Cholesterol - Well, Looky At What's Coming Down the Road!
It looks like the jig is just about up for the crusade against cholesterol, so the poobahs are working on actually addressing the real cause of heart problems. WooHoo!
You shouldn't hold your breath, howsomever.
Cholesterol is big bucks
First off, scaring people about cholesterol brings in really, really big bucks, so that's not going away until patients start refusing statin drugs. And that won't happen any time soon because patients have been carefully taught to do what they're told or die.
Second, the search for a big-money drug to replace statins isn't going well.
The real answer comes from vitamins and minerals, Vitamin B especially, but there's not enough money in nutritional supplements, so we'll only hear discouraging reports about them.
Here's the deal: Money comes from patents. According to the law, nobody can patent a natural substance. With enough money and pressure, though, your government in action sometimes looks the other and lets it happen.
But the safer approach-in terms of money, if not health-is jiggering around with a natural substance until it's different enough to get a patent, yet similar enough to still work.
But we have very picky bodies. They like natural stuff. They really don't like phoney-baloney, kinda, sorta look-alikes. And they don't just ignore imposters; they show their displeasure by reacting poorly-perhaps even dying.
This is what's known as a problem, and it's where things stand in Pharma's quest to stay in business if/when statins get knocked out.
Cholesterol helps damaged blood
Let's review how we got here.
Inflammation in our arteries causes heart problems. Arterial inflammation creates "rug burns" in our arteries. These rough spots damage our blood as it hurries on its way, and damaged blood causes problems everywhere it goes.
Enter our hero, cholesterol, rushing in to cover the rough spots and protect our blood.
But we keep feeding the fires of inflammation-by eating polyunsaturated vegetable oils, for one instance.
And our tireless hero returns to lay down another layer of protection. Again and again and again, as long as inflammation hangs around.
And one fine day, our arteries are chock-a-block full of cholesterol. Cholesterol sure doesn't look a hero anymore, and nobody gives even a nod to the greater problems it prevented.
Years ago, researchers misread a study and concluded that getting rid of the dastardly cholesterol would fix things. The study actually pointed to inflammation as the culprit, but Pharma focused on a symptom, cholesterol-blocked arteries, not the cause, inflammation.
And so statin drugs were born. But as time went on, news began leaking out about the downside of statin use. Statins whack the brain, the endocrine system (which controls pretty much everything) and the muscles. Statins protect against nothing, but cause diabetes and heart attacks, among other catastrophes. And they kill the liver, too.
Unfortunately, statin drugs do nothing-zip, zero, nada-about inflammation.
So far, though, most patients go along with statin use. Doctors know best, right?
But you can't fool all of the people all of the time, so statins are eventually headed for the Pharmaceutical Hall of Shame.
And the race is on to find a drug that reverses inflammation. Change our diet to one that doesn't cause inflammation? Nah! Take vitamins and minerals so our bodies can fight inflammation? Nah!
Drugs! That's the ticket!
Before making the expensive effort to muck up a natural substance to get a patent, they first do trials with failed drugs-already patented concoctions that didn't work for their intended purpose. Maybe, just maybe, they'll strike pay dirt with another disease.
Chances are slim to none, of course. So maybe it doesn't even matter that the studies are using the wrong test to measure arterial inflammation.
They're testing two drugs. One, methotrexate, has side effects worse than statins. The other, Canakinumab, prompted lawsuits to stop the studies because this "cure" is worse than any disease-and more dangerous.
In any case, the studies seem to be headed to a bad end, hopefully not bumping off too many innocent participants as they go.
Then it'll be on to the next new thing.
Have I mentioned lately that "properly prescribed, properly taken" prescription drugs kill more than 100,000 people a year in the United States alone?
Stick with nutrition.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She's a patient who's been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, "Moving to Health" about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don't, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.