What is your ‘Statin by date’?

Somewhat to my chagrin, I filled in my risk factors into the new ACC/AHA guidelines on cardiovascular disease prevention. I now find that I should have started statins eight weeks ago. Naughty, naughty, me. My blood pressure was a bit higher than the calculator liked 138/82, my cholesterol quite a bit higher at 6.0mmol/l.

Which means that I have already passed the 7.5% ten year risk score. O….M…..G. (I think my picture makes me look a bit younger than I am, although it was only taken last year – honest)

What to do?

I am now well beyond my ‘Statin by date.’ No longer can I be healthy without taking a statin. By the way, a friend came up with the concept of ‘statin by date.’ It did make me laugh, conjuring up the image of a sell by date on a can of baked beans. Or maybe Logan’s run. If you remember that film, once you reached the age of, I think it was thirty, you had to leave the colony as you had reached your sell by date.  ‘No this is not au-revoir…. It is goodbye.’

Can I be reassured that my parents are both alive and healthy in their late eighties. My grandmother, on my mother’s side, lived to one hundred and two. No idea about my father’s side. WWII did for both my grandparents on that side.

Can I feel comfort in the fact that I play squash three times a week, go to the gym twice a week and walk when I can? Mind you all of this is wiped out by my excess consumption of alcohol I suppose – unfortunately. Also, I am in the overweight category with a BMI, of 28. But wait, isn’t the entire English rugby team obese, using the BMI. Must be all the training and muscle bulk that does it. Yes, the jolly old BMI.

No, I thought I was a pretty healthy chap. I have no real risk factors for heart disease at all. A resting pulse rate of 48, a reasonable blood pressure……

In truth I feel terribly sorry for the Swiss. They have the highest average cholesterol level in Europe at 6.4mmol/l (250mg/dl in those inconvenient US units). Surely the entire nation must be put on statins straight away. But, hold on, wait just one gosh darned minute. Don’t they have the second lowest rate of heart disease in Europe?

Why yes, they do. Only beaten by the French. Who have an average cholesterol levels higher than most other countries, they also eat the most saturated fat in Europe, and yet they have the lowest rate of heart disease. About one quarter that of the UK and US. I wonder how the ACC/AHA calculator works for them? Perhaps not that well.  Ah oui, bonne chance. Zey must be, ‘ow you say ‘une paradox’. (Or would that be ‘un paradox’)

As you can tell I think I am grasping at straws. Who am I to attempt to stand against the massed intellectual power of the ‘experts.’ The reality is that I feel the breath of the grim reaper on the back of my neck, scythe in hand. I am now eight weeks past my statin by date, and I am not taking statins. The clock ticks in the background, I can sense the disapproval of cardiologists around the world weighing heavily upon me.

‘Forgive me father, for I haven’t statined.’

111 thoughts on “What is your ‘Statin by date’?

    1. Louise B

      Out of curiosity I decided to see what nonsense the British Heart Foundation are telling people about cholesterol. I was somewhat stunned to read that they advise people to keep their total cholesterol UNDER 4mmol!! I have questioned this advice on their Facebook page. No country in Europe has an average anywhere near that low as I have pointed out to them. The link to the relevant but on their website is herehttp://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/high-cholesterol.aspx

      Reply
    1. Tyrannocaster

      Désolé, mais c’est un paradoxe. 🙂 (nm, opinion contraire aux attentes)

      [Sorry, but it’s a paradoxe, masculine noun)

      Reply
  1. V

    When I had my heart attack I was (and still am, even by the current confusing ‘standards’) well out of the defined ‘risk area’. My total ”cholesterol” level was and is of 180mg/dl (and, by the way, this is the international standard, not the US unit of choice; blast those ”need to be different” imperial measurement unit systems, hehe).

    I was prescribed statins by the cardiologist who planted me the stent, as some sort of a ”shock-and-prevent” kind of therapy – a 40mg/day of Simvastatin. If I am to see something remotely funny in all that ordeal I went through due to statins, is that my ”total cholesterol” never went up or down. In other words, my liver always struggled to keep things in check. Come to think of it, I would’ve rather drink myself to oblivion each day, instead of taking a statin pill. I think I would be better-off now.

    (I’d like you to excuse me a bit- English is not my native language – and to ask what exactly is a GP? I tend to mix it with ‘family doctor’; the two terms kind of overlap in my country (Romania), and not only.)

    Anyway, after I did my homework and abandoned statins I managed to convince both my cardiologist and my family doctor that statins aren’t actually good, and cholesterol ain’t necessarily bad. It took some time, but I did it. And they thanked me.

    That being said, I’d state that my ‘statin date’ is ‘neve’”.

    Reply
  2. Robert Park

    A lovely article that sugar-coated the pill and brought extra cheer into my day. Message received loud and clear; I guess I must be one of the living dead!

    Reply
  3. Jennifer

    Dr K. Your blogs are really interfering with my Activities of Daily Living, ( i.e. I can’t stop laughing long enough to go and make the tea),as they are so entertaining, as well as informative. I have just shown, in the concept of ADL, that I am, indeed, a retired Nurse, and for the final 10 years of my service, I had this fancy to pass on the responsibility of medications for the Aged to the Chancellor of the Exchequer….. The oldies ( now including me), could collect their pension from the Post Office, along with a nice goodie bag of Statins, low dosage aspirin, and the odd box of laxatives, (because I rarely saw a patient discharged without all three )to be taken forever and ever. Amen.

    Reply
  4. Mary Adair

    Dr. Kendrick, you need to take that show on the road…oh wait, you did and have been labeled a Snake Oil Salesman, or what was it again? Oh, do you “earth”? I forget. In truth, I was on statins for 9 years. Slowly I began to awaken in the middle of the night telling my husband I had the flu. It became increasingly worse over the following months until the pain was unbearable. I lived like this from 2004 until July of 2013. The pain is finally improving. I feel so weak though. I have high CK levels. I am afraid to return to my doctor as she might try to “bully” me into taking statins again. No way. I had one risk factor. Smoking. Other than that, I had a resting BP of 68, B/P of 116/65 usually. They put me on B/P meds when I went to the doctor complaining of terrible pain. Anyone’s B/P would be high when he or she is in that much pain. As an important aside, my poor husband had a mild heart attack at 32. He had no heart damage as a result. He was placed on heavy duty statins. One would think he had lost some function of his heart via heart attacks. He did not. They always caught them in time to stent or do open heart surgery or whatever. Know what he actually died of? Congestive heart failure at the tender age of 50. They are poisons. Who knew?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      It wasn’t me being a snake oil salesman. I didn’t appear on the programme. I am accused of trying to sell books. Well, book actually, although my next one is nearly done. Imagine, you write a book then you want people to read it. ‘Bloody presposterous, the man is a complete charlatan. Should get his money from the pharmaceutical companies like the rest of us. Pass the port old boy….’

