Skip to comments.Value of Cholesterol Targets Is Disputed
Posted on 10/16/2006 9:15:45 PM PDT by neverdem
A provocative review paper published this month has raised questions about the aggressive cholesterol-lowering recommendations made two years ago by a government panel.
The panel, the National Cholesterol Education Program, urged patients at risk for heart disease to reduce sharply their harmful LDL cholesterol and to try to reach specific, very low levels.
Though the authors of the new paper, published in the Oct. 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, endorse the use of cholesterol-lowering statins, they say there is not enough solid scientific evidence to support the target numbers for LDL cholesterol set forth by the government panel.
The authors argument challenges mainstream medical thinking and the consensus among most cardiologists that the lower the cholesterol is, the better.
Until 2004, an LDL cholesterol level of less than 130 milligrams a deciliter was considered low enough. But the updated guidelines recommend that high-risk patients reduce their level even more to less than 100 while patients at very high risk are given the option of reducing LDL cholesterol to less than 70. Patients often have to take more than one cholesterol-lowering drug to achieve those targets.
This paper is not arguing that there is strong evidence against the LDL targets, but rather that theres no evidence for them, said Dr. Rodney A. Hayward, a study author, adding that this was largely because of the way clinical trials had been devised and carried out.
If youre going to say, Take two or three drugs to get to these levels, you need to know youre doing more benefit than harm, said Dr. Hayward, who is director of the Veterans Affairs Center for Health Services Research and Development and a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School. He said he was particularly concerned because there was little long-term safety...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The way to deal with cholesterol is to wash everything down and out with a nice glass of good red wine.
It's like deglazing a pan, the alcohol and acid just break down the fat and grease and wash it right out of your body.
No problem. Plus you feel great.
Or even if it doesn't, soon you don't care.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Guess who benefits from it? I see a conflict of interest here.
It's interesting that 50% of people who suffer sudden cardiac events have what is generally considered higher than normal cholesterol.
But the other 50% don't.
This fact by itself basically removes cholesterol as being a CAUSATIVE factor in coronary artery disease (CAD).
Having high cholesterol may speed up the symptoms, but it by itself is not the cause.
For a certain fact, cigarette smoking is probably the worst thing one can do to clog up their arteries. I'm on a statin and I'm nearly 63 and have never had any indication of artery clogging but medical protocol dictates my cholesterol should be lower. What I do know for a certain fact is that it causes weird dreams; and I mean really weird dreams. There has to be a reason for that and I doubt it is necessarily good. I also take folic acid and niacin.
It's the RATIOs Stupid.....(not you neverdem).....Ratios of HGL, LGL, TRIGs, etc......THAT's what matters.....pharmaceutical's however, are making a KILLING on the statin drugs, I'll bet
Statin drugs also reduce muscle mass.
Isn't the heart a muscle?
Any other drug would be contra-indicated in this situation.
The link between heart attack and cholesterol is thin at best, some say non-existant.
there are voluntary and involuntary muscles, not made of the same stuff
"It's the RATIOs Stupid.....(not you neverdem).....Ratios of HGL, LGL, TRIGs, etc......THAT's what matters.....pharmaceutical's however, are making a KILLING on the statin drugs, I'll bet"
They certainly were up until recently. However, Zocor has went off patent and generics are now available and Zocor has actually matched the price as they don't want to lose market share. They'll be much cheaper now.
Do you have any links on that? Last I heard or read, they cause myopathy, myalgia and rhabdomyolysis, the latter about 1% of the time.
Not arguing with you but do you have any good objective links to the kind of information you have provided? I have considered the possibility of making red wine a part of my regimen but I've read other material where doctors have claimed that there are no conclusive studies that red wine is beneficial and even some have argued that it's actually a detriment.
Actually, I'm just trying to establish a theological loophole that will allow me to get drunk...
Does it really remove it as a causative factor or just suggest that it is a causative factor when accompanied by other factors?
I wonder if those high cholesterol studies take into account total cholesterol counts (though I couldn't imagine any serious study not doing so).
I just can't imagine high cholesterol levels (meaning bad cholesterol) being good for you.
Interesting news... btw, the AOA convention is out here in Vegas this year, today was the first day and it was pretty sweet. :)
I've read many studies that describe either a J or U shaped mortality curve. Both teetotalers and heavy drinkers croak before moderate drinkers.
My mother in law's cholesterol has always been around 230.....she's 80....she's FINNISH (I say that because Finns are notorious for having high cholesterol)....my husband's cholesterol is 268, HOWEVER, he has really high HGL, and very Low LGL .... his doc is not worried at all, nor am I.....
You should also supplement with COQ10. Statins are known to deplete COQ10 levels. See www.lef.org for more information about this.
Just saw this, will read it carefully a little later.
Thanks for the links, but I was hoping for a source similar to the type I gave in comment# 16, i.e. an abstract or article from the professional literature.
I looked it up on the web and did some studying on it.
