Unsound Science, Politics and Obesity—the Threat to our Health 4

Posted on 28 min read 239 views

 This is the fourth in a series of articles on this topic.

 

 

In this section we can review some of the alternative explanations for our current health crisis. We have discussed how people like Professor John Yudkin were effectively side-lined, due to the blind acceptance of Ancel Keys’ theory of heart disease. His research, however, had led him to understanding how dangerous sugar was. In his rat studies, he noted a number of ways their bodies were facing a deterioration of the ability to deal with the high levels of blood glucose they were facing, such as a change in the properties of blood platelets—they became sticky and clumped together (aggregated’) much more. He also observed it produced an increase in blood pressure, much higher levels of insulin in the blood, and an enlargement of the adrenal glands—all symptoms that were significant cause for concern.

Yudkin’s Research on Sugar

 

Yudkin also reported on other researcher’s work, such as Professor Ian Macdonald of Guy’s Hospital in London, who fed young men food components that included sugar. He found sugar raised the level of cholesterol in the blood, and especially the level of triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats that are created by the metabolism of the fructose component of sugar (sugar as sucrose contains approximately half glucose and half fructose) which is metabolised in the liver. When Yudkin undertook studies with male subjects, he found the same rise in Cholesterol levels, a rise in the triglyceride levels and the same stickiness of the blood platelets. He reports of the work of Dr Richard Ahrens of the USA, who found similar results, and found that the rise in blood pressure was proportional to the quantity of sugar to his male subjects. He quotes Dr Ahrens on the subject of sugar and the epidemic of heart disease which ‘continues to increase on a world-wide scale in rough proportion to the increase of sucrose consumption but not in proportion with saturated fat intake’.

Yudkin also reported on the work of Professor A. M. Cohen, of Jerusalem, who revealed that rats fed sugar would respond with raised levels of glucose that would not return to normal fasting levels if sugar was maintained in the diet. He also discovered that people exposed to sugar for long enough would develop resistance to insulin (insulin, being the hormone whose job it is to convert excess glucose in the blood into stored glycogen in the muscles and liver for later use by the body). Yudkin found that people with Type II diabetes, developed insulin resistance, in that their tissues would no longer respond to insulin as would the tissues from a heathy individual. This is what he discovered: ‘In Type II diabetes the main feature of the disease is not a failure of the pancreas to produce its normal quantity of insulin, but a failure of the body’s tissues to react sufficiently to the insulin that is produced…As for sugar, the most relevant fact is that every one of the abnormalities seen in coronary heart disease and in diabetes can be produced by the inclusion of sugar in the diet’[1]

I put this information in about Yudkin’s observations, because, in my view, he was a very astute observer, and with the passage of time and the advancement of science, much of what he observed has come to have a much greater meaning for us today than was accepted at the time of his writing in the early 1970s. One further piece of information he mentions that I find interesting, was that at the time of his writing commonly more than one third of British adults over the age of 16 had every one of their teeth extracted. That says a lot about the health of the population, particularly as now we have quite a strong link with heart disease and oral disease, such as advanced periodontal disease.

Metabolic Syndrome

 

Yudkin’s observations on insulin resistance are today taken up by many people. It is now associated with many conditions that have come to be regarded as Metabolic Syndrome. It seems as we consume more foods that continuously spike the levels of insulin, that our cells become resistant to its effect, which requires ever higher levels to achieve its work. This situation has a number of consequences, one being increasing weight gain, particularly around the waist (where fat cells are most responsive to insulin). This situation is particularly provoked by diets that are high in over-processed carbohydrates that continuously overload the body with high levels of glucose. Excess glucose in the blood leads to the production of glycated proteins, and what are referred to as Advanced Glycated End products (AGEs), which are damaged proteins, no longer able to fulfil their normal function.

AGEs are linked with a deterioration in health, they are also linked to the aging process. They are also linked to diabetes, and the other health problems associated with Metabolic Syndrome, such as high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides, obesity, and high levels of oxidised, and dense, low density lipoprotein (this is the form of cholesterol that is associated with heart disease, the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol). Also associated with this syndrome is a lowering of the level of high density lipoprotein (HDL), this is often referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol, as higher levels of this form of cholesterol are associated with good health.