      Reply
      1. Mary Adair

        No, it was not you being anything but a scholar who dared to question what obviously makes no sense. I have learned more from people like you, Dr. Kendrick than any doctor who has treated me in 9 years. It was a slow, painful mission to find the truth. My “mission” took many twists and turns. Have you ever read the book, “How the Scots Invented the Modern World?” Although I have no doubt that your intellectual ability is far above most, part of that drive to find the truth is in your DNA. Don’t give up. Keep fighting the good fight my friend. Keep that sharp wit and down to earth demeanor. We need you. And I speak for many when I say…Thank you!

        Mary Adair

      2. Sue Richardson

        Talking of books, I noticed in something I read the other day that you have been accused of being ‘in it for the money’ (presumably by selling shed loads of your book) How do they deduce that, when the price was less than a cd – well the one(s) I bought were anyway. Admittedly I bought a few and gave them away – but even so! How do they think you are making all this money that you are in it for (excuse the shaky grammar)? Anyway, good to hear you have another book on the way. I’m buying, it even if it costs more than a cd. Your book(s) are worth every penny.

    2. jacklabear

      “I am afraid to return to my doctor as she might try to “bully” me”…
      You pay someone to bully you? It reminds me of the Monty Python skit about a person who goes into an office to pay someone for an argument or abuse.
      My current job has disease insurance with a $5000/year deductible. So unless I end up in hospital, all my medical expenses are directly out of pocket. That dispelled the illusion that “health care” is free.
      If I’m going to pay someone $700/hour, I expect to be treated with courtesy, professionalism and competence.
      In the last 3 years, I have fired 2 MDs, a Nurse Practitioner and a Dentist.
      It felt good; I enjoyed it! 😉

      Reply
  5. Kelvin

    My cholesterol was tested 3 years ago and at a reading of 7. Oh dear said the nurse. You need to change. BMI at 28 (same as Dr. Kendrick. Shock, horror. If I didn’t do something about it soon then I wouldn’t live to 60 (she didn’t actually say that but thought I would throw in what was probably going through her mind). So what was making me so ‘unhealthy’. Maybe it was the 5 times a week at the gym with a mixture of weights and cardio. Maybe my disgusting BMI could be because of my being quite muscular (not quite Arnie in the 80s but you know what I mean). Nutrition – yep, I ate all the foods in the ‘green’ column, few of the foods in the ‘amber’ column and even fewer of the ‘red’ column. I seem to remember that ‘foie gras’ was in the red column. Ooooh must be that as I eat it 3 times a day (ha bloody ha). How about booze – yep I am a typical binge drinker. Don’t drink during the week and have all my ‘allowed’ units at the weekend. So I was told to go back in 3 months to be re-checked. I didn’t bother but if I had gone back and my cholesterol level was still at 7 or even higher would I have been offered statins? There are not many men I know in their 50s (or even younger) that are as fit and healthy and me. Oh and I have never ever smoked. The funny thing is is that the nurse was rather large and her BMI must have been in the 30s. Wonder what her cholesterol and lifestyle are like?

    Reply
  6. V

    Out of curiosity, I used the new ASCVD risk calculator, and I noticed another funny thing.

    If I write ‘no’ for ‘HBP treatment’ (while BP value is above ‘average’) I get a lower risk than if I write ‘yes’.

    Should one think there might be some Easter Eggs in BP lowering drugs as well? Heh.

    Reply
  7. Ash Simmonds

    6.0mmo/l…!

    Dammit, I live on mostly fatty ribeyes and eggs and salmon, all swimming in butter, I got my lipids done for the first time ever this year (I’m 37) and I only scored 5.5 – so jealous…

    Reply
  8. Chain Reaction

    Squash three times per week, gym twice a week, and a BMI of 28?

    Have you wondered if this lifestyle bears upon cortisol, raises insulin, and adds to the risk factors?

    Spare a thought for if hyperinsulinaemia could be the point of convergence for accepted and alternate risk factors for cvd.

    It’s just a thought – eliminate from enquiries, so to speak – that and the book would cease to sell if the author of The Con had cardiac arrest recorded on the DC.

    Reply
      1. dearieme

        Indeed; and don’t the mildly obese outlive the underweight?

        Mind you, if the overweight live longest, in what sense are they “overweight”?

      2. Chris

        I am less than 1.8 metres tall, weighing in at 97 kilos my BMI computes to 32, and that top-trumps yours, Dr Kendrick, (so there, nah!)

        I wasn’t really trying to top-trump you, so much as I was trying to save you time. Two books could really advance your train of thought, especially where cortisol and CVD is concerned.

        One is the ‘Earthing’ book (Ober Sinatra & Zucker) and the other is ‘Lights Out’ (Wiley and Formby). Wiley and Formby plausibly explore this cortisol connection and link it with insulin. They link cortisol to excess exercise too, which lies in the general direction I was pointing.

        Life itself creates cationic duress, but intensive exercise adds to the ion sacrifice that accompanies metabolism and so creates additional duress, especially if you neglect to earth when your done flailing around on the sqaush court.

        Did I say ‘flailing’? It’s not intended to be a reflection on your game, just a term I found fitting in the days when I played.

        With kind regards and only good intentions, Christopher Palmer (LGV; C+E).

  9. Tom Welsh

    ‘No this is not au-revoir…. It is goodbye.’

    Dr Kendrick, you have just acquired a fan for life! (Even if I didn’t already hugely admire your book and your blog).

    I adore anyone who adores anyone who quotes from “What’s Up, Doc?”

    Reply
    1. celia

      I just looked again at the New York Times article of 12th November. “Patients on statins will no longer need to lower their cholesterol levels to specific numerical targets monitored by regular blood tests, as has been recommended for decades. SIMPLY TAKING THE RIGHT DOSE OF A STATIN WILL BE SUFFICIENT, the guidelines say.” I am wondering if this implies that people will cease having their cholesterol levels checked, thereby removing the possibility of linking cause and effect. If that is the case, it looks very scary to me. In my own case, my total cholesterol dropped from 4.6 to 3.10 at the same time as I had a raft of side effects. I can show cause and effect…

      Reply
  10. Mary Adair

    I believe nature has its way of curbing obesity. As many of you will observe, as people age, they naturally get thinner. My mother went from a healthy looking 165 to 113. She is 85. Most people who age begin to wither. It is most common. But for those still young who have been taught that taking a pill will reduce their chances of heart attack, stroke, and PAD…pray tell, what would the alternative be? We live in a pill popping society. My father lived to be 77 and never took so much as an aspirin until he contracted cancer. He died in three months. Not everyone is meant to live forever. But, how do you change the mindset of the world who believes a pill will somehow make their lives better? That is what people are so afraid of. That is why they are like lambs lead to the slaughter? They feel helpless without their medicines. What is the answer especially for those who have had or are at “risk” for heart disease? We must somehow convince folks that alternatives do exist. How do we change the mindset of the modern world? And what alternatives do we recommend? Changing people’s “perceptions” is very difficult. How do you calm their fears? Now, that is a big job.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      You are right, Mary. What so many people have to do is to become adults themselves, and not rely on the grown-ups to keep them safe. But that would be asking for a great deal. The Egyptians had their ‘book of the dead’ to guide them through the afterlife. It was nonsense, but people grasp at nonsense to keep their fears at bay.

