Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fish Oil is Better Than Drugs for Preventing Heart Failure

Dr. Mercola writes "Fish oil supplements appear to work better than a popular cholesterol-reducing drug to help patients with chronic heart failure, according to recently released research."

The research Dr Mercola sites is from Lancet published Aug 31, 2008. Actually two articles,

one titled "Effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with chronic heart failure (the GISSI-HF trial): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial"

and the other titled "Effect of rosuvastatin in patients with chronic heart failure (the GISSI-HF trial): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial".

Key words in the non-layman friendly medical journal lingo:
"n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids" describes what we commonly call Fish Oil and

"rosuvastatin" which we know as Crestor, a powerful statin drug used to reduce cholesterol.

The study results, which were in part sponsored by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, were I'm sure, not what they would have liked the the tests to show because they're in the business of selling cholesterol lowering drugs which is a multi-billion dollar business . This comes on top of the studies showing increase of cancer due to cholesterol lowering drugs.

And you may want to read the articles listed under Credible Evidence to the right titled "NEW - Vytorin Rides Out Choppy SEAS from Medscape Today HeartWire " and "Pfizer's Cholesterol Drug Boosts Death Rate by 58 Percent.

Read the studies in Lancet here and here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cholesterol and Women - a reminder

Just reread the article "Cholesterol Lowering Statin Drugs for Women Just Say No to Statin Drugs" by Dr Jeffrey Dach and thought I'd include a couple of quotes.

"The reality is that there is no mortality benefit from lowering cholersterol with statin drugs: Both lines on the mortality chart below are superimposed meaning the number of deaths in the statin drug group was identical to the number of deaths in the placebo group. Chart Courtesy of (Eddie Vos). "

"No Female Should Ever Take A Statin Drug Let me repeat that so this is very clear: No female should ever take a statin drug to lower cholesterol for primary prevention of heart disease. They don’t work for women. Women who take Lipitor or any other statin drug to lower cholesterol do not live any longer than women who don’t take the drug. There is no benefit in terms of prolonging your life for women. "

Reat the complete article here.

Another good credible discussion of the 'benefits' of taking statin drugs is found in this article titled "Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven’t Been Told About Popular Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines" which states...

"Statins and Women (2003)
No study has shown a significant reduction in mortality in women treated with statins. The University of British Columbia Therapeutics Initiative came to the same conclusion, with the finding that statins offer no benefit to women for prevention of heart disease. Yet in February of 2004, Circulation published an article in which more than 20 organizations endorsed cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines for women with several mentions of "preferably a statin." "

What else can I say?

Dr Duane Graveline's statin story. Read it!

I mention his book "Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol" under Credible Evidence on the right and now I find out he is continuing to deterioriate from the effects. Here is a couple of paragraphs from his story.

"My total time on Lipitor was no more than five months at 5-10 mg dosing, low by today's standards. I had joined the ranks of thousands of other people whose physiology had been seriously compromised by statins. Research evidence about the more serious side effects of statin drugs began to flood the internet. Statin induced mevalonate blockade with the consequences of CoQ10 and dolichol inhibition now was documented by research rather than just suspected. Then mitochondrial mutations induced by statins began to be reported as the cause of increasing numbers of serious disabilities affecting neurons of the brain as well as causing muscle damage. Inhibition of CoQ10 was allowing free radical excess to mutate our mitochondria. The World Health Association reported excess ALS in statin users world-wide. A new word was coined, cerebromyopathies, and currently, reports of ALS associated with statin induced mitochondrial mutations are in the research news."

Read the whole article by Dr Graveline here.

I tell you, based upon my own experience and so much evidence piling up (see Credible Evidence on the right) statins and the cholesterol lowering psuedo-religion have a terrorist like presence in our world. Please! Please! Read some of the credible evidence for yourself. Lowering your cholesterol is NOT the answer folks! Am I being overly dramatic? Maybe so! My heart felt recommendation is to either read the credible evidence then quit taking cholesterol lowering medication or better yet, quit taking the medication and then read the evidence. You will thereby reduce your risk tremendiously! Don't believe me believe those credible sources I've provided and if you still would rather have low cholesterol and risk cancer, ALS(see quote above), loss of memory, Statins & Associated Rhabdomyolysis, and who knows what else at least make your decision from an informed position rather simply because your doctor said your cholesterol is too high!.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Merck & Co of Vioxx fame on carpet for cancer causing Vytorin

Merck & Co of Vioxx fame is on the carpet again with their Vytorin (simvastatin or Zocor plus ezemitibe) which is suppose to give cholesterol a double whammy and may do just that but the tradeoff seems to be increased risk of prostate, gastrointestinal, and skin cancer.