 

Cholesterol Myths

 

Understanding a little of the science behind a number of the myths surrounding  cholesterol will enable us to see why there are so many doctors and researchers that do not accept the saturated fat-leading-to-high-cholesterol theory. A number of these writers, and their research, I have previously reported in Unhealthy Betrayal. [2] One of the leading researchers that opposed the cholesterol theory, was Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, who wrote a book Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You. In this volume he wrote about some of the extensive benefits that cholesterol provide, he showed that low levels of cholesterol do not lead to good health. He regarded the whole campaign against cholesterol with real disdain; ’The cholesterol campaign is medical quackery of the first order. In fact, the eminent American physician and scientist George Mann called it “the greatest scientific deception of this century, perhaps any century.”

Dr Ravnskov has written a number of papers and books on the subject of heart disease and cholesterol. In his above book he introduces some facts that few people are aware of, here are a few question he poses: Did you know?

  • That your body produces three to four times more cholesterol than you eat?
  • That heart patients haven’t eaten more saturated fat than other people?
  • That people with low cholesterol become just as atherosclerotic as people with high?
  • That many of the cholesterol-lowering drugs are dangerous to your health and may shorten your life

Ravnskov cites a number of different studies that undermine the cholesterol myth. One, for example, by Dr Charles Bemis, of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston that revealed that the people who started the study with high cholesterol had worse atherosclerosis two years later. But the interesting part of the study revealed that those who were able to reduce their cholesterol became more atherosclerotic [my emphasis] than those whose cholesterol went up.

He also reports on what he refers to as the ‘Japanese paradox’, which related to studies produced in the 1950s, showing that Japanese people had much lower cholesterol than Americans. At that time the blood cholesterol level for Americans was about 220 mg/dL, whereas the Japanese levels were about 170 mg/dL. However, reviewing the brain arteries in 7000 Japanese and American people, it was found Japanese people were more atherosclerotic than Americans. [3]

Here is some more cholesterol myth-busting information, this time from Dr Malcolm Kendrick, from his book The Great Cholesterol Con. In reference to a study that was touting the benefits of Statin drugs for older people, such as the over 70s, he makes the point:

  • A high cholesterol level is not a risk factor in the over 70s. If anything, raised cholesterol protects against heart disease in the over 70s, especially in women—for whom, in fact a raised cholesterol level isn’t a risk factor for heart disease at any age.

With regard to statin use, Kendrick was quite emphatic:

  • The 4S, one of the earliest, and by far the most positive of all the statin trials ever, showed no difference at all in female mortality…In short, statins do not save lives in women. [4]

Many people are not aware that without cholesterol we would be dead. Our brains, for example, are almost entirely composed of fat, in the form of cholesterol, and contains approximately 25 percent of the body’s cholesterol. As regards to brain function, low levels of cholesterol are associated with violent behaviour, and brain impairment. Cholesterol is critical for so many metabolic processes in the body; the creation of hormones, and the production of bile acids for digestion, and they make up the myelin sheaths of nerve fibres—being just a few examples.

Glial Cells and a Neuron

Frank Pfrieger, writing in Science, in 2001, was one of the researchers that helped reveal how important cholesterol was especially for brain development. He and his co-workers found how limiting the availability of cholesterol affected synapse development: ‘The formation of synaptic contacts is a critical phase during brain development and plays a crucial role in long-term synaptic plasticity in the adult CNS [central nervous system]…the availability of cholesterol appears to limit synapse development.’. They also identified how important it was for membranes in Glial bodies in the brain, and that the Glial cells themselves produced cholesterol. He reported how ‘Cholesterol also increased the charge transfer of spontaneous excitatory autaptic currents (EACs)’, these being critical components of synaptic signalling in the brain. In the conclusion of his study he reveals: ‘Our results imply that genetic or age-related defects in the synthesis, transport, or uptake of cholesterol in the CNS may directly impair the development and plasticity of the synaptic circuitry.’ [5] With the alarming rise in cognitive disorders and the prevalence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, it must be considered very perilous to permit reducing the brain’s levels of the very cholesterol that supports its basic function.