      Reply
      1. Mary Adair

        Dr. Kendrick, you are so right. I have had to come to the realization that I have to use food and lifestyle changes for optimal health and when it is my time, it just is. As for you and all those brave anti statin crusaders, this debate is really heating up fast!! Fasten your seatbelts…it is going to be a bumpy ride!!! It seems to come up on the national news on a daily basis lately. Hold your course!!

    2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      What you say reminds me of one of my favourite song I trained on my guitar some years ago.

      Donna Donna

      On a waggon bound for market
      there`s a calf with a mournful eye.
      High above him there`s a swallow,
      winging swiftly through the sky.
      How the winds are laughing,
      they laugh with all their might.
      Laugh and laugh the whole day through,
      and half the summer`s night.

      Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna; Donna, Donna, Donna, Don.
      Donna, Donna, Donna, Donna; Donna, Donna, Donna, Don.

      “Stop complaining!“ said the farmer,
      Who told you a calf to be ?
      Why don`t you have wings to fly with,
      like the swallow so proud and free?“
      Calves are easily bound and slaughtered,
      never knowing the reason why.
      But who ever treasures freedom,
      like the swallow has learned to fly.

      Reply
      1. Cathy

        Wow! I remember that song from when I was a kid. What a blast from the past. I think it’s an old Yiddish folk song, but I heard it in sung by Donovan. Cool

    3. Robin J Willcourt MD

      The reason for the elderly getting “smaller” is due to their telomere lengths decreasing and the cells die. This decrease in overall body mass, therefore, is NOT a good thing. “Lean and mean” is not the same thing as “small and frail.” As has been stated many times, weight reduction is NOT the same thing as fat reduction. Our goals need to ensure that optimum body mass and composition are maintained at optimal levels until the day we die.

      Reply
      1. Mary Adair

        Thank you doctor for the scholarly lesson. I just have not met many “lean and mean” elderly people (a few…Jack Lalane comes to mind) My mother (84 yrs old) is thin, frail, and meaner than a snake. She has many health problems since being bombarded by statins; congestive heart failure, mini strokes, long and short term memory deficits and cataracts just to name a few. She can barely walk, but she is still trying. By the way, she smokes and is not from France.

  11. Richard Gibbs

    Going back to your post about the JAMA patient page – “Statins do not help you live longer …”, you quoted “However, a 2010 analysis combined the results of 11 studies …”. However, the new ACC/AHA guidelines for the group that flunks the risk calculator was based on only 3 studies, one of which was JUPITER, which applied to people with high C-Reactive protein levels. One wonders why they only (cherry?) picked 3 to arrive at their conclusions!

    Reply
  12. Charlie

    How Basic Scientists Help the Pharmaceutical Industry Market Drugs

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001716

    “In biomedicine, discourse on conflicts of interest (also called competing interests) has focused on relationships between industry and physicians or clinical researchers. However, basic scientists are not immune to industry influence on research and publications, and may be important to industry in the production and dissemination of marketing messages.”

    Reply
  13. dairysolutions

    Well doc, I have a nice case for you here.

    Male, 43. Tested 12.4 mmol/l in feb 2008. Arteries checked, no blockades yet! BMI around 29. There is no specific history of heart failure in my family. Crestor saved my life though, bringing the Cholesterol down to 3.3 mmol/l in july 2010 (ohoh..). Thanks to this there was no need to change lifestyle 🙂

    Early 2013 I decided to quit te pills and go paleo. Lost 20 kilo’s and gained a lot of fun. I never felt better.

    I don’t know my actual Cholesterol status, but the question is, is there a need to test it? If the answer is yes, what do I do when, for example, 7 or 8 mmol/l is found? Or even higher? Crestor is not an option any more…

    Can it be that the Cholestrol was so sky-high back then due to excessive carb consumption??

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I cannot provide individual medical advice on the internet – for lots of reasons. I suppose if you have read my stuff, you can probably work out what my answers would be. Cholesterol 12.4mmol/l and no blockages…..You have one part of the answer there. Can excess carb consumption lead to very high cholesterol…..not that I am aware of.

      Reply
      1. dairysolutions

        Thank you for the reply. Fair enough you can’t get into individual advice, the question was more or less rhetorical. The provided part of the answer is welcome though. It’s my own responsibilty, I know, but I wonder if it is interesting at all to know one’s cholesterol? (no anser expected).

  14. Elle

    Eeh! You do make me larf. Thank goodness you are there doing this. Gives me courage enough to say no thank you to my GP. Thank you.

    Reply
  15. GG

    I recommend your blog and book to many who are slaves to statins or desperate to lower their cholesterol. When I last had my cholesterol level checked, a good number of years ago, it was only 4.5 or something like that. I was told that I must be doing something right (not according to the information in your book and on this blog). But not to worry, I have not had my cholesterol checked since because I don’t want to be either praised for it being too low or chastised for it being too high. It is what it is.

    I don’t think my GP would ever offer me statins but if he ever did the answer would be no, no, no. I know too many people who are on statins and the crazy thing is that they don’t even know why. They just take them because they have been given them (and put up with the side effects). Patients should ask more questions and be more involved in their medical care and not just leave it all up to their GP.

    Thank you Dr K for your blog. It is always a good read and it often makes me laugh too. Question is, should I recommend it to my GP next time I visit?

    Reply
    1. Dr Paul Travis

      Like most people in life, family doctors try to do ‘the right thing’. I’ve taken early retirement but my GP colleagues used to think I was crazy by not prescribing statins, I even wondered whether I’d be reported to the General Medical Council! But my colleagues were simply following guidelines (albeit unchallenged) issued from on high and feared doing ‘the wrong thing’ and being sued. Unfortunately this whole myth of high cholesterol levels clogging up your arteries is deeply ingrained in society’s psyche, its going to be a long hard battle to reverse this ‘Great Cholesterol Con’. With apologies to other GPs who read this blog, most doctors haven’t the first idea how cholesterol is synthesized and metabolised, and clueless about the true development of atheroma in the arteries. Well worth challenging your GP with Dr K’s blogs.

      Very funny posts Dr K. 🙂

      Reply
      1. dearieme

        “most doctors haven’t the first idea how cholesterol is synthesized and metabolised, and clueless about the true development of atheroma in the arteries”: me too. But I am capable of reading critically and so learned from the sceptics that the cholesterol hypothesis was rubbish. That meant that when, unexpectedly, my GP tried to have me take statins I was able, thank goodness, to decline them.

        If I may say so, my memory of the medical students whom I met as a fresher a million years ago was that they were an intelligent bunch, and dutiful students, but they weren’t notable for having intellectual interests or intellectual curiosity.

