘should’ be taking them, it’s important that we educate ourselves. (Did you know we had a previous BC provincial premier who believed that statins should be mandatory for all!! as a prophylactic! and was trying to get legislation enacted for this!
There is a minute group of people with genetic enzyme defects that have cholesterol levels above 325-350. These are extremely rare individuals who may benefit from statin drugs. For the remainder of us, taking a statin drug to control our cholesterol levels will likely do more harm than good.
(See the movies and videos  mentioned below – they’re amazing straight-forward eye-openers!)

Statins have been known to cause muscle pain, weakness and atrophy - just some collatoral damage??? Yet, this information did not lead to further research, more medical scrutiny, more government oversight or any type of hue and outcry by the prescribing GP's... Until now. (Certainly this is not going to be funded or investigated by the corporate pharma crowd that so ‘sold’ us on statins... or the governments unilaterally supporting Big Pharma).

A study published years ago and finally revealed in 2012 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that statin drugs activate the atrogin-1 gene, which plays a key role in muscle atrophy. Three separate tests showed that even at low concentrations, statin drugs led to atrogin-1 induced muscle damage. As the drug dose increased, the damage increased as well.
All arteries and veins are muscle tissue. As well, the heart itself is muscle tissue. All of these tissues are affected by this class of drug that is purported to protect them!) For example, Bayer’s statin, Baycol, was pulled from the market in 2001 after 31 people died from rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle tissue breaks down resulting in particular organ failures such as kidney failure.

Adding insult to injury, Vytorin, a drug that combines two cholesterol drugs - Zetia and Zocor into one pill, has been found to cause the opposite effect of that desired: arterial plaques grew nearly TWICE AS FAST in patients taking the Zetia-Zocor combination compared to those taking Zocor alone. Experts called the results shocking... and then went about their business selling us more of the same... I would call it disgusting bordering on criminal. 

Other serious and potentially life threatening statin side effects include, but are not limited to:
 * decrease in brain health and cognitive functioning
 * immune system degradation
 * decrease in liver and other vital organ function
 * decrease in artery and vein healthfulness

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and a place to read further - gathered reserach and view more abstracts - 107 of them - Lipitor Research - at http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/lipitor

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What We Would Want to Know About Cholesterol
Statin drugs work by preventing the formation of cholesterol and reducing LDL cholesterol, which is considered the ‘bad’ cholesterol. However, what is the real problem? What is really bad? What is really GOOD cholesterol?

In order to understand why we don’t need statins to ‘protect’ us from our cholesterol levels, we' first want to understand how cholesterol works and that there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Both HDL and LDL cholesterol perform vital functions... no good guys and bad guys in your body playing out a Western movie scenario. It’s actually dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low. HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are special proteins that transport cholesterol to and from your tissues when and where needed. Cholesterol is also a precursor to your vitally necessary steroid hormones. For example, we can’t make testosterone or estrogen (or any of the horney-mones), cortisol, DHEA or pregnenolone, or a multitude of other hormones that are necessary for health, without cholesterol. Even more importantly, we can’t make new cell membranes without cholesterol – AND it’s fundamental to on-going tissue repair - just to name a few functions. Why we have LDL, is to take the cholesterol to the tissue so we can make new cells or repair compromised ones. HDL is cholesterol on it's way back to be stored or metabolized once used and no long needed.


(Cartoon of an attacked muscle from http://www.betterbodychemistry.com)

The Relevant Facts About Bad Cholesterol Your Doctor May Not Have Told You
The only reason why LDL could even be considered ‘bad’ is because there are different sizes of LDL particles. The very smallest particles can easily travel to where they shouldn’t trespass and cause inflammation, which leads to damage but eventual healing. This can include the buildup of scar tissue / repair tissue / arterial plaque – (via pteropharpen in pleomorphic terms).

Naturally, the drug companies don’t share with us the above, as this would severely limit their bottom-line, since statins do not affect the size of the particles – statins affects all sizes.

Make sure your need for statins is avoided, by making sure your LDL particles are large enough to not get trapped and not cause inflammatory conditions. The best approach is to control the LDL particle size - then you’ll know that the cholesterol that does circulate is doing the right thing - it takes the cholesterol to your tissues, the HDL takes it back to your liver and nothing gets stuck.
Statins also block Coenzyme A reductase (a key enzyme in cholesterol synthesis) and Coenzyme Q10 (a vital enzyme that your body makes for energy, tissue repair, many functions and even in maintaining cognitive function).
Statins stymie your production of these as well as other enzymes, possibly leaving you in a depleted enzyme state. We need these enzymes every minute - they are there for a reason!