 

                                                                                                                     Lipid Particles tansporters of Cholesterol

 

Good and Bad Cholesterol

 

The hysteria regarding cholesterol has gone through a number of evolutions since it was initially accused as being a poison, responsible for destroying our arteries, and the cause of the rapid rise of heart disease in our society. As the studies undertaken failed to support this claim in any real way, eventually studies were produced purporting to show a relationship of two types of cholesterol that did seem to bear some relationship with heart disease. The medical industry have used the terms ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol, to try and differentiate the two forms of cholesterol that they believe may be significant. Some further discussion of cholesterol will hopefully clarify the situation.

Cholesterol is actually a steroid alcohol that is mostly synthesized in the liver, only a small part is obtained from the diet (generally thought to be less than twenty percent). As regards to the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ aspect; it is worth giving you some explanation of this here. Cholesterol is mostly transported throughout the body by lipoproteins of varying sizes. The largest one is called a chylomicron, and is manufactured in the guts, where it accumulates fat from the diet and small amounts of cholesterol which it transports to the fat cells. Another lipoprotein, the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the one that is referred to as the ‘good’ cholesterol, as its existence is associated with one of the most important risk factors for heart disease—that is when the levels are below a certain threshold. The so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol is associated with low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which has been negatively associated with heart disease. In reality the negative association is more accurately associated with a particular version of LDL, that of the smaller, denser version that is also associated with containing oxidised cholesterol—the larger ‘fluffy’ version having no negative association at all.

Dr Duane Graveline, has made a study of cholesterol and the effect of statins (some of which we will discuss in the next section). He refers to the lipoproteins as simply lipid wraps, and has this to say about the supposed ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol:

Without exception, biochemists can confirm that all cholesterol molecules throughout the known universe are identical in every respect. So how can there be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ cholesterol…This single misleading description may have prevented a whole generation from knowing the true causes of the very real disturbance in the levels of fatty nutrients (lipids) circulating in our blood.

I feel it is useful to understand that LDL is a creation of our bodies supplying a useful purpose, transporting vital lipids and proteins to our organs. Here is Graveline again:

If the total blood serum cholesterol (TBSC) is high and the organs are getting enough lipids, the blood lipid circulation is healthy. The large parcels of fatty nutrients (LDL lipids) sent by the liver are consumed by our organs (receptor mediated endocytosis) and the smaller fatty wrappers and left-over lipids (HDL Lipids) return to the liver. The Fatty Nutrients (LDL) and the recycled lipids) HDL) are in balance. Such a healthy-lipid ‘high-cholesterol’ person is well nourished and likely to have a long and healthy life.

So why all the fuss about cholesterol, what is the real problem you may ask. That is a useful question. Graveline clarifies this question:

If the total blood serum cholesterol is high but the fatty nutrient droplets (LDLs) have sugar-damaged protein labels, the organs are unable to recognise and feed on them. The supply of fatty nutrients to organs is broken…The organs become starved of their fatty nutrients. Like badly labelled parcels in a postal service, the sugar-damaged lipids build up in the blood (raised LDL) and fewer empty wrappers are returned to the liver (low HDL). [6]

The interesting revelation here is the sugar-damaged protein labels. Keep this in mind, as we further explore the murky science of medicine. I use the term ‘murky’ not to be unnecessarily critical of the medical industry, but really, as a comment on the way the whole industry is manipulated by vested interests, where big money talks. The sugar industry can continue to reap massive profits destroying our health, and using their public relations resources to assure the general public that there is no real health risk. They can divert our attention onto cholesterol, and keep everybody addicted to believing that beautiful sweet taste is absolutely harmless to health. Few people, after all, are going to make themselves popular suggesting we cut back on our sugar consumption.

I wish to argue that that I feel it is critical to your health, and the long-term future of not just your health, but that of our children’s health, to understand how over-processed products like sugar are, in fact, destroying our health and laying a burden on our health-care systems of unparalleled dimensions.

But the risks to our health are not just about the effects of consuming over-processed carbohydrates, and the way these effects have been conveniently ignored for decades—we also are faced with other consequences of this ignorance—such as how the pharmaceutical industry seeks to profit from such ignorance.

The general consensus of the medical fraternity is led to believe that action that lowers the LDL levels and raises the HDL levels would be considered beneficial.

This introduces us to one of the interventions that medicine has introduced to supposedly reduce the cholesterol levels to a healthier status—that is the introduction of a range of drugs called statins.