      2. Mary Adair

        Dr. Travis, I so agree with you. Whenever you have an ailment most GP or Family Practice doctors (or any doctor for that matter) can only prescribe medications that are FDA approved. Anything else could put their careers at risk unless a specific vitamin or supplement has been approved by the FDA for that condition. It worries me that the trial lawyers will start sharpening their legal knives (especially in the US) and start suing everyone and his brother. That would be grossly unfair and I don’t advocate such. The doctors in most cases only know what the pharma reps have told them. I would hate for this thing to blow up in the faces of many innocent, well meaning doctors or other healthcare providers. And that is all I have to say about that!

      3. GG

        You are right, they are following guidelines and it will take a very long time for change to happen. I will give my GP Dr K’s blog details next time I am at the surgery. My GP is used to me not agreeing with guidelines and other various hoops that GPs are pressurised to get us patients to jump through these days. I like to think that secretly he agrees with me.

  16. Dirk Jacobsz

    Dr M. One of the challenges I have faced, is that my insurance company refuses to now give me life insurance. They have guidelines that state cholesterol levels have to be within normal limits. Mine were too high for them, so they told me I would have to be cleared by a cardiologist and put on statins. So it seems the insurance industry is also making money out of this.

    Reply
      1. Dirk Jacobsz

        @dearieme.
        Very simply, the medical guidelines supported by most cardiologists, state that your cholesterol should be a certain level. If they are not within “normal” limits, they determine that you are a higher risk category. They then charge you higher rates to insure you. This is my experience. The guidelines allow the insurance companies to make more money. Is this simple enough for you.

    1. GG

      From your experience it also appears that patients are being prescribed (albeit indirectly) drugs by the insurance company. If this is the way things are going we won’t need doctors in the future because insurance companies and big pharmas will be making the rules and dispensing accordingly.

      Reply
    2. Mary Adair

      What rubbish!! Since I had a very bad experience with Simvastatin, my doctor recommended it be changed to a very low dose Crestor. My insurance company refused to allow the change. It was actually a blessing in disguise as that was when I told my doctor that I preferred to take a vacation from statins anyway. It amazes me that insurance companies are increasingly controlling medications regardless as to what your doctor (in my case one who had known me for 15 years) recommends. It is getting quite complicated.

      Reply
    3. Bob Ross vs Pablo Picasso

      As much as we’ve all been told by the media and politicians to blame everything on evil greedy corporations, it doesn’t sound like your insurance company is making money out of it (how could they? they’re the ones who pick up the tabs); rather they’re suffering from a bad case of an idealism-induced god complex. They think they know more about your health than you do. This same brain poison is what’s affecting the AHA athe gov’t dietary guidelines of the world. (Also the people who created the Food Pyramid) Thomas Sowell talks about something like this in books like Intellectuals and Society about the Utopian vs Tragic vision or Anointed Ones vs Constrained Vision, and: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGvYqaxSPp4

      Reply
      1. Craig

        Being of a realistic frame of mind I don’t think it will happen soon, but when the evidence stacks up sufficiently high against the cholesterol-fat-diet-heart hypotheses, statins and the whole catastrophe; when the outcry gets loud enough, there must come a time when it will be tested properly in courts of law just as happened with tobacco.

        Insurance companies are supposed to be very good at analysing morbidity data and basing their fee structures on that analysis. If there were evidence that they weren’t being dilligent about the real risks then investors should be informed! With the evidence currently available why isn’t there an enterprising firm jumping in to fill the void, offering cheaper premiums to customers who take regular eggs and fat, cut down on bread and sugar &etc ? There’s a business opportunity here with a good chance of long term profit, any takers?

        I think I saw a mention of thalidomide in one of these blogs — can anyone remember what the legal outcomes were for the individual practioners who prescribed the stuff for morning sickness in those long-gone days?

        Craig.

  17. Anne

    I fear I will be statinated when I undergo aortic valve replacement surgery, for a bicuspid valve/defect I was born with, in January as it appears that statins in high doses are given to patients after any cardiac surgery – doesn’t matter that I do not have atherosclerosis 😦

    Reply
    1. Jan

      I had heart surgery over 40 years ago, when I was 8 for a congenital condition. My cardiologist recently tried to put me on statins because “you know, the risk is high”, even though I come out at 0.9 on the risk calculator and even though he admitted that there is no proven benefit to women with congenital heart conditions “yet”. I told him no thank you.

      Reply
  18. Richard Gibbs

    Statins have pleiotropic effects, i.e. benefits nothing to do with cholesterol lowering, and they are probably the reason for any slim benefits from taking statins. I believe these effects are beneficial after a heart attack in reducing the risk of another heart attack soon after the first and they may be beneficial after cardiac surgery. So I would suggest you research taking statins for a short period after the surgery (maybe a month or so), but I agree with your unwillingness to take them long term.

    Reply
    1. Craig

      Dr Dr K.,

      I have derived much benefit and much mirth from your various bloggings and from your book. I am still recovering from a bout of statin treatment over two years ago plus associated bad advice about fat, salt and cholesterol so I guess that I am now waaaay past my statin-by date.

      The Internet Anagram Server (I, rearrangement servant) yields the following anagrams for ‘statins’:

      A Stints Sans Tit Ants Sit Ants Its Ants Tis Tans Sit Tans Its Tans Tis Tan Sits Ant Sits As Tints As Stint Ass Tint Stats In Sat Snit Sat Nits Sat Tins Stat Ins Stat Sin Tats Ins
      Tats Sin At Snits Tat Sins

      There are some amusing possibilites in there but I propose that they be known from now on as just plain Nasttis

      Craig.

      Reply
    2. dearieme

      Richard, are there any drugs that seem to give the same benefits without the nasty side-effects? Now that it’s “official” that the cholesterol theory is rubbish, is there any reason for anyone to take statins?

      Reply
      1. Richard Gibbs

        I don’t know enough about treatment of patients immediately after a cardiac event to offer any advice.
        I think it’s a stretch to say that the cholesterol theory is now considered “rubbish” by the mainstream. What they actually said is there’s no evidence of a suitable/optimal level for LDL-C because all the studies used a fixed statin dose rather that adjusting the dose to achieve a target LDL-C level. So what they are saying is: It’s good to lower your cholesterol if you are at risk, but we don’t know how much to lower it, but just take a statin and you’ll be better off because you lowered it. Sure we will. Sigh. (I think they cherry picked the studies they used – see my comment above.)

    3. Anne

      Richard – I know what you mean about the pleitropic effects, but also know that those effects take place at much lower doses of statin than the dose that I would guess I will be given in hospital 😦 I have told them I take CoQ10 and Omega-3, which they are happy about, and I would think those two will help. I wish that if they want the pleitropic effects of statins that they would just give a low dose. Of course, they don’t know what I’ll do when I’m discharged, but I do worry about the statin bad-effect on heart muscle, even in a short time, just when I want to give my heart muscle good things.

