Cholesterol and statins
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Cholesterol and Statins. The Truth about Cardiovascular Disease and Health. C-V Disease or Coronary Disease. Leading killer of men and women in U.S. Across all ethnic and racial groups *Almost 1 million die of CVD each year which adds up to 42% of all deaths

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Cholesterol and Statins

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Cholesterol and Statins

The Truth about Cardiovascular Disease and Health

C-V Disease or Coronary Disease

  • Leading killer of men and women in U.S.

    Across all ethnic and racial groups

    *Almost 1 million die of CVD each year which adds up to 42% of all deaths

    *One must include those suffering from CVD which is 8 million world wide

    *This is 18X the mortality of breast cancer

The costs….

  • CVD costs the nation $274 billion each year including health expenditures and productivity loss

  • The burden continues to grow as the U.S. ages

  • There is no federal mandate directed towards the states to target CVD


  • “The effectiveness of conventional medicine as far as early detection and treatment in actually preventing heart attacks is questionable.”

The Allopathic Approach…..

  • Medication and Surgery - Angiograms, PTCA, CABG are a big business

  • Over one million heart angiograms are performed annually for a total annual cost of ten billion dollars

  • But based upon extensive analysis, it appears that most of this money is wasted

  • Surgery is physically invasive and traumatic and is 5-10X more deadly than the disease and in many cases, unnecessary!

Center for Disease Control

  • Where you live geographically might affect your exposure to factors causing heart disease (ie. Environmental pollution, daily stress, lifestyle behaviors)

  • A number of health-related behaviors practiced by people every day contribute markedly to C-V disease

These include…..

  • Stress (elevated stress hormones): Mental stress is a higher indicator more so than smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol or even “being a man”

  • For those suffering from heart disease already, this factor is responsible for more MI’s, and cardiac death itself


  • People whose BP rises as a result of stress are six times more likely to have CVD than those who remain calm

  • This includes anger, chronic worrying and anxiety

  • JAMA and Circulation both agree that stress blocks blood flow to the heart


  • The walls of the blood vessels thicken, narrowing the flow of blood to the heart

  • This increased pressure causes the heart to work harder (stroke volume) and faster (heart rate)

  • Results in increased BP while decreasing the amount of blood going to and exiting from the heart

  • All this happening when the heart demands oxygen and nutrients

Diet – Poor Nutrition – Elevated glucose levels and obesity

  • With almost 40% of the nation being obese, this has resulted in hypertension (HTN), high BP, high cholesterol and other chronic diseases such as diabetes

  • Only 27% of women and 19% of men eat the proper foods during day

  • One would expect that saturated (animal) fat consumption would be a major cause


  • The consumption of saturated fat from 1920 to 2000 has dropped from 83% to 62% as has the amount of butter – 18 lbs. To 4 lbs. annually

  • During the past eighty years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only 1%

  • Margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400%, while sugar consumption rose almost 60%

Lowering cholesterol by dietary means does NOT improve health

  • There is little support from trials because there is none at all!

  • And simply lowering the percentage of energy from total fat in the diets is unlikely to improve lipid profiles or reduce CVD incidence

  • The same applies to treating obesity by good evidence that reducing dietary fat leads to weight loss (in this case, it might lead

    to stupidity!!!!)

Lack of Physical Activity

  • People who are sedentary have twice the risk as those who are physically active

  • One-half of the U.S. population do not exercise at recommended levels

  • One quarter are completely sedentary

  • This may be the “key” to preventing the occurrence and morbidity of CVD

Tobacco Use…………

  • Smokers have twice the risk of heart attack

  • One-fifth of annual deaths directly connected to smoking

  • 1,000,000 young people smoke in the U.S.

With all these facts…

  • Let’s look at the myths…

Myth #1 High cholesterol (and LDL) is the number one cause of heart disease in the U.S.