                              Low density Lipoprotein                                                                                     Very Low Density Lpoprotein

Statin Intervention

 

The problem with the range of medications labelled as statins, lies with the way they work, they are all what are referred to as HMG CoA Reductase inhibitors. HMG CoA reductase is an enzyme that is part of the Mevalonate pathway, a bodily process that leads to the eventual creation of cholesterol, by inhibiting this enzyme the ability to produce cholesterol in the liver is restricted. This approach has been compared to cutting down an entire tree simply to deal with one apple that was beginning to rot. The Mevalonate pathway produces a lot more than just cholesterol, all of which are compromised, and the problem that is created is that we are talking about substances that are absolutely critical to the body’s health, such as Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Figure one below illustrates how HMG CoA Reductase inhibitors, are destructive on so many essential developments, and compromise so many important molecules essential to optimum health.

Figure one

 

CoQ10 is an important anti-oxidant, a membrane stabilizer, and a vital component in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC). To emphasise how important this is, you need to understand that the mitochondria is where energy is created in the cells. This energy is critical to the healthy functioning of all cells, without the correct energy input cells malfunction, toxins can build up which can lead to cellular damage even cellular death. This is no simple little thing that is being messed with here. To give you a better idea, consider that ten percent of your entire bodyweight is composed of mitochondria. Of the trillions of cells that exist (estimated in excess of 50,000 trillion cells), each individual cell can contain many mitochondria. The human egg cell for example (the oocyte), contains approximately one hundred thousand mitochondria. God is not messing around here, these mitochondria will be critical in establishing new life, and produce the very energy for the creation of this life. CoQ10 also regulates gene expression, is an essential co-factor for uncoupling proteins, acts as an anti-inflammatory, important for redox modulation and has neuroprotective effects. So why are we discussing CoQ10 here? The reason is that the enzyme that statins effectively disrupt, also is critically involved in the creation of CoQ10 (and also vitamin D, all the sex hormones and Dolichols), and contributes to many of the adverse side-effects associated with statin use, such as muscle pain, muscle damage, and the neurological problems that have been linked to the “induced deficiency” of CoQ10. [7]

Dr Duane Graveline, former USAF Flight Surgeon, NASA Astronaut, and family doctor, took an interest in statins after he experienced Transient Global Amnesia (TGA), following taking the statin Lipitor in 1999. TGA can affect people in many different ways. In Graveline’s case when he had his second attack, he regressed to a teenager, unable to recognise his wife, his house, his car or anything to do with his current life, in his case, for a period of twelve hours. He wrote about his experience in his book, Lipitor, Thief of Memory—Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol.

Graveline found, in the course of his investigations that there were numerous reports of side effects with statins. He obtained MedWatch data for Lipitor, and found a further 662 reports of TGA or comparable memory dysfunction. He came across studies of adverse effects on statins that found 50% of the patients noted cognitive adverse effects within two months of therapy. In February 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally announced an update to the safety label for statins which included “cognitive side effects (memory loss, confusion etc.)” as known adverse events from statins. This prompted Graveline to comment that this was eight years after he published his first book reporting the dangers of statin therapy and further added: “We must also remember that TGA is only the tip of the iceberg in that for every case of TGA reported, hundreds of cases of statin-associated confusion, disorientation and increased forgetfulness have occurred.” [8]

Graveline brings up the obvious point regarding blockading the mevalonate pathway:

The reductase step that all biochemists know as susceptible to blockade, was at the very beginning of the Mevalonate pathway. This pathway to cholesterol synthesis is also shared by many extremely important biochemical substances including CoQ10, dolichols, selenoproteins, normal phosphorylation, Rho (vital for cognition) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-KB).

In a further book, The Dark Side of Statins, he discusses a number of the biochemical substances compromised, such as the Dolichol-mediated process in neuropeptide formation, which is critical in cell communication, cell identification and immune system function. Here are a few of his comments:

This complex role is such that almost anything can be expected when dolichols are deficient. Altered emotional and behavioural reactions associated with statin use are likely explained by altered neuropeptide formation.

