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Cholesterol Drugs - what they're not telling you...
Old 06-24-2013, 11:54 AM   #1
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Cholesterol Drugs - what they're not telling you...

Cholesterol Drugs: What Your Doc

Interesting little article on statins and cholesterol
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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Fact: statins lower blood cholesterol levels.

Conjecture: Elevated blood cholesterol levels are a leading cause of heart disease and heart attack.

There has never been a credible study linking elevated blood cholesterol levels to heart disease and heart attack.

Prescribing statins to women is even more so dangerous. They are even talking about statins for children ... absolutely criminal.

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Old 06-24-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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Here is a article on the number needed to treat (NNT) for people with no history of heart disease to get a good result using statins.

Statins for Heart Disease Prevention (Without Prior Heart Disease) | TheNNT

If one has known heart disease the NNT numbers are different:

http://www.thennt.com/nnt/statins-fo...heart-disease/
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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From the article,
Quote:
Just about everyone who takes a statin drug has at least a 10 percent reduction in muscle strength and more muscle pain after exercise due to muscle damage (called myopathy), Golumb says. Some people may not notice it, but others, especially athletes, will find it troubling.
Guess I am lucky! I lift weights regularly and have for years, so I am very much in touch with my muscle strength, and have not experienced either problem at all.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:04 PM   #5
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Actually....I have just been on a trial of Lipitor the last month.....this may have got me back off of it. No side effects that I can tell at this time. But. When the Dr recommended it since I was slightly high.....my response was "Huh? why take that when I can just eat a little bit better....my diet sucks, so it shouldn't be too hard". His response was "Yeah, but you don't want to lower your quality of life". NOT eating a ton of frozen burritos will NOT lower my quality of life. Although I really do like cheap greasy food. All I would likely have to do is cut out the chips and extra cheese and that might do the job. We are always out for the easy fix without having to work at it. Next thing you know I will need to give up beer (which wouldn't do me any harm at all).
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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I dropped statins a little over a year ago and my blood work is improved by diet alone. Even my doctor has drastically changed her opinion on statins. Based on the change in tone from the research community I bet within 5-10 years statin use will plummet. Side effects appear to be subtle in most users but far more widespread than previously portrayed. Benefits appear to be slim to none except in limited populations.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:12 AM   #7
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I dropped statins a little over a year ago and my blood work is improved by diet alone. Even my doctor has drastically changed her opinion on statins. Based on the change in tone from the research community I bet within 5-10 years statin use will plummet. Side effects appear to be subtle in most users but far more widespread than previously portrayed. Benefits appear to be slim to none except in limited populations.
I should have asked my doctor if his attitude has changed on them last month when I visited. I hadn't been to see him in 3 years. The last time he was trying to write me out a script for Lipitor even though all my numbers were just fine. He said it was a protection for the middle age "widow maker". I passed on the offer and he didn't bring it up this time.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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I was on 20mg of simvastatin for a long time and tolerated the statin quite well, until my PCP decided he wanted my ldl < 70, so he upped my dose to 40mg and it made me feel lousy. At the next appointment I told him that the 40 is causing me problems and I stopped taking them, so he switched me to Crestor. I took the Crestor for about a week and it also made me feel like crap, so I went back to the remaining 40mg simvastations that I had left, but split the pills in half and also started to take some plant sterols. Had my recheck with the Dr the other day and my ldl is now < 50. Additionally, I have been taking fish oil and CoQ10 for quite some time.

Based on what the plant sterols seemed to do for me, I am wondering about ceasing the low dose simvastatin and just relying on the supplements. My hdl is also quite low, so am considering adding niacin.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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I was on 20mg of simvastatin for a long time and tolerated the statin quite well, until my PCP decided he wanted my ldl < 70, so he upped my dose to 40mg and it made me feel lousy. At the next appointment I told him that the 40 is causing me problems and I stopped taking them, so he switched me to Crestor. I took the Crestor for about a week and it also made me feel like crap, so I went back to the remaining 40mg simvastations that I had left, but split the pills in half and also started to take some plant sterols. Had my recheck with the Dr the other day and my ldl is now < 50. Additionally, I have been taking fish oil and CoQ10 for quite some time.

Based on what the plant sterols seemed to do for me, I am wondering about ceasing the low dose simvastatin and just relying on the supplements. My hdl is also quite low, so am considering adding niacin.
I was hoping you were going to say that your HDL was higher since you started taking fish oil and CoQ10. For the last 10 years my HDL has been sinking until it hit 38 last spring. 15 months later it is over 50. The only thing I have changed in my diet/exercise was the addition of those 2 supplements and eating oatmeal religiously. So I dunno, maybe it had nothing to do with it and body just decided it was time to produce more HDL after years of neglect.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #10
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Here's an interesting recent study on HDL
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/he...isk.html?_r=3&