      Reply
    1. Gozzin

      And as always,the comments are far more insightful than parts of the article.
      Needless to say, this statin mania is as disturbing as the lfhc mania and Suspect it will have the same ugly results.

      That being said,this was a truly exceptionally delightful blog! Keep um coming!

      Reply
  19. Pingback: Fat Head » Dr. Kendrick Missed His Statin-By Date

  20. Leanne

    Something you may find of interest, is the analysis performed by the Therapeutics Initiative at the University of British Columbia:

    Do statins have a role in primary prevention? an update (http://www.ti.ubc.ca/letter77)

    … jump to the good part…

    Conclusions
    — Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are challenging and require much more than locating RCTs and plugging in the numbers.
    — The claimed mortality benefit of statins for primary prevention is more likely a measure of bias than a real effect.
    — The reduction in major CHD serious adverse events with statins as compared to placebo is not reflected in a reduction in total serious adverse events.
    — Statins do not have a proven net health benefit in primary prevention populations and thus when used in that setting do not represent good use of scarce health care resources.

    Reply
  21. Bob Ross vs Pablo Picasso

    Interesting. A Doctor is told by the calculator to use statins.
    That got me thinking… call me crazy but this may be the beginning of the end for statins.
    You’re making fun of the calculator, but what happens when seemingly healthy statinator doctors are told by it to Rx themselves statins? They’ll do it and suffer the consequences.
    Statin drugs are like a utopian ideology that doesn’t work; like communism. It’s one thing for statinators to push statins on others, but now they may have to push it on themselves.
    Dr.Oz was a True Believing food-pyramid CW pusher, then he got a polyp. He was so sure he was healthy, that the food pyramid gov’t dietary guidelines are healthy, part of the reason why he began looking into paleo more seriously was probably because that little polyp shattered his paradigm.
    If statinators believe statins are the cure-all, and if this calculator tells them to take them, perhaps they are a few muscle aches away from coming to face with reality.

    Reply
    1. Sue Richardson

      That’s not such a crazy thought. If statins have been recommended for everyone, that must include our GPs. So why don’t we all ask our GPs if they are taking statins, and if not – why not? Those GPs who are putting their patients under pressure to take statins, could find themselves in a tricky spot!

      Reply
      1. jo

        My GP told me several years ago that he religiously took statins and that my HFLC diet was unhealthy and he most certainly didnt approve. He is now very large, unfit (puffs and pants when he gets out of his chair) and seems to only work part time these days???. He’s no older than ….55 – 60???? I often wonder how these “larger” GPs can advocate certain types of diet, healthy eating, exercise etc., when they obviously have obesity issues themselves???

    2. Mary Adair

      I have no doubt that physicians have taken statins just like the rest of us sheep. As Dr. K has pointed out, he is surprised at the number of people who can “tolerate” statins. So, perhaps many have and in so doing might only now be realizing either why they feel so lousy, and keeping the secret of their own suffering to themselves (as they stop taking the statins) with none of us the wiser. I believe that mums the word as none of them wants to wake up in this debacle with egg on their faces ladies and gents. After all, they are probably running scared wondering when they are going to be confronted with questions such as: “Well doctor, why did you not tell me that a side effect of this drug was debilitating pain, muscle wasting, and cognitive deficits or rhabdo and God knows what else? Oh doctor…so you knew but forgot to tell me? And…Dr. when did you know and how did you find out?” And the beat goes on. Face it people, doctors (at least in the USA) are indoctrinated to believe in the almighty FDA and daring to object or deviate from FDA approved drugs could either cost them their jobs and/or have them labeled as “kooks”! But, if doctors have to complete any continuing education hours to maintain their licenses to practice, surely this subject has come up a lot in the past 20 years and definitely since 2010. They are as confused as the populations they serve! The FDA itself has not a clue as to how to handle what is shaping up to be “the worst scandal in the history of modern medicine.” But, as we look back over the history of medicine, there were many doctors who thought drugs such as opiates were “miracle” medications for nearly everything that ailed people. How devastated they must have been when they realized yesterday’s miracle drugs were today’s poisons. Sigmund Freud was one such physician. We just expect more outside protection from the FDA and National Institute of Health. And…we should. Now, as Dr. Kendrick has pointed out, we must be willing to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves and our own lifestyle choices. That is a hard one. Sue, if I were you, I would ask my physician. In point of fact, I did. None of them answered that pointed question. But I also asked about the statin side effects and only one of those physicians expounded on the subject when I finally said: “Come on now Doctor, I can’t possibly be the only person who has complained about this.” He answered in the affirmative and gave a quite informed opinion which is consistent with what I have learned on my own.

      Reply
  22. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    Trained in natural sciences and working with metallurgical research for most of my life I really did believe that medicine belonged to the same type sciences as mine at the time when I survived my serious heart attack 1999.

    Since then – 14 years ago – most of my believes have eroded away along with my more elaborated insights in what medicine is really about – it is definitely not about cause and effect – causality! Today, for me, the sad fact is then that the “medical science” seems to be more about religion than the openly declared religious sciences.

    All, what I would call true science, seems to be washed out of medical research today – a horror insight! The molecular biology is, though, for me true science, since it is bases based on sound physics and chemistry, and I am sad to see that this field of science is “contaminated” with the name “medicine”. Already John Locke, the 1700th century philosopher, warned that confusion among people was mostly due to the fact that we tend to believe that the names (signs) we are putting on our ideas constitutes the reality. Typically, the Nobel price this year on our cell communication systems is given under the title of “Medicine and physiology”.

    I wonder why it has to be like this. Wouldn’t it be much more appropriate to acknowledge that medicine is one of our strongest religions today?

    It would at least blow away most of the mists.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      My impression is that there are areas of ‘bad science’ scattered all over the entire subject. Most just fizzle out and become forgotten, but a few generate scandals because of the deaths, injuries, and/or waste involved.

      I suspect that those areas of science that are closest to engineering (which obviously includes metallurgy) are the best protected – because if a rocket doesn’t reach orbit, or an aircraft fails due to metal fatigue, or a transistor doesn’t operate up to spec, you can’t hide the problem for long.

      This site is devoted to medical matters, but there are other areas of science that seem to suffer from similar problems. For example, people are starting to complain that string theory has dominated fundamental theoretical physics for 30+ years without any experimental evidence that it is true! There are also plenty of people in the know complaining about ‘climate change’ research. One worrying feature in this case, is that fact that those who disagree are called ‘deniers’ and don’t get a fair hearing, even when they are objecting to the misuse of statistical methods. There are yet other (previously highly thought of) scientists who are ostracised because they reckon they have evidence that some astronomical red shifts (that are conventionally believed to represent distance in both space and time) can result from other causes. This could cause a major embarrassment because it would question the distance measurements of distant galaxies.

