The Nation's Health + [Statin drugs]

Statin drugs: Heart disease = statin deficiency

Judging from the conversations I hear from colleagues, what I hear from the media, and drug company advertising, you'd think that heart disease has one cause--a deficiency of statin drugs.

As their thinking goes, if you have coronary disease, you need a statin drug (Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, pravachol, etc.). If you have progressive coronary disease, you need more statin drug. If you have a heart attack while on a statin drug, you need even more statin drug.

Some "experts" have even proposed that we do away with LDL cholesterol and we just give everybody a statin drug at high doses.

Does this make any sense to you?

Doesn't it make better sense that if someone has progressive heart disease or heart attack while on a statin drug, then target the other causes largely unaffected by a statin drug? Perhaps if LDL cholesterol remains high on the statin drug, then a higher dose is justified. But more often than not, it's not a high LDL on statin drugs that responsible, it's other causes . And there's many of them: low HDL, VLDL, IDL, Lp(a), deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids, inflammatory processes, vitamin D deficiency, among others. (An important exception to this is when the conventional calculated LDL substantially underestimates true LDL as measured by LDL particle number by NMR, apoprotein B, or 'direct' LDL.)

Imagine someone has pneumonia. After 2 weeks of antibiotics, they are only partly better. The solution: a higher dose of the same antibiotic--but never question if it was the right antibiotic in the first place. That's what is going on in heart disease.

The doctors have been brainwashed into believing this $22 billion dollar per year bit of propaganda. The drug companies actively try to recruit the public into believing the same. Don't fall for it.

The statin drugs do indeed have a role. But they are not the complete answer. More of the same when disease progresses makes no sense at all.