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Book: 'The Great Cholesterol Con'

Posted by Erling 
Re: Book: 'The Great Cholesterol Con'
February 15, 2011 01:25AM
How could I have forgotten the biggie, vitamin C?
Re: Book: 'The Great Cholesterol Con'
February 15, 2011 08:30AM
Jackie & Erling,

I certainly agree. My point is you should look and see what is causing the inflammation, rather than treating the inflammation per se.

Re: Book: 'The Great Cholesterol Con'
February 16, 2011 04:49AM
I am back reviewing this and related threads on the statin issue. I have a visit scheduled with my cardiologist this Friday and I intend to "discuss" the statin currently on my schedule. I have previously posted cholesterol test numbers further back up this thread. To briefly summarize, I stopped the statin I was taking in Nov, 2010. By the end of Dec, all cholesterol numbers were elevated from where they had been. I restarted the vytorin in early January.

I will be proposing a test to the cardiologist in addition to continued researching. Since late Jan I have been religiously using Fitday to log food intakes (less for potassium monitoring) than for fats, carbs, protein. The focus has brought a pretty consistent intake of healthy fruits, veggies especially, fish and only chicken (broiled). The ongoing average grams of the nutrients seem healthy.

I just took another lipid test yesterday and will have a reading of two months back on the statin. I will stop the stain (again) next week and this time continue the careful monitoring of food intake. Exercise is unfortunately moderate but will increase. Then in mid to end March take another lipid test to see how far down the diet maintained the cholesterol numbers. At that point, a key decision will be made: get back on the statins (buttressed with large CoQ10 intake as well as other supplements), or stop the statins altogether.

I am hesitant to post my approach and be accused of "ignoring facts", but frankly, I am apprehensive that stopping the stains -- in spite of all of the anti inflammatory supplements I take, and in spite of healthy diet, and exercise -- the plaque builds back up. Not to a instant death (lots of the comments and stats I have so far read talk about mortality) but maybe more likely to a recurrence of angina, possibly a non-fatal heart attack.

It is easy to present and subscribe to the no-statin approach, but if you have coronary artery disease and seven previous angioplasties (last two with stents), then susceptibility to another blockage may be more than average, and practicing the "myth" of the benefits of statins may be a hard one to stop.

I am talking as much from my emotional sorting of the variables vis a vis my own personal situation as to the objective analysis and concluding of medical facts. A non-combative question is: How many of you that are firmly and unequivocally in the "take no statin" camp have actual CAD and have had angina and one or more angioplasties and stents in the past? If you have had, would you approach your endorsement the same way? I am just asking. I am not trying to start an argument but looking at how to sort this out. I want the lowest probability of a blocked coronary artery as possible. (I do not have a family history of elevated cholesterol but both parents had heart disease.)


Re: Book: 'The Great Cholesterol Con'
February 17, 2011 02:03AM
Ken - I can appreciate your dilemma and your line of reasoning. I don't construe your comments as looking for an argument. We all are looking for responsible, scientifically-sound answers. Finding them can be a challenge. I’d think you would find consulting with a Functional Medicine MD would be very helpful for some of the specialized testing to identify deficiencies that promote atherosclerotic plaque buildup.

Did you take statins prior to your stenting and the buildup occurred in spite of the statins?

With your situation now, the obvious is that you will have to decide what you are willing to live with as far as drugs and side effects go... and certainly, you should attempt to determine from study references that your doctor can provide as to what the stats show regarding restenosis in stents with and without statins. (I'd want to read those complete studies.) If they are about equal, then the decision would be.... is the downside to statin intake worth the risk or not? Based on my own statin damage outcome, I'd look for other options but I'm not walking in your shoes.

There are many contributing factors to assess. It’s It's observed that:
(quote) The biggest source of abnormal cholesterol is not fat at all — it’s sugar. The sugar you consume converts to fat in your body. And the worst culprit of all is high fructose corn syrup.

Consumption of high fructose corn syrup, which is present in sodas, many juices, and most processed foods, is the primary nutritional cause of most of the cholesterol issues we doctors see in our patients.

So the real concern isn’t the amount of cholesterol you have, but the type of fats and sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet that lead to abnormal cholesterol production.(end quote)

To manage cholesterol and heart disease, in another post some time ago, I wrote about Caldwell B Esselstyn, MD, very well-known physician here at the Cleveland Clinic who, years ago, took patients who had severe blockages and who were not candidates for bypass surgery...(stenting was not available back then). He put them on strict diets and followed them for years - as described in his famous book, Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease.

A groundbreaking program backed by the irrefutable results from Dr. Esselstyn’s 20-year study proving changes in diet and nutrition can actually cure heart disease.

The proof is in the results. The patients in Dr. Esselstyn’s initial study came to him with advanced coronary artery disease. Despite the aggressive treatment they received, among them bypasses and angioplasties, 5 of the original group were told by their cardiologists they had less than a year to live. Within months on Dr. Esselstyn’s program, their cholesterol levels, angina symptoms, and blood flow improved dramatically. Twelve years later 17 compliant patients had no further cardiac events. Adherent patients survived beyond twenty years free of symptoms.

I wish you well with your very important decisions.

Statin side effects and damage
February 19, 2011 03:48AM
George - thanks for taking the time to post these links to the interview by Dr. Mercola with Dr. Graveline. I finally set aside time to listen to the full interview and read the transcripts.

Very important information for anyone taking a statin or considering taking a statin. The tragic outcome for Dr. Graveline is something that needs to be known. Since we are working so hard these days to avoid dementia and Alzheimer's, it just becomes critical to fully understand the function of cholesterol in our body...especially the brain ....and the consequences when Coenzyme Q10 is either low from natural aging or becomes low from taking statin drugs.

Unfortunately, I certainly know first-hand how damaging statins can be to muscle health. The older I become, the more I am aware of the mitochondrial dysfunction/damage I suffered as a result of taking low-dose statins for a relatively short period of time. I am thankful it wasn't worse but it's severe enough to be a concern and a limitation.

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