Prescription Alternatives
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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