      There is a whole website devoted to reporting retractions of papers – often as a result of fraud:

      http://retractionwatch.com/

      I think science has become too institutionalised, and the honesty and caution has drained from the subject – as it has from banking, and public life in general.

      Reply
  23. Blackbourn Stephen

    Just a thought:

    Given that the (questionable) benefits of Statins are due to pleiotropic effects rather than the lowering of cholesterol itself, and given that the patent on Statins has run out, therefore profits have reduced; is it too presumptuous of me to suspect that the new guidelines have been introduced because a Statin MKII is being developed that will not actually lower cholesterol at all but offer (claimed) similar or increased benefits?

    Reply
      1. dearieme

        Oh well, perhaps they’ll kill enough people for it to show up in the statistics. Reckless endangerment, manslaughter or murder?

      2. Mary Adair

        Dr. Kendrick, how could that possibly happen in light of all the new research? It seems impossible.

  24. Sue Richardson

    So, have I got it right, we are going to find the plugging of statins replaced with another cholesterol lowering drug, which will be plugged instead? If that’s so, it’s back to basics. The most important issue is to get it across that cholesterol lowering is irrelevant.

    Reply
    1. Richard Gibbs

      It’s all about money. The advertising budgets of the drug companies are so huge that not only can they drown out any contrary message, they can effectively stop news organizations from publishing contrary stories by the threat of withdrawing advertising money (and give it to a competitor), and they can influence politicians who might challenge them by funding the campaigns of their political opponents.

      Bottom line is that the individual has to take action on their own and decide whether to take a drug or not. So thanks once again to Dr. K. and Dr. Ravnskov and the other contributors to THINCS etc.

      Reply
      1. Mary Adair

        Richard, I have to agree with you on that one. My father was a lobbyist for the largest construction company in the world. He worked both locally and in Washington. It is a lot about politics. And…it is so very sad to think about how these decisions are made. But, a brave soul can make a huge difference. I have seen it with my own eyes and ears. Don’t give up yet! There are many out there who need to learn the meaning of and value of “informed consent”. I have not seen much of that yet. Maybe somebody needs to go and pick a fight.

      2. Richard Gibbs

        What frustrates me is that most people are not interested. I tell them about this and it goes in one ear and out the other. So many people do not want to go to the effort of moving outside their comfort zone.

      3. Mary Adair

        Oh, then change the way you present it. Don’t say it, give examples, direct them to Statin Nation, Dr. Graveline, Dr. Golumb, and many, many others. Don’t stop. Don’t despair either. People pay attention far more than you think. My mother has been off statins for the first time in many years. Yesterday, I noticed I had one of the first conversations with her where she remembered more than she has in a very long time. It amazed me. She does not even notice it herself. I cannot take back the pacemaker, or reverse the cataracts surgery or get all those precious years back, but it is getting better. You just have to do it, Richard. Now that you know…you have to. Would you feel better doing nothing? I don’t think so. You don’t sound much like a quitter. Stay the course.

  25. Gary Kirwan

    I started a high fat diet in 2012 lost 15 kgs in the process and learnt a ton about CV risks. I now tell patients how trying to drive your total cholesterol down to sub 5 is probably not a good idea. It does amaze me how most GP’s will prescribe chronic statin medication on a simple lipogram and not include things like ApoB or Lp(a) etc… Patients are shocked when I tell them about the work of THINCS. I must admit it the deeper I look the more I realise total cholesterol is not the marker for risk of a cardiovascular event. I must admit though that having a personal TC in the 7mm/mol range still makes me nervous seeing the results cos of what was drummed in so hard for years. However a calcium coronary score of zero and a normal CIMT scan puts me at ease. I wrote a bit about the beginning of my love for fat in my diet now here: http://chiroclinic.co.za/blog/2012/11/20/high-fat-diet-paleo-experiment/

    Thanks Dr Kendrick for the work you do.

    Reply
  26. anglosvizzera

    Re link between excessive carbohydrates and increased cholesterol that someone way up the page mentioned – doesn’t one of the current hypotheses go like this? Carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels, pancreas deals with this by producing insulin, constant insulin in bloodstream causes inflammation in the blood vessels and damage to the linings, liver produces cholesterol to deal with this damage – hence higher cholesterol levels.

    Reply
      1. anglosvizzera

        I thought it went something like that – the video clip you posted by Professor Tim Noakes mentioned this chain too in some way – perhaps I misunderstood but I have read several articles mentioning that a diet where refined carbs/sugar cause spiking in blood sugar levels, then insulin to compensate, lead to damaged arterial walls which is dealt with by cholesterol. I’ll have to go back and listen to him and also re-read the stuff I’d read about it. Sorry if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick 😦

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Listen this is complex stuff, further complicated by the fact that there are vested interests out there that mangle the truth. There are great problems with nomenclature here as well, and people have their own strongly held, dogmatic beliefs. Oversimplification is also a problem that, ironically, also leads to complication. I would try to explain it all, as best as I know how, but it would take blooming long time. I shall, of course, do it at some point. However, I have other things to finish first – mainly another book.

      3. anglosvizzera

        Thanks – I’ll look forward both to your new book and the explanation re any carb/cholesterol link, although up the page (in answer to ‘dairysolutions’) you did say that you weren’t aware of such a link.

        I did find this article by heart specialist, Dr William Davis (http://www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/c/7986/108666/carbohydrates/ – no idea if he has any particular vested interests, but his profile is here: http://www.healthcentral.com/profiles/c/7986). He offers a more complex explanation and concludes that carb intake does have a relationship with driving up cholesterol levels. I imagine, however, that high GI carbs are likely to be the enemy rather than carbs in general, should this causal link actually exist:

        “There’s actually a powerful relationship between carbohydrates and cholesterol. First of all, cholesterol is nothing more than the substance measured to indirectly quantify the number of various particles in the blood. “High cholesterol” simply means that there are a larger number of blood particles that contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is used to estimate the number of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

        Carbohydrates enter into this equation because:

        1) Carbohydrates increase triglycerides which, in turn, allow more very low-density lipoprotein particles (VLDL)
to be produced by the liver.

        2) Triglyceride-rich VLDL interact with LDL particles, making them smaller. The more VLDL, the more small LDL particles. This will be reflected (though incompletely) in higher LDL cholesterol values.

        3) Smaller LDL particles are more prone to oxidation–Oxidized LDL particles are more readily taken up by inflammatory white blood cells residing in the artery wall and atherosclerotic plaque.

        4) Smaller LDL particles are more prone to glycation–Glycation of LDL is an important phenomenon that makes the LDL particle more atherosclerotic plaque-causing. Glycated LDLs are not recognized by the LDL receptor, causing them to persist in the bloodstream longer than non-glcyated LDL. Glycated LDL is therefore taken up by inflammatory white blood cells in plaque.

        To make matters worse, carbohydrates also make you fat, further fueling the fire of this sequence. (Gain weight, triglycerides go up; lose weight, triglycerides go down. The entire sequence follows).