Graveline discusses many of the suspected problems created by statins, and points to some of the combination factors, such as the problems created with the loss of both CoQ10 which has been seen to drop by 50% within two weeks and what he refers to as the ‘one-two punch’ wherein statins inhibit not only dolichols, corrupting our DNA damage correction, but CoQ10 as well increasing our damage load—‘increasing mitochondrial DNA damage—considered by many authorities  to be the mechanism of our aging process as well as many chronic diseases.’  He considers that statins may be inducing premature aging, much of it unrecognised by doctors administering statins. He suggests: ‘Your failing memory, lack of stamina, unsteadiness and weakness are far more likely to be side effects of your statin drug.’ One of the further problems with disrupting natural cellular processes that affect the mitochondria is that it can create havoc in any part of the body and it can be irreversible. Here is Graveline once again on compromising mitochondrial function:

Since this involves normal physiological processes, it is silent. By the time we become aware of it, it is already far too late and the damage has been done to those who are susceptible. This, in my judgement, is the true dark side of statins. [9]

Graveline discusses much of the science (or the lack of it) behind statin use, the way trials were manipulated, and results reported showing statins in a glowing light, ignoring the growing mountain of reports of side effects. He further discusses the most likely mechanisms for side effects like the muscle wasting and rhabdomyolysis (a condition wherein muscle cell walls breakdown and release myoglobin causing secondary blockage of kidney tubules—often proving fatal).

Dr Malcolm Kendrick reports on a study in 2003, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, that revealed a strong relationship between lower cholesterol levels and increased mortality [my emphasis] in patients with heart failure. The study conducted in the Royal Brompton Chronic Heart Failure Clinic, in London found that people with cholesterol levels below 5.mmol/L have a two to three-fold increased risk of dying compared to those whose cholesterol levels were higher. Kendrick adds that he believes that there are a number ‘of cardiologists out there who believe that the current sharp rise in heart failure across the western world is a direct result of the use of statins.’

Cholesterol confusion

 

The general public must be very confused by contradictory information. Many in the medical profession share this problem of conflicting information. Dr Ernest N Curtis, a Cardiologist for more than forty years gives his views:

During medical school I was taught the same thing everyone else was taught, the importance of cholesterol and so forth, I saw no reason to doubt it. But, once I got into the cardiology field itself, I was confronted with people having heart attacks with cholesterol all over the place, high cholesterol, low cholesterol, in the middle, it didn’t seem to matter. At first I thought, well these are probabilities, these could be exceptions. It turned out after a while I was seeing far too many exceptions. That motivated me to go back and look at the origins of these theories, and quite frankly given the certainty which we are taught this it surprised me to find out how poor the evidence was, virtually non-existent.

Another cardiologist, who I wrote about in Unhealthy Betrayal, Dr Stephen Sinatra came to the same conclusion:

I used to be a poster boy for the drug companies. When I was chief of cardiology I used to write for statins all the time, I really believed in the cholesterol theory of heart disease. I first became skeptical of the cholesterol theory of heart disease in the mid-eighties. I was doing coronary angiograms, I’d place the tube in the groin and go up into the heart and you could see blockages there. So sometimes I would do the angiogram with a high cholesterol, thinking I was going to find a lot of disease, and many times I didn’t find disease, and the converse was true. I would do somebody with a low cholesterol and expecting to not find disease, and I found disease. I was starting to think, maybe I don’t have this right. Maybe cholesterol is not the enemy we think it is.[10]

Dr Curtis was motivated enough to go back and look at the original works that prompted the cholesterol theory of heart disease, back to Key’s studies. He was not impressed: ‘The classic study by Ancel Keys is a textbook example of fudging the data to get the result you want out of the study. And, unfortunately, there is a lot of that that goes on.’ As far as resolving the situation, and coming to terms with going down the road we have, he had this to say: ‘I’d love to see the medical establishment to say: “Whoops, we got this wrong.” That’s not going to happen. Frankly, that generation has got to die off, and perhaps the next generation coming up can do better.’ Some may feel that he is being unduly pessimistic, but if you go on the current websites for the British Heart Foundation, for example, the obsession with cholesterol persists. Under the section ‘New Cholesterol Guidelines’, it reveals that the guidance came from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, the body that produces guidance and advice for health professionals).It suggests we need to consider other parts of ‘bad’ cholesterol and gives the following:

Previously, the focus was on your LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and HDL (‘good’) cholesterol levels, as well as the total cholesterol level. Research now tells us we also need to consider other parts of ‘bad’ cholesterol, known as IDL, VLDL and lipoprotein(a).

