Friday, December 31, 2010

Correlation between cholesterol and heart disease

See this short YouTube video showing data of cholesterol vs heart disease presented by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick M.D. for most European countries.

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick M.D. looks at Cholesterol

Here are the last few paragraphs of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick M.D. looks at Cholesterol. Click the link and read what he has to say

Now that I know that cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, and that lowering it with statins is a complete waste of time, I find myself in the position of the little boy who points out that the Emperor has no Clothes. With one rather important difference.

Even though the ‘experts' have been made aware of it many times, they care not that this particular emperor has no clothes. Or, to be more accurate, they cannot and will not allow themselves to accept that it might be true. For to accept this would be far too humiliating for the great and the good. Which, I suppose, is why people become so enraged when anyone dares to point out the truth.

It is a slight comfort to know that in fifty years (hopefully many fewer than this), people will look back at cholesterol lowering and say ‘You did WHAT?' Were you MAD? Don't you know that cholesterol is absolutely vital for human health? Didn't you realise that blocking cholesterol synthesis would directly lead to nerve cell damage, muscle destruction, liver obliteration and cancer?

‘My God, you presided over the greatest iatrogenic medical disaster ever.' I, of course, will probably be dead by then. But at least I will not have poisoned my metabolism with statins.

Dr. Malcolm Kendrick (MbChB MRCGP) M.D.

Dr. Kendrick has worked in family practice for almost twenty years.

He has specialized in heart disease and set up the on-line educational website for the European Society of Cardiology.

He is a peer-reviewer for the British Medical Journal. He is a member of the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics (THINCS) as he does not believe that a high cholesterol level causes heart disease.

Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease, Part Three

A Man with Progressive Coronary Artery Disease Unresponsive to Statins  by Jeffrey Dach MD

62 year old Jim came to see me after his third cardiac stent in 10 years. About a year ago, Jim noticed a "tight feeling" in his chest radiating to his throat, was rushed to the ER, and doctors found he was having a heart attack. A coronary angiogram showed extensive coronary artery disease with irregular plaque formation virtually everywhere in his arteries. For the past 10 years, Jim had been under the care of top cardiologists who prescribed a statin cholesterol drug, and Jim's cholesterol was kept below 140 all this time. Jim's heart disease progressed relentlessly in spite of the low total cholesterol numbers clearly showing another cause at work here. It's obviously not the total cholesterol.
Our Approach

I must preface these remarks with our approach to prevention and reversal of heart disease which is outlined in Part One and Part Two of this series. We credit and rely heavily on the "Track Your Plaque Program " by William Davis MD.
Read the full article here.

I was so interested in this article because it had many similarities to my own situation. Please read all articles in Dr. Dach's series. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vitamin D: Deficiency vs optimum level

Vitamin D: Deficiency vs optimum level  Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dr. James Dowd of the Vitamin D Cure posted his insightful comments regarding the Institute of Medicine's inane evaluation of vitamin D.

Dr. Dowd hits a bullseye with this remark:

The IOM is focusing on deficiency when it should be focusing on optimal health values for vitamin D. The scientific community continues to argue about the lower limit of normal when we now have definitive pathologic data showing that an optimal vitamin D level is at or above 30 ng/mL. Moreover, if no credible toxicity has been reported for vitamin D levels below 200 ng/mL, why are we obsessing over whether our vitamin D level should be 20 ng/mL or 30 ng/mL?

Yes, indeed. Have no doubts: Vitamin D deficiency is among the greatest public health problems of our age; correction of vitamin D (using the human form of vitamin D, i.e., D3 or cholecalciferol, not the invertebrate or plant form, D2 or ergocalciferol) is among the most powerful health solutions.

I have seen everything from relief from winter "blues," to reversal of arthritis, to stopping the progression of aortic valve disease, to partial reversal of dementia by achieving 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels of 50 ng/ml or greater. (I aim for 60-70 ng/ml.)

The IOM's definition of vitamin D adequacy rests on what level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D reverses hyperparathyroidism (high PTH levels) and rickets. Surely there is more to health than that.

Dr. Dowd and vocal vitamin D advocate, Dr. John Cannell, continue to champion the vitamin D cause that, like many health issues, conradicts the "wisdom" of official organizations like the IOM.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Depression, Statins and Cardiologists

Cardiologists know that treating depression likely will benefit patients complaining of cardiovascular problems, but likely are completely unaware statin drugs may be a major contributing factor.

According to a report from a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Working Group, and published simultaneously in Annals of Behavioral Medicine and Psychosomatic Medicine, up to 20 percent of patients with heart disease meet the American Psychiatric Association's criteria for major depression, and identifying better treatments for depression in this population could lead to improved medical, financial and psychosocial outcomes.

At almost the same time Goldstein and others of the Department of Physiology, The Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, report in Biol Psychiatry 60(5): 491-9 on the involvement of endogenous digitalis-like compounds in depressive disorders. Cholesterol is the major precursor of these endogenous digitalis-like compounds synthesized in our adrenals.

We might have predicted the effect of this new substance in something like heart failure because of the word digitalis but who would have predicted its impact on bipolar disorder and other forms of depressive reactions?

These pleotrophic effects are due to the fact that the cellular effect of this class of drugs is on the sodium, potassium and ATPase cell wall channels in such a way as to induce calcium retention within the cells leading to altered response.

In a brain cell, mania can result from increased membrane excitability and depression from decreased transmitter release and these are only a few of the effects of these endogenous digitalis-like compounds synthesized from cholesterol.

What of the statin drugs with their ability to reduce natural cholesterol levels to values far below normal for the individual? Is there any real doubt that we now have another reason for the association of statin use with depression?

The drug industry proudly hails the ability of Lipitor®, Crestor® and Vytorin® and others to lower blood cholesterol some 40-50%. We already know what this does to the cognitive ability of many people and the erectile function of many others. And now we find another major body system completely dependent upon adequate cholesterol levels.

In addition to this mechanism for altered emotional status we also have others and all are tied to cholesterol availability. The first of these is dolichol associated glycoprotein process for neurohormone synthesis. Every emotion and mood we have are governed by the makeup of sugars and protein fragments, linked like popcorn on a string, to make up our neurohormones.

The second involves our glial cell mediated production of "on-demand" cholesterol synthesis for memory synapses, critical to the development of psychological manifestations. The third has to do with G-protein coupled receptors responsible for neurotransmitter coupling and felt to be the most important mechanism for perception of environmental factor cells.

All three of these are cholesterol dependent and therefore sensitive to statin use. The effects can be so subtle as to be hardly noticeable or so severe as to support the diagnosis of psychotic illness.

How could the designers of lucrative statin drugs two decades ago know of these effects? They obviously could not and now after 20 years of use have some very real economic reasons for not wanting to hear this. One might say that the research community is now documenting adverse reactions to statin drug use that should have been defined and warned of long before marketing.

Duane Graveline MD MPH
Former USAF Flight Surgeon
Former NASA Astronaut
Retired Family Doctor
Updated December 2010