        Reduce carbohydrates and VLDL and triglycerides drop, often dramatically. VLDL becomes less available to transform large LDL into small LDL. Small LDL particles are no longer available to become oxidized and glycated. Blood sugar is reduced and less likely to provoke LDL glycation.

        Yet the USDA, American Heart Association, and the Surgeon General’s office all advise you to eat more carbohydrates. The American Diabetes Association tells you to eat 70 grams or so carbohydrates per meal. (Diabetes is the condition that is MOST susceptible to these carbohydrate effects.) Follow their advice and you gain weight; triglycerides and VLDL go up; calculated LDL may go up somewhat, but true measured LDL goes way up. Small LDL is triggered, the variety of LDL particle more prone to oxidation and glycation.

        What starts this chain? Carbohydrates.

        So carbohydrates and cholesterol are indeed intimately related, though it requires a somewhat complex chain of events to see the connection”.

      4. Mary Adair

        Dr. Kendrick, I still do not understand why the French still have a relatively low incidence of Coronary Disease. I read your book but never got the real answer. They smoke (which is one of the worst) and do many other rather naughty things I am sure, so what is their secret?
        Thanks,
        Mary

      5. Chain Reaction

        Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
        The French are just a lot more civilised, or at least they were until of late.
        Being more civilised meant they could be more relaxed.
        It was often the case they had a long lunch break.
        Some get naked and go barefoot, as often as they can.
        More relaxed means less stress.
        Less stress means less cortisol, and less cortisol means less insulin.
        And less insulin means .. I dunno. .. .. Some say it means less inflammation.
        [I think increased insulin results in more cationic duress, which provokes an inflammatory response that is out of context; harmful rather than healing. IT IS NO MORE THAN A THOUGHT.]
        They ate real food and made social occasions of meal-times, taking time and not rushing.
        They work to live not live to work.
        They had a revolution, rounded up the aristocracy and lopped their heads of.
        Until lately they did not suffer from the same asymmetry of capital within their own economy as the leading industrialised nations and financial countries do, such as the USA or GB.
        Yes, they used to enjoy their fats. Perhaps now they’re beginning to see them as guilty pleasures, no longer realising how helpful they can be.
        But they’re trending the way of obesity etc., so they’re catching up the world leaders like USA and the UK

    1. Chain Reaction

      anglosvizzera.
      this 30 minute video is presentation given by Stephen Sinatra, a cardiologist:

      Stephen used to network with THINCS (maybe he still does) and so we can be assured he is cholesterol sceptic. His appreciation of inflammation differs from Dr Kendricks. I am not saying who is more correct, but a second opinion can never be a bad thing.
      Stephen thinks ‘isolation’ and ‘free-electron deficiency’ contributes to inflammation. I think it’s likely he is on the right lines. He haws spotted the significance of Earthing (or ‘isolation’) on RBCs (red blood cells), ‘zeta-potential’ as may apply to those RBCs, and the tendency of RBCs to be fluid (after earthing), or to clump, if the necessary zeta-potential ain’t there.
      Steve Sintra co-authored the ‘Earthing’ book (Ober Sintra & Zucker). The book is worth a visit. But I think the authors failed to address a question as fully as they could, and so through not pursuing the question they didn’t strike a likely answer. I think I have a promising answer, but haven’t written it up yet, and the answer, if correct, if verifiable, endorses the essence of the Earthing theory.
      http://earthinginstitute.net/ See the vids of Clint Ober explaining his story. Oh, how I warm to that guy.
      In the end it isn’t about food. It’s partly how food bears upon hormones, and it is carbohydrates that are implicated if they are of the wrong ‘attributes’, and it is about how other factors can bear upon hormones also. Stress – work related, financial, psycho-social, economic, etc. – matter. They bear upon cortisol and thence upon insulin.
      (This is for Dr Kendrick) Guyton and Hall, ‘Textbook of Medical Physiology’ (ninth ed. 1996) informs elevated cortisol can bear upon gluconeogeneis. Glucobeogenesis is the conversion of proteins in blood to glucose. Raised cortisol elevates gluconeogenesis 6 – 10 fold. I always wondered why I could sense a sugar-rush and BG spike following a protein-rich meal or snack. In fifteen years no one ever explained that, not even my Doc. Stress can cause induce hyperinsulinaemia in common with carbs.
      Digestion can be slowed or ‘attenuated’. ‘Attenuation’ could well be what many people are lacking. The presence of plant-fibre and fats works like control rods in a nuclear reactor, controlling too fast a reaction or digestion. What is not found in snacks, sodas fast food, or processed food? Well, superior quality fats are no more, and good quality plant-fibre is a tying of the past in the age of the microwaveable TV dinner.
      There are now several facets of our man-made environment that evolution did not see coming.
      From the point of view of human physiology it is just one insult after another. I am not even so sure physiology sees insult that different to trauma. so in effect, the adaptive ‘healing’ effect is never felt; we are rarely ever fully ‘healed’. Its just one thing after another. So in a way ‘recovery’ is never ‘complete’. (Just a thought)
      Paradox? Quel paradox?
      Hope that helps trend away your differences of opinion. Happy to help where I can.
      – Chris Palmer

      Reply
      1. Mary Adair

        Chris,
        I just listened to Dr. Sinatra. It was very interesting. I was particularly surprised by the increase in incidence of autism. I have seen it so much more in the younger population I serve. I also recall as a kid (my husband and I were discussing our childhoods) running around all day barefooted. We would play in the water like it was a swimming pool if the streets flooded after a hearty rain. Other than going for vaccinations, we were never sick!!!!! When my kids were little, I felt that people brought their children to the doctor too much. I just allowed my kids own immune system to take over. None of them was ever really sick. I never saw my parents dependent on medications for any reason. My dad never took an aspirin. His yearly physicals were always excellent. He could work all day in our yard several times a week until his mid 70’s and never complained of pain!! So, there may be something of worth here when you stop to think about all these diseases. I am a layperson so I have to really research when I read things foreign to me. However, we must all keep an open mind and this was great food for thought. And…I am going to get a dog. LOL

  27. Mary Adair

    I just received, read and completed Dr. Kendrick’s book, “The Great Cholesterol Con”. It was quite eye opening. I had no idea that folks in the U.K. could purchase Simvastatin over the counter! No wonder he is so hopping angry. But, I digress.