These parts of ‘bad’ cholesterol are collectively known as ‘non-HDL’ cholesterol, and this is the measurement you’ve probably now been given by your GP.

This measurement has been shown to help calculate your risk of developing cardiovascular disease more effectively than before. As a guide, your non-HDL cholesterol should be lower than 4mmol/L and your total cholesterol should be 5mmol/L or less. [11]

Dr Sinatra views on the cholesterol controversy are clear, he says ‘blaming cholesterol for causing plaque is like blaming firemen for causing fires, just because they are always at the scene.’ When questioned more directly about LDL, the supposed ‘bad’ cholesterol his response was equally clear:

LDL, the bad cholesterol? Well you know I don’t really call it “bad” unless it is oxidised. Remember, if it is oxidised then it is inflammatory. If the cholesterol is oxidised, if there is free radical stress involved, and it’s oxidised, it acts inflammatory, acts as a cascade for inflammation. Well, the inflammatory theory of heart disease is accepted more and more now. I think the general cardiovascular community is still focussing on cholesterol. They need to focus more on inflammation and that’s where emotional stress is, but sugar, sugar is really the foul when it comes to cardiovascular disease. You see we have put all this emphasis on cholesterol, and now we have taken it off sugar, and that’s the problem. Then you are getting more insulin response, and we know that insulin is the number one indicator for inducing what we call ‘inflammation of the blood vessels’.

When asked about the reason for the blind acceptance by the medical fraternity to the now disproven cholesterol theory of heart disease he had some comments that are worth recording:

It took decades to really entrench this myth. It’s probably going to take a few more decades to get us out of this myth. But to vilify saturated fats, I think is one of the worst things the medical profession has done.

We created this new disease called hypercholesterolemia [high cholesterol], and if we created this new disease, we have got to create drugs to neutralise them. So are there corporations and billions of dollars and money behind this—absolutely! [12]

Profits before people

 

You have to consider the immense financial interests behind the pharmaceutical empire. In Unhealthy Betrayal, I documented numerous examples where Big Pharma was well aware that a particular medication was causing significant harm, but the profits were considered more important to the individual company than concerns about the damage caused to individuals. It was realised, that for an individual to actually prove causation in a court of law so remote, as to not be worth worrying about. Only when significant numbers of injuries were involved, and the threat of class action lawsuits arose, that pharmaceutical companies could be brought to heel, even then the fines they faced were so puny compared to massive profits involved, that the result vindicated their couldn’t-care-less policy.

In Unhealthy Betrayal, I suggest that giving corporations Limited Liability, set the scenes for the way corporations have been able to have a major impact on our health. Not just via the pharmaceutical industry and its relentless pursuit of profits, inflicting terrible damage on our populations with dangerous drugs, that were known to cause significant harm—but also to the wider corporate empire. By the wider corporate empire, I mean all of corporatocracy that ignores the massive pollution of our environment, our water supplies, the food we eat the air we breathe. In corporate speak, it would be considered maximizing profits, and the costs to our health of the wider community—these costs would simply be referred to as the “externalized costs”.

When I write on health matters, following the format of Unhealthy Betrayal, I introduce such viewpoints, as the destructive nature of Limited Liability, and financial implications—all factors that have a huge impact on the health of our respective societies. Harry Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at Osgoode Law School, York University, Toronto, has written extensively on corporate law, and his criticism of corporate behaviour from his book Wealth By Stealth, needs to heeded:

In Anglo-American jurisdictions, capitalists have been blessed by a form of corporate law that promotes irresponsibility, criminality, and the perversion of democracy to advance their goal, the maximization of their wealth and political power. The corporation makes it all seem normal: selfishness, avarice, disregard for others, impersonal, commodified relations, the subjugation of the majority to the whims and caprices of the few. The very normality of it all makes the mediation of the impacts of unequally divided wealth, so characteristic of capitalist economies, all the more difficult to achieve. All of this is to be tolerated because it generates wealth. Greed is elevated to a moral value, supported by massive education campaigns and commercial advertising techniques perfected to wrought changes in expectations and wants.