I ended up throwing out the entire bottle, never opened, of the prescription, and changing my diet radically.
Statins may help because they have blood thinning and infection reducing side affects, rather like aspirin.
But they are dangerous, and lowering cholesterol is attacking a symptom, not the disease. They do substantially more harm than good.
For an overview of the problems with statins, see Dr. Joseph Mercola's The Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs (Statins), Cholesterol and Health.
Some quotes from some of the articles that Mercola links to:
Cholesterol is not the major culprit in heart disease or any disease. If it becomes oxidized it can irritate/inflame tissues in which it is lodged in, such as the endothelium (lining of the arteries). This would be one of numerous causes of chronic inflammation that can injure the lining of arteries. However, many good fats are easily oxidized such as omega-3 fatty acids, but it does not mean that you should avoid it at all costs.
Common sense would indicate that we should avoid the oxidation (rancidity) of cholesterol and fatty acids and not get rid of important life-giving molecules. Using the same conventional medical thinking that is being used for cholesterol would lead one to believe that doctors should reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease by taking out everybody's brain.
In fact, cholesterol is being transported to tissues as part of an inflammatory response that is there to repair damage.
The fixation on cholesterol as a major cause of heart disease defies the last 15 years of science and deflects from real causes such as the damage (via glycation) that sugars such as glucose and fructose inflict on tissues, including the lining of arteries, causing chronic inflammation and resultant plaque.
Like two peas in a pod, the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics have joined forces in an attempt to ravage America's health ... and it's working, as hundreds of millions of people have been significantly affected by this deadly pair.
But how are these two epidemics intertwined? Popular belief is that if one eats too much sugar, they'll get fat and develop diabetes; and, if they don't get diabetes it's merely because their body is producing enough insulin to keep up with the sugar. However, researchers have discovered evidence that there's more to the obesity-diabetes connection than this classic way of thinking: The missing link? Leptin.
Mice Studies Shed Light on the Subject
Research on mice has suggested that leptin is the key, as it regulates blood sugar through two different brain-body passageways:
While it was previously found that disrupting the appetite-controlling passageway leads to obesity (which significantly increases the risk of diabetes), results of the study indicated that it likely takes disruptions in both of leptin's passageways to trigger full-blown diabetes.
So what is Zetia....generic of Zocor?
Hmm,...just checked the label,,...says Merck/Schering....
The first link that shows up is this one.
Ranbaxy Research Laboratories, Metabolic & Urology Group, New Drug Discovery Research, Gurgaon-122001, Haryana, India. firstname.lastname@example.org
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors represent the most successful class of drugs for the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia and dyslipidaemia implicated in the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. However, the popular profile of statins in terms of efficacy has been maligned by its adverse events. The myotoxicity, ranging from mild myopathy to serious rhabdomyolysis, associated with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, during treatment of hypercholesterolaemia is of paramount importance. Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but idiosyncratic muscle wasting disorder of different etiologies. Statin-associated rhabdomyolysis causes skeletal muscle injury by self-perpetuating events leading to fatal irreversible renal damage through a series of biochemical reactions.
How long has Touro University's College of Osteopathic Medicine been there?
No, just plug tradenames into the PubMed link at comment# 16, you'll get the generic names. Zetia interferes with absorbing cholesterol from the diet in the intestines, IIRC.
Cholesterol is produced by the body and is used for, among other things, the manufacture and maintanence of cell membranes. However, cholesterol (whether from diet or body manufacture) is too large to pass the blood brain barrier, and as a result, the brain also produces its own supply.
The problem with the statins, such as Lipitor, is: that the drug CAN pass through the blood brain barrier, thereby lowering the cholesterol levels in the brain. This has been reported by a number of people who have had memory and other cognative problems that manifested after starting on the drug. You might be experiencing some sort of affect from the statins and it a playing around with your dream state.
You might want to fire up google and look around for info on statins, Lipitor, and others. I know there is a web site by a former astronaut & AF Flight Surgeon (can't recall the name off hand), who has discussed the side affects he's had (loss of memory) after starting on Lipitor. I think it will also point you to other sites with forums where people have been discussing such matters.
Good, I told the Doc I liked French Fries,...but I would work on learning to love salads....
I will tell you something that is even more idiotic.... I see and care for patients in a NH....Very government regulated places... Just to show you how stupid governement can be the NH has to pay for Pharmacist to consult every month. They look at charts not patients. They write up little notes that I have to address. They say we must check A lipid panel on all patients every 6 months and recommed I start so and so on lipid lowering medication.. I have to use my time writing to them why I do not feel it necessary to start John Doe on statin drugs as he is tube feed, does not walk or verbalize and does not know who or where he is but the government thinks lowering his cholesterol is of upmost importance. Never mind he is 85 years old. JUst like they tell me I need to start a female patient with the same medical condition on calicum with Vit D. Oh really. That is the problem with government paper pushers and regulators.
