The Nation's Health + inflammation

CRP House of Cards

Lew has coronary plaque with a heart scan score of 393. At age 53, that's in the 90th percentile (higher score than 90% of men in his age group).

On our search for causes of his coronary plaque, we identify low HDL of 41 mg/dl, high triglycerides of 202 mg/dl, small LDL (83% of total), calculated LDL of 133 mg/dl, and severe vitamin D deficiency with a starting blood level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D of 19 ng/ml.

His c-reactive protein: 4.1 mg/dl--above the cut-off of 2.0 mg/dl that the pharmaceutical industry is targeting as a mandate for statin therapy, particularly given the JUPITER data.

Lew instead eliminates wheat and other small LDL-provoking foods and, as a result, loses 28 lbs in 3 months; adds omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil ; supplements vitamin D sufficient to increase his blood level to 70 ng/ml.

Along with dramatic correction of his starting abnormalities, his c-reactive protein: 0.4 mg/dl--no statin drug.

In my view, increased CRP is nothing more than a surrogate for the inflammatory phenomena that arise from high-carbohydrate diets, overweight, and small LDL. Correct those and CRP drops off a cliff. In fact, it is exceptionally rare for CRP to not drop to very low levels following this formula.

I believe that CRP is one more item on the list of reasons--the house of cards--the pharmaceutical industry is building to persuade us to take more and more statin drugs. LDL not low enough? Take more statin. Diabetic with low cholesterol? Take a statin. Inflammation? Take a statin.

Enough already.

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