So... would you rather have that dreaded 'high cholesterol' or try your luck with cancer?

See this link to a Reuters article and also read this article in Natural News where they state that Merck's belatedly released data "... reveals a whopping 50% increase in cancer risk compared to patients taking a placebo! Hilariously, Merck says the difference is due to "chance." Isn't it funny how all the results they WANT to see in clinical trials are due to their drugs, but all the results they DON'T want to see are due to "chance?"

Also pay attention to Natural News list of related articles.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Ezetimibe and Cancer — An Uncertain Association"

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) editorial article published September 2, 2008 bears the title "Ezetimibe and Cancer — An Uncertain Association". You might ask 'what the heck is Ezetimibe?' It is another one of those drugs used to lower serum cholesterol levels frequently in conjunction or parallel with a statin drug. Of late it has actually been combined into the same pill with Simvastatin also known as Zocor and the combination called Vytorin.

Also in the above mentioned issue of NEJM they published the results of the SEAS trial (Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis). "In the trial, a combination of simvastatin and ezetimibe (Vytorin) was compared with placebo with respect to the incidence of cardiovascular events in older people with aortic-valve stenosis. The treatment had no impact on the progression of aortic stenosis or on cardiovascular clinical events in general, ..."

Now note the following from the NEJM editorial....

"There was, however, an unexpected finding in the trial. An excess of incident cancers was observed in the simvastatin–ezetimibe group, with 105 in that group as compared with 70 in the placebo group (P=0.01). There was an increase in the incidence of a variety of cancers, including prostate, gastrointestinal, and skin cancers. Also, deaths from cancer were more frequent in the active-treatment group (39 deaths, vs. 23 in the placebo group), ..."


Finally the editorial says ...

"Ezetimibe interferes with the gastrointestinal absorption not only of cholesterol, but also of other molecular entities that could conceivably affect the growth of cancer cells. The fact that the combined data from all three trials showed an increase in cancer mortality with ezetimibe should not be assumed to be a chance finding until further data are in. It is appropriate that SHARP and IMPROVE-IT continue. Careful follow-up of the patients in these trials will be essential, and other existing data sets on ezetimibe-treated patients should be analyzed for cancer end points. The Food and Drug Administration has already announced that during the next few months it will conduct its own analysis of the potential cancer hazard of ezetimibe."

Note: In the above quotes from the NEJM editorial the 'bolded' text was emphasis added my me and did not occur in the original article which you can read in its entirety here. You can also read results of the (SEAS) trial here.

See also this Natural News article on the same subject.

Now a bit of personal history as related to the above information and also cited in this blog over one year ago ( see it here).

  • I was on cholesterol lowering statins for roughly 20 years beginning in the mid 1980s.
  • In 1994 (with low cholesterol) I had a heart attack resulting in open heart surgery.
  • P.S. Four subsequent heart attacks (most recent June 2006), three requiring stents - all while having well below 'their recommended' serum cholesterol readings. (added this item Oct 8, 2007)
  • In 2003 I had a fist sized gastrointestinal cancerous tumor removed along with about 9 inches of my small intestine.
  • I've had one basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) surgically removed about 3 years ago.
  • I personally have no data to tie these events in my life together. (I might change this statement as this connection is further explored)
  • I feel good now - like none of the above had happened. It almost seems surreal. But I've had four subsequent heart attacks - three with stents and there is some possibility that the cancer could reappear.

And a piece of info not included in the above is that for a significant length of time while taking statin drugs to lower my cholesterol and thus presumable reduce chances of heart attack, I was also taking Ezetimbe. All that before the gastrointestional cancer and basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) were discovered and treated seemingly successfully.