You go to the doctor, they draw your blood, and they knowingly make recommendations based on what they find. It’s very easy to measure levels of cholesterol in the blood and because of this, doctors get excited when they see your numbers for LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) above 180. “Take a cholesterol lowering drug!” they proudly say, glad to be of service.
But the truth is that we have put doctors on too high of a pedestal and think that they truly have our best interests in mind as they “guide” us. But it’s just a job, and they are motivated by the institutions and industries that fuel their paychecks. Like it or not, pharmaceutical companies offer kick backs every time doctors get another person to take Lipitor. If you want to place your life in the hands of a stranger, then be prepared to be at the mercy of whatever misinformation has permeated the culture of their practice, but if you take responsibility for your own life, do your own research, and let food be your medicine, you will be able to design, tweak, and implement a way of life that makes YOU feel good and you will have no one to answer to except for yourself.
Here are the reasons why I have recommended that my own dear great-grandma should NOT take statins…and neither should anyone else.
1. Our bodies NEED cholesterol! We need it to help give cells their stiffness and stability, to make sex hormones, to help us assimilate vitamin D, to help with digestion, as an antioxidant, and to make serotonin, the “feel good” chemical in the brain.
2. Data DOES NOT support that lowering cholesterol is good for our health. In Gary Taubes’ book Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health he explains how in 1986, Jeremiah Stamler (who along with Ancel Keys helped to con an entire nation into thinking saturated fat and cholesterol are bad – read more about this in my blog The Truth About Fats) tracked 362,000 middle aged men in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT). The data shows that for every 1,000 middle aged men who had high cholesterol (between 240-350 mg/dL), eight could be expected to die of heart disease, and for every 1,000 middle aged men who had cholesterol between 210-220 mg/dL, six could be expected to die from heart disease. That is a statistical difference of .2% and that to me doesn’t sound very compelling. Also, for those who lowered their cholesterol to 200 and below, their death rate was no different than that of men with cholesterol between 200 and 250.
5. There is NO data that supports women or anyone over 60 benefiting from lowering their cholesterol. Actually, quite the opposite seems to be true. For women and anyone over 60, having HIGHER levels of cholesterol is actually associated with a LOWER incidence of heart disease.
3. Why do we call LDL-Cholesterol the “bad” cholesterol anyways? The website for the cholesterol lowering drug, Crestor, explains how the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines recommend that total cholesterol levels should be below 200 and how LDL-Cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL because, “LDL-cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol because if you have too much LDL-cholesterol in your bloodstream, it can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries over time, known as atherosclerosis.” First of all, there is no such thing as “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is REPAIRING damaged arterial walls. In her book, Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon explains how blaming cholesterol for it’s correlation with clogged arteries is like blaming the police for their correlation with crime. A high crime area will have an increased number of police officers just like clogged arteries will have an increased level of LDL cholesterol, but the high crime isn’t CAUSED by the police and the clogged arteries are not CAUSED by the cholesterol. To learn more about what causes arterial damage and heart disease read my blog: The Real Cause of Heart Disease.
4. If you are a woman and if you are over the age of 70, you shouldn’t be taking statins period. Why? Because for these people, having a HIGHER level of cholesterol is actually associated with a LOWER risk of heart disease.
5. The side effects for taking statins far outweigh any perceived benefit. In every study with rodents to date, statins have caused cancer. In the CARE trial, breast cancer rates of those taking a statin rose by 1,500%. This is because statins depress the immune system leaving you susceptible to cancer and infectious disease.
If you want to learn more, check out the following links.
- Click here to see what the Weston Price Foundation has to say about the myths and truths about cholesterol.
- Click here to learn what the Weston Price Foundation has to say about the dangers of statin drugs.
- Click here to see a great two minute video about why cholesterol is good for you from the documentary Fathead.