  • High cholesterol is a risk factor but not the number one factor

  • The most prevalent risk factor is low HDL

  • 70% of victims have low HDL while 30% have High LDL

  • If this is the case why don’t we hear more about Low HDL’s?

The answer is simple…….

  • Because treating these is not profitable for drug companies!!!!

  • But wait!!! When a drug becomes available to treat the HDL, you will hear about the “epidemic” in this country which will justify millions being spent for a new drug!

What qualifies as Low HDL?

  • 40 mg/dL for men

  • 45 mg/dL for women

  • HDL is already available in the standard cholesterol panels

  • Drug Companies focus on the lowering of the LDL’s while the most important factor goes unchecked

Myth #2 If I take my statin, I will not get a heart attack

  • This simply is not true

  • Lowering cholesterol, even to rock-bottom levels reduces but does not eliminate heart attacks

  • Other factors must be considered like low HDL, homocysteine and high insulin levels

  • The 2003 National Health and Nutrition Survey show that 47 million U.S. adults have “Metabolic Syndrome” – low HDL’s; High triglycerides, High BP and excess abdominal fat which substantially heightens the risk of CVD even in the presence of of cholesterol levels and statin use.

Myth #3 I feel fine and my stress test was normal. My doctor says I do not have heart disease.

  • Lack of symptoms should not be reassuring as most heart disease is silent, without symptoms; undetectable by conventional means such as ECG and cholesterol testing.

  • Stress testing is a miserable failure for screening asymptomatic people; most future MI occur in people with normal stress tests

  • How many times have you heard about your neighbor passing a stress test on Tuesday only to drop dead on Thursday?

Cholesterol: The Lipid with the bad reputation

  • Hyperlipidemia refers to elevated blood levels of lipids (fats) including cholesterol and triglycerides.

  • Most people with hyperlipidemia have no symptoms

  • But hyperlipidemia is a contributing factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), a thickening or hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle

Cholesterol: The Lipid with the bad reputation

  • CHD can in turn result in angina pectoris (chest pain), a heart attack or both

  • Hyperlipidemia is but one risk factor of many concerns and what causes it is also of great debate

  • It is not as simple as foods that contain cholesterol which elevate lipids

But what has been overlooked..

  • The oxidation of LDL cholesterol caused from a lack of antioxidant-rich foods, herbs and nutrients and/or a large intake of foods and chemicals hat contain damaging free radicals.

  • When LDL cholesterol oxidizes, it promotes atherosclerosis by a process referred to as the macrophage foam cell mechanism

  • This is especially so in the presence of stressors like cortisol and insulin

Cortisol and Insulin

  • Act to inflame the arterial walls which are the real underlying causes of chronic disease including PVD

  • The production of a C-reactive protein is the essential part of the inflammatory process deep within the body

  • Multiple risk markers for atherosclerosis and C-V disease act in a synergistic way through inflammatory pathways

The immune, endothelial and smooth muscle cells are all affected

  • What prevents the inflammatory process is the presence of flavonoides; carotenoids, sterols, vitamin C and E; Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (alpha linoleic) to circumvent these inflammatories

  • A marker of note is that of Nitric Oxide and Peryoxynitrate to reduce vascular lesion formation and induce vasodilation

How do we obtain these nutrients?

  • Arginine

  • Antioxidants – Vitamin C and E, lipoic acid, selenium, glutathione

  • Enzyme co-factors such as B2, B3, B6, B12, folate and zinc

  • DHA/EPA from fish oil, tocotrienols and quercetin

  • All help to elevate nitric oxide levels

The Range of Cholesterol

  • With a broad range from 180-240 mg/dL there is little to no evidence that this alone correlates with heart disease.

  • Below 180 there is risk of hemorrhagic stroke, depression and suicide

  • Above 240 there is increased risk of C-V disease and ischemic stroke.

  • Over 70, elevated cholesterol and C-V events do not correlate

  • All told, total serum cholesterol is a poor indicator of C-V disease.

  • Half of all MI have normal total cholesterol levels

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