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I’ll Have a Happy Meal with a Side Order of Statins, Please

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fat kidFast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralize the heart disease dangers of fatty food, according to a new study highlighted by ANH–International. Burgers, fries, and dangerous drugs from your drive-through!

Researchers at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London suggest in a new study that “since statins reduce the amount of unhealthy LDL cholesterol in the blood, the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin drug is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.”
Dr. Darrell Francis, the senior author of the study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Cardiology, said explicitly, “It makes sense to make risk-reducing supplements available just as easily as the unhealthy condiments that are provided free of charge. It would cost less than [a packet] of ketchup.”
Many other researchers, however, disagree with the assertion that statins are either effective or safe. A recent University of Cambridge meta-analysis also highlighted by ANH–Intl seriously calls into question the use of statin therapy for those with no history of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, a prestigious group of mainstream doctors and scientists, believe the statin push is all about money and not science. To quote Dr. John Abramson of Harvard: “We [the medical profession] medicalize symptoms in order to market medications.”
Distinguished medical and nutritional researcher Dr. Harry Preuss of Georgetown University (an ANH-USA board member) agrees: “We need a major symposium of experts to address this subject. Millions of Americans could be receiving more harm than benefit from statins. Recent trials have shown results that were less positive than expected. So why the positive results earlier?”
It should be noted that government and the pharmaceutical industry are working closely together here. NIH’s National Cholesterol Education Program publishes guidelines on cholesterol. Its member organizations sponsor expert panels to make recommendations, which are then distributed to physicians, laboratories, etc. The more it tells the American public to lower cholesterol numbers, the higher the profits for cholesterol drugs—at the expense of Americans’ health.
Pulse readers will recall our July 13 Action Alert about the possibility of children being given a new, chewable form of the cholesterol drug Lipitor. Now medical researchers are suggesting dispensing statin drugs with fast food meals, heedless of the documented side effects of such drugs: nerve damage, muscle damage and pain, potential heart damage (the heart is a muscle, too, and this is quite separate from the potential heart damage caused by depletion of CoQ10, which statins also create), liver enzyme derangement, blood glucose elevation, tendon problems, anemia, acidosis, cataracts, sexual dysfunction, and in some cases even kidney failure.
And of course we are not even including the documented health risks of cholesterol that is too low, including stroke, depression, and shorter life. We have to remember that we all need cholesterol. Among other functions, it is an essential building block for hormones.
Statin drugs are not necessary. A randomized–controlled trial found that a natural supplement, red yeast rice, had significant cholesterol-lowering properties. Other supplements such as niacin also have proven benefit.
And—here’s a radical suggestion—perhaps Americans should just stop eating the fast food burgers and milk shakes in the first place? The Harvard Nurses’ Study documented the fact that a change in diet and physical activity will reduce incidence of heart disease by 83%—with a reduction of the risk of diabetes up to 90%, and a lowered risk of obesity, which is linked to inflammation.
But that would make too much sense. Then neither the big drug companies nor the big fast food industry would make the big money.

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