To discuss one of the biggest medical scams in history, look no further than the dangers of statin drugs! The pharmaceutical industry pulled a fast one and their profits are proof! How did they accomplish such a feat?
- Outright lying and bending the few “facts” to fit their narrative
- Questionable statistics, scientific studies, and very shaky “evidence”
- Endless money poured into marketing that created false “demand”
The objective was to create a specific world view that if you’re over the age of 50, you require statin drugs to live. The counter objective was to paint any doctor who didn’t prescribe these drugs as negligent to his or her patients.
It worked like a charm!
The profits from statin drugs are astronomical. One statin called Lipitor (atorvastatin) became the best-selling pharmaceutical drug of all time by 2003. The manufacturer (Pfizer) reported record sales of more than $12.4 billion in 2008 alone!
The accessories to this crime (yes, crime) are the pharmaceutical industry, media, medical science journals, heart organizations, and doctors. To be fair, doctors were the last to be convinced. Those who didn’t go along were promptly claimed to be “incompetent.”
In the end, just about all of them went along with the same old nonsense. “Nature clearly messed up but we clever few know exactly how to fix it! Here’s another pill!” Another pill that masks symptoms but fixes nothing!
The Fake Fix to a Mythical Problem!
The dangers of statin drugs were created in response to hysterical views about cholesterol.
The pharmaceutical industry was quick to capitalize on this panic. Their reasoning was over-simplified (of course) and went something like this: “Too much cholesterol is bad. Statins lower cholesterol. Therefore, statins are good for you.”
There are two serious issues with this simplistic view.
- Do statin drugs lower cholesterol safely? First, it would only matter if there were no statin drug dangers separate from lowering cholesterol (the drug’s purpose). This isn’t the case. The severe and life-threatening side effects of statin drugs are well-documented after countless independent studies. They do extensive damage to the human body.
This is critical. While some studies have shown slight reductions in heart events with the introduction of statins, there has been countering evidence to show higher risk of death from other causes. When you net out the opposing results, you discover there was no real change when statins were prescribed to millions of patients.
In other words, they did nothing. Patients weren’t healthier on statins and they didn’t live any longer than patients who didn’t take statins.
- Is cholesterol the true culprit in heart disease? Second, it would depend on cholesterol being “bad.” I’ve written at length about the myths surrounding cholesterol. Your body – everyone’s body – requires cholesterol to live.
Cholesterol has never (not once) been conclusively proven as the cause of heart disease. Those who have higher cholesterol numbers could be getting a warning that something else is happening inside their bodies that needs to be addressed.
Much like the warning light for low oil in your car. The light is not the problem. The low oil is the problem…the light just makes you aware of it. You don’t destroy the light on your dashboard! You put more oil in your engine!
The Real Disaster is Still to Come
The theories to support dangerous statin drugs cannot be supported by scientific evidence but that doesn’t stop doctors from prescribing them. Oxford Professor Sir Rory Collins had the nerve to advise that patients should get statins regardless of health!
In an article published in the Daily Mail, he stated, “At 50 you should be considering it and whether you should be taking them at an earlier age is an open question.” He went on to add (without a shred of evidence to back it up), “’If you start treatment earlier and continue for longer the benefits will be much greater.”
A little further along in the same article, the professor took a shot at doctors like me all over the world (the standard reaction when we push back).
“We need to look properly at the safety of statins,” he said. “The reality is that these drugs are remarkably safe, but the problem is that high-risk patients are getting the message that these drugs have side effects.”
It should come as no surprise that the study he quotes in the article – that concluded there were “no side effects” to statins – was done at the lab where Collins is co-director.
He’s also paid by the British Heart Foundation, National Health Service, UK Biobank, and has received research funding and reimbursement of costs for attending scientific meetings from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Roche, and more (but I’m sure none of this is a conflict of interest).
It’s not just a “message” that statin drugs are riddled with dangerous side effects. Unlike his outrageous claims, there’s legitimate evidence to back that up.
There was a time that only patients considered at “high-risk” of a deadly heart event were prescribed dangerous statin drugs. Now, that’s not nearly enough profit! They want to prescribe them regardless of health status and under the age of 50.
That’s to get a residual profit from younger and younger patients. Imagine the years and years of these otherwise healthy people filling their statin drug prescriptions!
A profit windfall for decades, to be sure.
The Dangers of Statin Drugs Are Real
- You need cholesterol – every cell in your body does. Stripping away this necessary fat is harmful to many systems and organs in your body. Low cholesterol has been linked to depression and a feeling of “getting older faster” explained by some of the problems below.
- Statins also reduce the heart’s contracting ability. It’s a complex technical point I won’t go into here (little cell membranes called caveolae) but effectively statins reduce the “calcium spark” that triggers heart muscle to fire. Yet almost everyone still believes that statins “help the heart,” just because they lower cholesterol.
- Statins increase absorption of plant sterols that destroy your immune system’s deadliest fighters (particularly against cancer cells) called macrophages. They also destabilize arterial plaque.
- One of the riskiest dangers of statin drugs is that it lowers your ability to fight infection. In this day and age of fear of antibiotic-resistance micro-organisms, it should be kept clearly in mind that cholesterol has a well-documented antibiotic effect. LDL can trap and neutralize bacteria. Moreover, cholesterol in cell walls helps cells fight infection.
- They increase the risk of kidney and liver failure due to release of toxins from muscles and arterial walls.
- Rapid aging in higher risk of cataracts (particularly in diabetics), increase in advanced glycation products (AGEs) that raises risk of Alzheimer’s,
- Short and long-term damage to muscles is the most well-known side effect but far from “harmless” as statin manufacturers (and their lackeys) want you to believe. Mild cases are aching, sensitive muscles and joints. More extreme instances are a sort of “wasting away” of muscle mass called rhabdomyolysis. This literally means “disintegration of muscles.”
The “Science” is Flawed (And They Know It)
Pharmaceutical companies and much of the world’s media have touted the results of the JUPITER trial. However, looking closer at the data for this trial, you’ll see the statin and the placebo group had exactly the same number of cardiovascular related deaths.
Multiple researchers dug further into the trial and supposed results. Here are the damning conclusions of three:
- Researchers with the University of Cambridge concluded, “This literature-based meta-analysis did not find evidence for the benefit of statin therapy on all-cause mortality in a high-risk primary prevention set-up.”
- Researchers with Johns Hopkins University stated, “Excess all-cause mortality rates in the apparently relatively healthy JUPITER population are alarming and require independent verification. If, indeed, the surprising outcomes in JUPITER are successfully challenged, and considering established harm of statins with regard to rhabdomyolysis as well as, potentially, diabetes, millions of patients may find better and safer options for primary prevention of vascular events.”
- French researchers with Université Joseph Fourier stated, “The results of the trial do not support the use of statin treatment for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and raise troubling questions concerning the role of commercial sponsors.”
Other possible adverse effects include cognitive loss, neuropathy, pancreatic and hepatic dysfunction, and sexual dysfunction. The statin drug dangers go on and on.
This isn’t a conspiracy to stop statins! These are valid researchers, scientists, and doctors like me trying to stop the conspiracy of getting everyone on drugs that don’t help!
If your doctor hands you a prescription for dangerous statin drugs – do your research! Don’t blindly take a drug that hasn’t been conclusively proven to help your heart but has been proven to cause a host of other health issues.
Your body is yours…don’t let marketing hype discourage you from protecting it.