ERNST & YOUNG
Statins are the most widely prescribed medications today and are taken by one in every four Americans, despite faulty scientific evidence which formed the basis for their usage. Statins have been proven to have a nominal effects on heart disease rates and are linked with a host of side effects including an increased risk of diabetes, neurological disorders, certain cancers and more. Lifestyle changes, particularly the elimination of sugars and processed foods within the diet along with stress reduction and regular exercise are proven to lower the actual risk of heart disease, yet cholesterol lowering medications still remain the first and strongest suggestion made by the majority of physicians for any patient who is considered at risk for a heart attack.
Poorly Designed Studies Shifted Medical Guidelines
Studies completed by Ancel Keys in the 1950s and 60s formed the basis for the mainstream belief that a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol increased the risk of heart disease, despite the fact that these studies have been criticized for their poor design by prominent experts throughout the world time and again. Time Magazine even acknowledged that the saturated fat and cholesterol link to heart disease had been proven insignificant and published a cover story in 2014 entitled “Eat Butter”. Time noted, however, that the pharmaceutical industry and the USDA are not likely to change their recommendations anytime soon, considering the amount of profit they stand to lose once the public becomes aware of the ineffective and even dangerous nature of statin drugs. Statins as a whole have been the most profitable class of drugs ever sold to the public and have been on the rise in recent years.
Trickery With Statistics
A study publicized in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology in 2015 explained how statistics had been manipulated to make statins appear beneficial in the treatment of heart disease. While it is clear that statins do indeed lower cholesterol levels, the actual link between statins and a reduction in heart disease had to be created through the use of the relative risk reduction (RRR) method which magnifies the nominal effects this class of drugs actually has on the disease which kills more Americans than any other disorder. The study also explains how data manipulation has been used to downplay the numerous, serious side effects of daily statin use.
Statins Come With an Increased Risk of Numerous Serious Diseases
Statins are linked with a long list of serious side effects which include an increased risk of developing the following diseases:
- Diabetes – statins increase insulin resistance and raise blood sugar levels, leading to an increase in the development of diabetes in patients in a dose correlated manner. Paradoxically, diabetes and high blood sugar levels are strongly linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
- Cancer – women who use statins are at a significantly increased risk of developing certain types of breast cancers, particularly if they have been using these medications for 10 years or longer.
- Neurological diseases – because statins interfere with the production of cholesterol which is essential for normal brain function, they render patients more vulnerable to developing Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases.
- Musculoskeletal disorders – statins create damage to the muscular tissues within the body due to their interference with the selenium-containing proteins that protect these tissues. As a result, users face an increased risk of developing autoimmune related muscle diseases, muscle cramps and/or weakness, rhabdomyolysis (the breakdown of muscle tissue) and more.
- Cataracts – cataracts tend to be more prevalent in statin users, particularly in patients who have been taking the medication for many years.
Inflammation the Real Cause of Heart Disease
Research in recent years indicates the real culprit behind heart disease is related to the level of inflammation present in the body. Various testing methods to detect markers of inflammation in the blood can provide an accurate picture of each patient’s risk of developing heart disease. Cholesterol itself has been shown to have a nominal influence on heart disease rates; only 50 percent of heart attack victims suffer from high cholesterol and 50 percent of people with high cholesterol never develop heart disease at all.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes Far More Effective at Reducing Heart Disease Risk
Patients who make adjustments in their diet and lifestyle have been found to lower their risk of heart disease significantly without the use of any medications. Because high blood sugar levels are associated with an increase in inflammation throughout the body as well as an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, reducing or eliminating consumption of sugar and processed foods is perhaps the most important alteration to lower the overall risk level. Regular exercise and stress reduction techniques enhance the protective effect of a low sugar diet, yet such changes are rarely emphasized by most physicians. Statins remain their preferred treatment option for anyone at risk of developing heart disease, despite weak evidence showing their effectiveness and a long list of serious side effects. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the use of a statin drug, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer who may be able to help you receive compensation for damages.
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