Glasbeek makes a further comment regarding the doctrine of separate legal personality, simply to ward off, creditors, revenue collectors and regulators, that points to the urgent need for reform of the basis on which corporations actually conduct business:

In various jurisdictions there are reform proposals to deal with these kinds of dodges, but they are technical and preliminary in nature and start off from the assumption that hiding behind the corporate veil is acceptable…They are not radicalizing measures, merely alleviating ones. They do not do away with the central obfuscation: that corporate law promotes the everyday avoidance of personal responsibility. Above all, anyone working to devise tactics to help develop an alternative politics must always keep in mind this important point: the obscuring ink sprayed all over us by the octopus-like features of corporate law produces flesh and blood victors, winners who profit from the unrewarded work and toil of others, who do not care whether their welfare is based on injuries and harms inflicted by others, The wheelers and dealers behind large corporations should be seen for what they are.

To bring us back to our discussion of statins, following our deviation into the way corporate responsibility has been avoided by the legal status of Limited Liability, the following information from Health Impact News, just proves my point:

Court documents indicate that more than 1,300 product liability lawsuits involving Lipitor and diabetes are now pending in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of South Carolina, where all federally-filed claims have been consolidated for coordinated pre-trial proceedings. Plaintiffs in these cases allege that Pfizer Inc. was aware that the statin could increase a patient’s risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, but concealed this information from patients and doctors. They further allege that information added to the Lipitor label in 2012 to address its association with diabetes was inadequate, and still does not adequately warn of this risk. (In re Lipitor (Atorvastatin) Litigation, MDL No. 2502). [13]

In the same article they reveal the financial implications of the cholesterol theory, with the following:

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are a $100 billion a year industry. Lipitor is by far the most profitable drug in the history of mankind. It was also the most profitable cholesterol drug before its patent expired at the end of 2011. Sales to date from this one particular brand of cholesterol-lowering statin drug have exceeded $140 billion.

Well overdue—A time for a re-appraisal of policy

 

With these kinds of figures, you might realise that there is a huge incentive to support the viewpoint that cholesterol is the bad guy. You might also be wondering what the real cost to humanity is going to be before the world acknowledges that simple dietary changes are all that is required to restore our populations to vibrant health.

You could write a book about this topic and more. My advice to anyone considering takin a statin would be to check out the wealth of opinion on the internet, there are a large number of U-tube videos available. I recommend the viewing of The Heart of The Matter, put out by the Australian Broadcast Corporation. The second program was pulled from their site following a huge outcry by the pharmaceutical industry. Some of this work I have reviewed in this previous dialogue, and I will add some of the dialogue below. Any further advice regarding statin use would likely include taking Co-Enzyme Q10, to help ameliorate some of the likely side-effects. I will however leave the last word on the subject to some of the doctors of integrity who felt able to give us the value of their knowledge, from this program:

Professor Rita Redberg, world-renowned cardiologist, University of California, San Francisco, gives a fair perspective when she says, ‘baring a genetic condition, the only people who live longer, taking a statin, are those who have already had a heart attack or stroke. And, of them, only a very small number will benefit.’ Many people are intimidated by their doctors and the hysteria in the media and feel compelled to agree to take a statin. To these people she suggests: ‘One or two people in a hundred will benefit from taking a statin. What people don’t understand is the other 98 will get no benefit at all. It’s not going to reduce their chance of dying…For healthy people, even people with a lot of risk factors, they even might have high blood pressure, they might smoke, they might have diabetes. The data is not there to suggest that those people are better off taking a statin. No, I don’t think it is a wonder drug’. She give us feedback on the views of her patients: ‘They feel like they are in a fog, they can’t get out of their chair, side effects that go away when they stop taking their statins. I have patients come in and tell me they would rather be dead than taking the statin.’ [14]

Here are the views of Professor Beatrice Golomb—Statin Researcher, Internal Medicine, University of California, San Diego, regarding benefit or not to women of taking a statin:

Right now the evidence has not supported benefit to women, even if they had heart disease, in terms of mortality and all-cause morbidity. It has not shown benefit to the elderly, even if they have heart disease. In fact in the 4S trial there was a 12 percent increase in mortality in the women in the group, who were assigned a statin, rather than a placebo. So the evidence doesn’t support that the benefit is the same for women as for men. And on top of that, women are at a higher risk from statins, of complications from statins.

