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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Statins as a cure-all? Not exactly…

House Call by Dr. William B. Ferrill

Our friends at Big Pharma must be real worried about the economy. Why else would they be pushing so hard for so many off-label uses for statins?

Statins have become one of Big Pharma's biggest cash cows, needlessly prescribed to millions of people who never really tried diet and exercise to lower their cholesterol.

But that's still not enough for Big Pharma. Now they want asthmatics and stroke victims to take these cholesterol-lowering drugs.

And, of course, the researchers they are funding are more than happy to help make the argument.

Take a look at the recent study in Neurology, which found that elderly patients who suffered a stroke can reduce the risk of additional strokes by 10 percent by taking high doses of the Pfizer statin Lipitor.

The study was funded by Pfizer, and many of the key people involved in it also received Pfizer money. Draw your own conclusions, but I tend to think that if you plant corn seed, you'll grow corn.

Another study on statins was presented at a recent meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. It found that asthmatics who take statins along with their regular meds make 33 percent fewer trips to the hospital.

The researchers say the results show that the anti-inflammatory properties of statins extend to the airways, allowing asthma patients to breathe better. The study's authors reported they received no drug company funding. But somehow, the results are just as misguided.

This new push for statins comes after a study tried to convince us that statins can lower the risk of heart attack, a failed attempt to show that statins can help prevent some cancers and even a push to get some kids on these drugs.

All this for a drug that doesn't cure anything! All statins do – all they can do – is manage symptoms.

So once Big Pharma gets someone on statins, they usually have a customer for life. And that means a lifetime of side effects, too, which include muscle pain, liver damage, nausea, diarrhea, constipation and rashes.

If you're looking to get the benefits of a statin – such as the heart-friendly lower cholesterol levels – you can do that through your diet and lifestyle. It's not hard.

Just stay off the low-fat, high-carb Torture Chamber Diet. Eat sensibly – that means healthy fats, including fatty fish, and fewer carbs, such as the processed foods and "low- fat" snacks and instant meals that line store shelves.

In some cases, high cholesterol and blood pressure may also be caused by metabolic syndrome – a disease many people don't even realize they have. I'll be telling you all about it in the June issue of Health Revelations. To subscribe, click here.

If you're an asthmatic, you can reduce or eliminate your symptoms by learning what triggers them, and eliminating those things from your life. That means more thorough allergy testing than what your doctor is probably willing to give you, but insist on it.

It may be easier for your doc to just write a prescription – and that's certainly what Big Pharma has trained him to do. But true healing can only happen after a thorough diagnosis – and you should make certain your doctor is willing to put in the time.


1 comment:

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