#12 - THE TRUTH ABOUT CHOLESTEROL & STATINS
- Do you or someone you know take STATIN (cholesterol-lowering) medication?
- I have been banging on for a while now about the potential side-effects and dangers of this class of drugs - eg Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol. The documented side effects include: muscle pain and weakness, neuropathy (nerve problems), heart failure, dizziness, cognitive impairment, immuno-suppression, depression (associated with statins causing low cholesterol). Underpinning the high prescription rate of statins in this country, is the belief that cholesterol is bad, and that fat should be avoided in the diet - both wrong!
- Cholesterol is essential for the membranes that line every cell in our body, it helps manufacture hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone, as well as Vitamin D, and the bile acids that help us digest fat. Cholesterol is also vital for neurological function.
- In 2004, the U.S. government's National Cholesterol Education Program panel advised those at risk of heart disease to try to reduce their LDL cholesterol to very low levels. These extremely low targets often require multiple cholesterol-lowering drugs to achieve. 8 of the 9 doctors on the panel that developed these guidelines had been making money from the drug companies that manufacture statin drugs...
- Does anyone need to take statins?
- If you are born with a genetic defect (familial hypercholesterolemia), and/or have a combination of high heart disease risk factors (overweight, smoking, inactive, diabetic, high BP), then a statin may be necessary (consider as low a dosage as possible).
- For the vast majority of people currently on statins, I suggest you review your situation with your GP or Cardiologist (I recommend Dr Ross Walker, Cardiologist).
- Is there an alternative to statin drugs? YES. There is a natural product on the Australian market called "BERGAMET". It is made from the citrus Bergamot plant and has undergone a double blind placebo controlled trial using 237 patients. As well as maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, it also supports healthy blood glucose levels (thus helpful in diabetes, and insulin resistance), and reduces arterial stiffness. Dr Walker has been using Bergamet in several hundred of his patients over the last 1-2 years and is finding "significant improvements in some and often all common cardiac risk factors".
- For more information on cholesterol, useful blood tests, dietary measures that support healthy cholesterol levels, please contact Christine on 9501 0326.