The eminent Cardiologist, Dr Ernest N Curtis shares his concerns about the long-term consequences of reducing cholesterol levels in the body, and the industry studies suggesting that statins are the new winder drug:

 The studies that have been done, have been generally just a few years duration. The long-term effects may not show up for many years. It may take many years for a cancer to develop, to make itself manifest. Because cholesterol is so important in the brain, could it contribute to dementia when someone gets older if you lower their cholesterol—we just don’t know. Again, how would we be able to tie it to the drug? So all these concerns about the unknown long-term side effects are very serious in my opinion.

Dr John Abramson, of Harvard Medical School, Public School of Health, feels that the side-effects of statin use have been seriously underplayed, and believes we have much less-risky ways to improve our health outcomes, than using statins:

We’re missing the message that health rarely comes in a bottle. Exercise and a Mediterranean-style diet is the best way to prevent heart disease. I think virtually everybody agrees with that. Now it’s very clear when you look at the effects of exercise they are far more powerful than statins. Moderate exercise, exercising the equivalent of two hours of brisk walking a week add about two years to your life compared to not exercising that much—two years! Now, for statins, for low–risk people—no benefit in longevity. So, do you want to exercise which is going to add two years to your life, or do you want to take a pill that’s not going to lengthen your life and has the risk of side effects? Its craziness![15]

I could fill up a book with the alternative view on the cholesterol theory of heart disease. I have cited a number of works that do just that. A number of doctors have formed The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS), and they have a website; www.thincs.org   where you can find further information, videos, publications, articles etc.

For the last word I offer you the words of Professor George Mann again, who ran the Framingham study, the longest on-going study into heart disease:

A generation of citizens has grown up since the Diet/Heart hypothesis was launched as official dogma. They have been misled by the greatest scientific deception of our times: the notion that consumption of animal fat causes heart disease.

For now we will leave the subject of statins and continue our story of the consequences of such a misguided campaign against saturated fats and cholesterol and how this has directly led to the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, and further the hidden epidemic of Metabolic Syndrome.

 

[1] John Yudkin, Pure White and Deadly—How Sugar is Killing Us and What We Can Do to Stop It. Penguin Books, 1972, p111 & 117.

[2] Unhealthy Betrayal—How the Manipulation of Science and Politics by Corporate Interests Destroys Health and Threatens the Future of Humanity, Fundamental Press, 2015.

[3] Uffe Ravnskov, Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You, GB Publishing, Sweden, 2009.

[4] Dr Malcolm Kendrick, The Great Cholesterol Con—The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid it, John Blake Publishing Ltd. London, 2007. P159.

[5] Frank W Pfrieger et al. CNS Synaptogenesis Promoted by Glia-Derived Cholesterol, Science, vol 294: 9 Nov, 2001.

[6] Duane Graveline, The Dark Side of Statins, Spacedoc Media, LLC, 2017.p16.

[7] Le Know, ND. Mitochondria and the Future of Medicine—Key to understanding Disease, Chronic Illness, Aging, and life itself. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018.

[8] Duane Graveline MD, MPH.  The Dark Side of Statins, Spacedoc Media, 2017. P86.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Heart of the Matter—Part 1 Cholesterol Drug War. ABC.Net.AU/catalyst. Australian Broadcast Corp. 2013

https://www.youtube.c   om/watch?v=ru2dN2XOfEU

 

[11] British Heart Foundation. Heart Matters; New cholesterol Guidelines. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/medical/ask-the-experts/new-cholesterol-guidelines

[12]Heart of the Matter—Part 1 Cholesterol Drug War. ABC.Net.AU/catalyst. Australian Broadcast Corp. 2013

 

[13]1300+ Lawsuits Against Lipitor Yet Statins Most Prescribed Drug in New Jersey. Health Impact News, Dec12, 2018. http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/1300-lawsuits-against-lipitor-yet-statins-most-prescribed-drug-in-new-jersey/

[14] Heart of the Matter—Part 2 Cholesterol Drug War. ABC.Net.AU/catalyst. Australian Broadcast Corp. 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8YxCEEAjp0

[15] Ibid.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No Comments Yet.