by Earl Mindell, RPh.PhD., (Pharmacist)
Virginia Hopkins, M. A.
Keats Publishing Inc. 1998
Earl Mindell on Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
Debunking the Cholesterol Myths
. . . a victim of negative press, cholesterol is an essential
component of the production of the steroid hormones and in nerve
function as well as other essential body processes... First,
there is absolutely no evidence anywhere that normal cholesterol
floating around in the blood does any harm. In fact, cholesterol
is the building block for all your steroid hormones, which
includes all the sex hormones and the cortisones. Even slightly
low levels of cholesterol are associated with depression, suicide,
and lung cancer in older women. . . For most people, eating
high cholesterol foods does not raise cholesterol.
Why Does Cholesterol Accumlate in the Arteries?
Drug company advertising for cholesterol lowering drugs gives
the impression that excessive cholesterol in the blood simply
deposits on the artery wall, and that lowering cholesterol
levels stops that process. . . High cholesterol is a symptom of
an underlying nutritional deficiency and/or toxicity that damages
the arteries. . .
The Myth of the Cholesterol Count
Another cholesterol myth perpetuated by the drug companies
is that everyone with a total cholesterol count over 200 mg/dl
should be concerned. This is blatantly false. . .
Drugs to More Harm than Good
While a cholesterol-lowering drug will usually do a very good
job of lowering your cholesterol, there's scant, if any, evidence
that it will help you live longer or reduce your risk of heart
attack unless you are extremely ill or have just suffered from
a heart attack. . . There are no studies that show women
benefit from these drugs -- all the studies showing even
marginal benefits have been done on men. Nor are there any
studies showing that they reduce heart attacks or death in men
aged 65 to 75. Since heart disease takes decades to develop, it's
highly unlikely that cholesterol-lowering drugs will help anyone
over the age of 75. That leaves men aged 35 to 55, but even here
the evidence of benefit is slim, and the possible side effects
are huge. . . If the American public had even a clue of how
destructive these drugs are, they wouldn't touch them
except in an emergency. . . Every information sheet on the
most commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs will tell
you that they cause cancer in rodents when taken long term
in relatively normal doses. It's also well-known that
they can cause severe emotional imbalances in men, along
with a wide array of life-threatening side effects. . .
The wisest course of action is to avoid these drugs...
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