It looks like efforts to raise HDL might not improve CHD risk.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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I was hoping you were going to say that your HDL was higher since you started taking fish oil and CoQ10. For the last 10 years my HDL has been sinking until it hit 38 last spring. 15 months later it is over 50. The only thing I have changed in my diet/exercise was the addition of those 2 supplements and eating oatmeal religiously. So I dunno, maybe it had nothing to do with it and body just decided it was time to produce more HDL after years of neglect.
Everyone I know who has dropped carbs way down has had HDL go up sigificantly and triglicerides come down. Both DW and I had HDL rise about 25 and triglicerides come down even more. The change was rapid -- tested after about 2 months. We did drop carbs to around 50g/day initially. Studies show the change is persistent for many months even after carbs are resumed. I have added back a significant amount of carbs (potatoes and rice, a little bread, probably 150g/day, but who is counting anymore) with no affect on weight or the blood chemistry. This is a well known and documented affect, not some outlier.
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:28 PM   #12
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Everyone I know who has dropped carbs way down has had HDL go up sigificantly and triglicerides come down. Both DW and I had HDL rise about 25 and triglicerides come down even more. The change was rapid -- tested after about 2 months. We did drop carbs to around 50g/day initially. Studies show the change is persistent for many months even after carbs are resumed. I have added back a significant amount of carbs (potatoes and rice, a little bread, probably 150g/day, but who is counting anymore) with no affect on weight or the blood chemistry. This is a well known and documented affect, not some outlier.
I would have to be reading your post, Don, while I am eating a baked potato before I head to the golf course! I do not know why my tri's and LDL have dropped, while HDL has jumped with no real apparent change in diet. Oatmeal is carbs, so I definitely haven't lowered that. I stay fit and everything, but I really do not think I would have the discipline to drop carb foods. Glad you have had success!
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:33 PM   #13
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Everyone I know who has dropped carbs way down has had HDL go up sigificantly and triglicerides come down. Both DW and I had HDL rise about 25 and triglicerides come down even more.
+1
After limiting carbs, my HDL has gone from the mid-40s to the high 70s, and triglycerides dropped to the 20s (from around 90).
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:44 PM   #14
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There is no doubt that the statins do reduce cholesterol significantly for most people who take them. The new question seems to be "Do they significantly increase our years of healthful existence on this planet?"

I used to accept at face value the answer to that question and whatever I was told by the government and the medical institutions.

However, when I see how often drugs, artificial knees and male hormones are advertised on TV these days, along with hospitals advertising for bariatric surgery and other invasive procedurers, I want to rewrite a little Shakespeare.

From Hamlet - "Me thinks thou dost advertise to much."

From Julius Caesar - "Yond citizens have a curious and suspicious look. They think to much. Such men are dangerous."
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:25 AM   #15
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When the Dr recommended it since I was slightly high.....my response was "Huh?
This confirms my theory. Never tell the doctor when you are high.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DFW_M5 View Post
Based on what the plant sterols seemed to do for me, I am wondering about ceasing the low dose simvastatin and just relying on the supplements. My hdl is also quite low, so am considering adding niacin.
I'll have to look into the plant sterols. Do you have any suggestions for reading? I'd love to get off the statin.

Just fyi, everything I tried for raising my HDL (low carb, exercise, weight loss, etc) either didn't work or was such an insignificant change it wasn't worth mentioning, until I tried niacin. My HDL was <25, and with niacin it has jumped up to ~40-45. Definitely significant. But the niacin (for me at least) has to be the regular stuff that causes the flush. Slow release/no flush niacin didn't seem to work. But to have that big an increase in my HDL makes a slight hot flash well worth it.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:59 AM   #17
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I'll have to look into the plant sterols. Do you have any suggestions for reading? I'd love to get off the statin.

Just fyi, everything I tried for raising my HDL (low carb, exercise, weight loss, etc) either didn't work or was such an insignificant change it wasn't worth mentioning, until I tried niacin. My HDL was <25, and with niacin it has jumped up to ~40-45. Definitely significant. But the niacin (for me at least) has to be the regular stuff that causes the flush. Slow release/no flush niacin didn't seem to work. But to have that big an increase in my HDL makes a slight hot flash well worth it.
Harley, I don't have any specific research articles to reference. The plant sterols were recommended to me by a friend who is an opthamologist. His wife is a radiologist and they were both using these to reduce their cholesterol level and had very good results.

I have been using a Vitamin Shoppe product, and I must say it worked extremely well for me bringing down both my ldl and triglycerides to very low levels, but did absolutely nothing for my hdl which seems to be going down hill.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:27 PM   #18
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I'll have to look into the plant sterols. Do you have any suggestions for reading? I'd love to get off the statin.

Just fyi, everything I tried for raising my HDL (low carb, exercise, weight loss, etc) either didn't work or was such an insignificant change it wasn't worth mentioning, until I tried niacin. My HDL was <25, and with niacin it has jumped up to ~40-45. Definitely significant. But the niacin (for me at least) has to be the regular stuff that causes the flush. Slow release/no flush niacin didn't seem to work. But to have that big an increase in my HDL makes a slight hot flash well worth it.
What level causes the flush How long does it last

It might be something that I would try.... statins so far have not been tolerated by my body.... sometimes in a big way.... My doc is more concerned with my low HDL than my high normal LDL...
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:24 PM   #19
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My husband doubled his niacin about 4 months ago and occasionally gets flushed as well. One other side effect is that he has far fewer night time muscle cramps.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:18 PM   #20
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Just some personal observations here about LDL and diet. Both my brother and I dropped our LDL and triglycerides significantly when we reduced Fructose consumption. Carb consumption (baked potato, oatmeal, rice) and Glucose consumption remained normal. Being wheat free had no effect.

In my case, I kept my fructose consumption below 25g daily for 3 months. Triglycerides dropped from 92 to below 43. The best part is my SDLDL was confirmed to be Pattern A (large buoyant) (Sorry, no before test). SDLDL is the bad player in heart disease.

When I reduced my fructose consumption, I made many substitutions; I replaced wine with Scotch, made my own ice cream using milk fat and glucose, and made my own maple syrup using Maple extract and corn syrup (glucose only).

I am firmly convinced that Carbs and Glucose are fine in my diet. But, fructose is long term toxic above some dietary threshold.
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