    I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that statins caused me terrible physical harm. I never had high blood pressure in my life, my cholesterol levels were within “normal” limits, but I developed a “blue toe”. I did not have diabetes either. I was not on any medications for any medical condition before 2004. When I was placed on a statin light (Antara), my cholesterol levels dropped pretty dramatically. My total cholesterol was never over 216 when I started. I began slowly but surely to develop leg pain, excruciating not so much in its severity, but in its unabated nature. No one but a kindly pharmacist ever told me it might be the cholesterol lowering agent I was on. My G.P dismissed it. So…what did my GP do? She put me on Simvastatin. I felt worse. I thought all this was in my head. It took years for me to find my way to people who might shed light on the pain. I did, stopped the statins within the last six months and am not having constant pain any longer. However, I am weak, cannot ambulate without joint pain but I can deal with that as long as I can rest as needed. It is not much of a life I tell you. By the way, and very importantly, I did develop a 98% blockage in the abdominal aorta in 2004, which was stented. But after stenting, the pain persisted despite that. So, I know first hand that I was on NO MEDICATIONS WHEN PLACED ON STATIN LOWERING DRUGS AND IMMEDIATELY EXPERIENCED PAIN THAT PROGRESSED TO WORSE PAIN. The lowest my cholesterol got was 111. But, the lower it got, the worse I felt. I HAD IT FOR MANY YEARS. NOW I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOMEONE WRITE A BOOK ” WHAT NOW…HOW TO RECOVER FROM STATIN DAMAGE”. And I believe that people in the USA need to ban together and seek relief from their congressional leaders both national and state. It does not take a long time to contact just one, and if you (the public) push long and hard enough, change happens. I am still scratching my head about the French. How do they get away with having so much fun… smoking, drinking, eating saturated fats….and never pay the price? Yes, and don’t they like sweets? I am a wee bit jealous of them!!!

    Mary

    Reply
    1. Chain Reaction

      Mary, I am so so sorry to read you account. Duane Graveline, MD, ‘Spacedoc’ has written several books on statins and their side effects. ‘The Statin Damage Crisis’ could be worth your trouble. It’s short, and it may use unfamiliar terminology – but if I can follow it I am certain you could.
      Spacedoc has a website http://www.spacedoc.net and it could be worth a visit He has amassed a significant body of personal accounts quite like yours.
      Side effects are inevitable with statins. Stains interfere with the synthesis of something called mevalonic acid. Mevalonic acid may sound horrible but this is vital biochemical that then in turn forms the substrate for 6 other vital biochemicals that we know of, cholesterol being one.
      So reason has it that not only will the important biosynthesis of cholesterol be throttled back, so will these five others. That’s the side-effect and that will afflict 100% of users.
      But in common parlance people link side-effects with physical symptoms, things they actually experience. You don’t so much experience the demise of biochemicals save when you get the physical symptoms that result. So not everybody gets noticeable effects, but given time they would. And its easy to pass many of them off and attribute them to advancing years. Duane Gravelines’ book helps explain what it was that had your symptoms manifest themselves as they did.
      Keep the faith and do get better soon.
      People reading your experience cannot fail to be moved.
      Unfortunately there are so many like you, but you are distinguished for taking the rightful of interest and expressing the rightful measure of concern.
      Nobody is ever too senior to march on Congress, but the sufferers of statin side effects may be too weak – both physically and mentally. It is torture, and my god it makes me tearful.

      Reply
      1. Mary Adair

        Thank you friend. I realize that statin sufferers may be far too weak to “march”, but those who have computers, telephones etc., can do their parts in the march. I watched the whole DVD, Statin Nation last evening. I was aghast that President Reagan (who I admire and love, by the way) or his administration would force these drug trials into the hands of people in a position to control them and to present research results in such a cloak and dagger fashion. What is worse is that those in a position to influence results have financial ties to Big Pharma. And really what is the use of the FDA? They work for we, the people, too!! One can only hope that some brave soul who works for them will blow the whistle, but I guess that they found a way to quiet people after Dr. Graham took a brave stance and testified as to the harm of one medication. And they found a way to keep others from doing it, didn’t they? And, to think that these drug companies wanted to combine their statins with CoQ10 (when they applied for statin patents) but didn’t because it was “too expensive” is proof that they knew these drugs would rob the body of this essential enzyme!!! They understood the importance of it and did it anyway!!!! How utterly irresponsible and criminal!!

        And Chain, actually, I first learned of the statin crisis through Dr. Duane Graveline. God Bless him!! Boy, he tells it like it is!! I have not gotten the book, but I will. I have read many of his articles and listened to all the interviews I could find online. I admire each of those who provided information on “Statin Nation”. What brave souls they are and so smart.

        I hope each of you who reads my story and the many others will stop to think that those “powers that be” are supposed to work for you. You should understand that you can write to your congressmen and women, make some noise, take some names and kick…well you get the rest of it. If enough people do just their part and pick up the phone or go online, how can they ignore you? If you can blog, you can get to the right person in Congress. It is up to you all to make a choice to sit back, watch it, and do nothing or to simply put the pen to the paper. Familiarize yourselves with how Congress works, read about the FDA and how it works, but do something. It is not some big secret. I know how it works. I understand lobbyists and how they work. My father was a lobbyist who worked both locally and in Washington. He was an honest man who effected change. He was a great organizer. He knew how to organize people. His motto was, “Don’t lie, stick with your friends, and count the votes”! That is how your government should work. Some of his greatest political accomplishments were made when he was way beyond his youth.

        Thanks Chain for your kind words. It is as though I have been trying to make my way here for a very long time. It has been an uphill journey, but one that no doubt saved my life. I was at a point where if I did not stop them, I felt I was not going to live long. I never said a word to anyone for one year. I just slowly and calmly did my reading and research. It is just too overwhelming to ignore.

        Regards,
        Mary

      2. Mary Adair

        Chain,
        I already contacted my Congressional Senator (Washington) and requested a meeting. I will keep you informed as much as I can. He has worked on Capitol Hill a long time. I can get some kind of feeling one way or another as to how important this issue is. It may take a while. Now I challenge each person to do the same. You don’t have to meet, just a well written e-mail will do. The more they hear from you, the more the news spreads. And, there is always strength in numbers.
        I just returned from a wake (funeral) of a good long time family friend. He had also been a long time statin user. He died of congestive heart failure. He is 55.

  28. David

    It was with great horror that I was listening to “you and Yours” on R4 today to some prof or other who said he had reviewed all the literature and thought virtually everyone should be on statins. How is this happening? Its like we are sleepwalking into a zombie like world where the default standard is to be disabled with myalgia and die of CCF by the age of 70. soon if they do any trials there will be no one who isn’t on statins to act as a control . Hellllllllllllllp wake me up some one please!! And Malcolm why didn’t they invite you on to argue the other case?

    What got me was that he said something like “well over half of heart attacks come out of the blue without any risk factors or high cholesterol at all, therefore we must treat more people at a lower risk profile to catch these people” Hey listen prof (knocks on his skull like I’m knocking on a door) –cholesterol has nothing to do with heart attacks!

    Is there even a small chance that medical science has all the risk factors A about F –reverse causality for most of them and mistaking risk factors for causes of disease, then treating the risk factor despite its merely being a sign rather than a cause .

    available on iplayer at the moment here

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03pjf3x/You_and_Yours_15_01_2014/

    Reply
  29. dancing with the stars

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch
    break. I love the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good site!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s