"Although statin-associated myotoxicity affects compliance, quality of life of patient and discontinuation rate, yet the low incidence of myotoxicty including rhabdomyolysis and less severity of commonly occurring myopathy and myalgia do not raise doubts about the clinical efficacy and tolerability of statins."
Even the part that you quoted stated that it's rare:
"Rhabdomyolysis is a rare but idiosyncratic muscle wasting disorder of different etiologies. Statin-associated rhabdomyolysis causes skeletal muscle injury by self-perpetuating events leading to fatal irreversible renal damage through a series of biochemical reactions."
No drug is always benign. They all can have adverse effects. Numerous studies have shown that for folks with coronary artery disease using statins decreases the incidence of more coronary artery disease morbidity and mortality. If a patient starts having unexplained muscle pain or weakness, stop the statin.
Great, even if I hijack my own thread. I worked at a nursing homes too. I hope you can be there on Election Day to report that the staff helps the patients with dementia to vote. I wasn't aware that they voted a straight dem ticket, but I was told by the nurses that the staff helps the patients with voting at Kings Harbor NH, Bronx, NY, Nov. 2001. My jaw hit the floor.
I wonder if Atkins was on to something when he
suspected excessive carboydrates to heart disease.
Why do diabetics run a greater risk of coronary
dysfuntion? Any corollation or just fad bad science?
And the essential difference between a food and a drug is that there is a wider safety range with the food, within which it is providing benefits without much risk of dosage related harmful side affects.
I can't back up my position with references to research articles, so you would be advised to discredit it. But I am living my life now under the conclusion that statins do more harm than good, and that while they may lower cholesterol, they do not significantly improve mortality rates, and they do long term damage to the body that is undesirable.
A few of the many dietary alternatives are much healthier, in my view, and by my choice. My current recommendations are at the bottom of my Freeper home page:
"I worked at a nursing homes too. I hope you can be there on Election Day to report that the staff helps the patients with dementia to vote."
I remember this mentioned on FoxNews some time ago, maybe after the last election.
The Dems perpetrate voter fraud everywhere. I vaguely remember that they were so brazen, they even filled out ballots in advance and got people in nursing homes to sign, when they had no idea what they were doing.
My "moderate" nephew (just graduated from U.Calif.Berkeley, and thought it was a moderate place) says the same thing about those who find the current leadership of the Democrat party to be a bunch of Marxists, Socialists, Communists, Thugs, Crooks, Leftists and Fellow Travelers.
I am proud to pass both his and your tests for being a raving paranoid nutcase.
Sometimes the s*it really is as bad, or worse, than it seems.
I feel the best way to combat heart disease is to get rid of all processed foods and eat a natural diet. This doesn't mean raw or vegitarian at all. It just means you eat like people did 100 years ago. Also throw in some moderate exercise, sunlight, reduce stress, and get plenty of sleep.
...never heard it put that way, but that's what we do here in our house.
I admit to a certain amount of cynacism about all this. Some people are making a lot of money off the manufacture and sale of drugs that are designed to adjust cholesterol levels. My MD is all over me with this and I hate it.
I found the following very interesting .... vitamin C!!
"The continual recycling of cholesterol happens naturally when you have sufficient ascorbate, another name for vitamin C. Excess cholesterol is naturally converted to bile acid and then excreted. But if you don't consume enough vitamin C (about 2000-3000 milligrams per day for an adult), cholesterol builds up in your bloodstream. It is here that doctors make a critical error: instead of telling you to take more vitamin C to recycle cholesterol naturally, they prescribe Lipitor, which may create a deficiency of new cholesterol".
As boring as it can be or some people think it is,...."moderate" exercise is probably the best thing for you. Good for the psychology also.
Actually, if Mother Nature decides to punch your ticket, I don't know if there's much you can do.
I think a glass of wine (not the whole bottle) can be healthy for you. And then sex and sleep.
I'd pay to get some decent guilt free sleep.
I'd pay to get some decent guilt free sleep.
I'd pay to get some decent guilt free.....wine.
Why the folic acid? My boyfriend is on Lipitor and Niacian (to raise his good cholesterol). Dimmetap gives me wierd dreams, and codeine based pain meds make me puke for hours after taking one.
INFLAMMATION.....at least for Type 2's......
NO...I'm paranoid about having doctors just throw drugs at problems......been there...done that....doesn't always solve the problem.....
"Why the folic acid? My boyfriend is on Lipitor and Niacian (to raise his good cholesterol). Dimmetap gives me wierd dreams, and codeine based pain meds make me puke for hours after taking one."
Homocysteine. (See below)
"My doctor prescribed a statin for me six months ago.
I looked it up on the web and did some studying on it.
I ended up throwing out the entire bottle, never opened, of the prescription, and changing my diet radically."
There are a lot of charlatans bashing statins. I'd be a little wary of taking the word of these people. I'd get a second opinion. I've been on statins for perhaps 6-7 years and except for the weird dreams there have been no particular side effects that I am aware of.