How to Normalize Your Cholesterol Without the Use of Drugs

20%
Just about every person can normalize their cholesterol levels by switching to the use of quality oils and fats in their diets and cooking and eliminating all the bad stuff altogether in lieu of butter and some occasional coconut oil and olive oil (the real stuff - not olive oil cut with canola - check, for example, at https://cooc.com and other organizations). Consider that only a maximum of 20% of your cholesterol is affected by what you eat. The rest is created naturally when our bodies call for it.
Include lots of avocado, nuts, coconut, egg yolks, flax oil, ghee / butter and Krill oil supplements, while avoiding poor fats such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, margarine (esp. Becel), regular fish oils supplements ( you never know where those fish have been) and all that deep frying, pan frying and all the triglycerides in junk, restaurant and commercial foods). When travelling, you may want to avoid street food (you don't want to know what oils are used for that!) Small fish are excellant, even organic salmon (the best is Kuterra at Thrifty's). The smaller the fish, the lower the mercury content.

~ supplements
Start using niacin supplements - Vitamin B3 and foods containing B3 in your diet (tuna, sardines, shrimp and salmon; chicken, turkey and beef; peanuts, green peas, sunflower seeds, avocado and brown rice); also add a quality tumeric supplement for good measure to reduce inflammation thereby calling on your body to make less cholesterol. If you have other inflammatory issues you may want to read about abating that - to lower your need for making cholesterol to help out - http://www.pacificholistic.com/inflammation.

~ be smart about sugars
Avoid drinking alcohol excessively and decrease other poor sugar habits as well as switching from simple carbs to complex carbs such as choosing serious multi grains such as Cob’s Breads’ Cape Seed Bread, or wild rice, quinoa and brown rice and all sort of root vegetables - dependant of course on lectin sensitivity.

~ stress
Remove stress with simple techniques such as meditation and Tapping / EFT (http://www.emofree.com) on your issues and maybe even the odd acupuncture, massage or acupressure or reflexology or Reiki session.

~ loose the unfermented soy
Avoid ALL soy products including unfermented soy flour found hidden in most cheap baked goods and mass-produced breads (often not listed on label), tofu, soy ice cream, soy yoghurt, soy milk / silk milk etc...

~ lower insulin spikes
Simply by reducing the insulin surges, your levels in your blood can achieve the same statin drug effect. No blood sugar spikes - eat according to the Glycemic Index - banish simple carbs and simple sugars and include proteins and good fats and oils with EACH meal.

~ take a good look at your health up close!
proper live blood analysis shows may facets of health (as long as it's not a quickie session and set up in a supplement shop to sell you stuff!)

When we achieve the above health projects - and when one leads a healthy life-style that doesn't include pill-popping for everything else, then cholesterol levels are merely indicators: if it's high while eating wisely (as above) then we know our bodies are in repair mode (another good reason to double check with proper live blood analysis). When levels are lower - then there's not so much tissue repair going on nor hormones to rebalance. And beware, blood cholesterol levels are poorly measured by most labs... and readings can differ easily by 25% from lab to lab and day to day.

More cholesterol details at a brilliant documentary: $tatin Nation Documentaries I and II - access at http://www.statinnation.net or a glimpse at Youtube.com - for the first 13 minutes at https://youtu.be/Ry1Z8buyd8I.
These films feature dozens of interviews with top medical doctors, researchers, authors and even patients who are now standing up and publicly questioning the medical myths we’ve all been conditioned to swallow.
This a must-see documentary by Justin Smith for anyone currently taking statin drugs or considering taking them. Cholesterol drugs are based on intentional misrepresentation of medical evidence to suit the Big Pharma motives.

Dr Mercola writes well reserached level-headed health commentaries and here’s his long-standing take on statin drugs: “...I’ve long maintained that statins are one of the most unnecessary drugs there is, and I’m not about to change my mind anytime soon. The list of studies documenting their dangers to your health just keeps getting longer.”

Internationally renowned researcher Dr. Stephanie Seneff (one of my heroes) is interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola about her scientific perspective on cholesterol - wise and gobsmacking! and really easy to understand! at https://youtu.be/_hbNSHPco0g and more indepth at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIC58VpYE4A

Stephanie Seneff, PhD is a Senior Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She has a Batchelor’s degree from MIT in biology with a minor in food and nutrition, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, also from MIT. Dr. Seneff has conducted research in diverse areas, including human auditory modeling, spoken dialogue systems, natural language processing, information retrieval and summarization, and computational biology. She has published nearly 200 refereed articles in technical journals and conferences on these subjects and has been invited to give several keynote speeches.
More on this hero - Dr. Seneff at http://groups.csail.mit.edu/sls//people/seneff.shtml

Who cooked up the idea that HDL was good and LDL was bad and very low was terrible!?!
Have a listen at http://www.screencast.com/users/GNM/folders/GNM%20Videos%20%28English%29/media/bbaf89ea-2bc5-4aa9-99cb-9b7ccdfc6794 at the 6 minutes/10 seconds mark there is a very good cholesterol explanation.

Merrie Bakker,
604-261-7742

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me.
More health articles: http://www.pacificholistic.com/nutrition

Merrie Bakker, 604-261-7742, info@pacificholistic.com

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