THE GREAT STATIN SWINDLE
One more thing cholesterol meds
won’t do for you...
Snake oil isn’t a relic of the 1800s——it’s alive and well here in the 21st century. Today, it’s even sold by prescription, and being pedaled for just about every illness on the planet.
High blood pressure? Take a statin.
Cancer? Pop some statins.
Dementia? Here’s your statin.
In the past few weeks alone, I’ve seen headlines claiming statins can cure or prevent glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and prostate cancer.
Enough, already! Statins are billed for all those things and more in headlines and wink-wink conversations in the doctor’s office...but they’re approved for exactly none of them.
Believe me, that’s not going to change anytime soon. You won’t see statins get the official OK for any of those conditions because they don’t do a thing for them. And now, you can add one more non-benefit to the list: Statins don’t prevent blood clots.
The idea, of course, is nonsense on the face of it. Cholesterol supposedly gums up the arteries——and when these chunks of cholesterol break off, you get a clot. Scary, right?
If only it were that simple.
It’s not, and the proof is in the pudding: If high cholesterol alone caused clots, then a drug that lowers cholesterol would, of course, prevent them. But a new look at data on 100,000 patients finds that lowering cholesterol through statins didn’t do a thing for clot risk.
In fact, the analysis of 29 studies——including a few unpublished trials I bet Big Pharma tried to sweep under the rug——found that just 1 percent of patients on a placebo developed clots versus 0.9 percent of the ones who took statins.
That’s a difference of 0.1 percent, but it may as well be a big, fat zero because it’s no difference at all from a statistical point of view.
Now, if the new research in the journal PLoS Medicine comes as a shock to your own doctor, it’s not because he’s ignored those 29 published and unpublished studies.
It’s because he’s too busy to keep up with the research, so he trusts others to sum it all up for him——like, for example, the Big Pharma sales force...always happy to clip out the parts of the studies they think doctors should see.
What could possibly go wrong with that approach, right?
The one study they clip out the most——the one they keep recycling over and over again to support any number of ludicrous claims——is the so-called JUPITER trial.
Well, at least they named it right...because you’d have to be on another planet to believe any of it!
This is the study data that was used to make the case that statins can prevent clots, despite all the obvious problems with it——like the fact that JUPITER was funded by the AstraZeneca, maker of the statin Crestor, and that nine of the 14 researchers had financial connections to the company.
It was also cut off years too early, the moment they got the positive results they were looking for.
But there’s a bigger and even more glaring problem with the JUPITER study: The patients who took part in it were all healthy and not facing a risk of clots to begin with.
So while your doctor might be wowed when the “executive summary” delivered by his friendly (and not unattractive) Big Pharma saleslady shows how statins cut the risk of a clot by 43 percent, I’m not impressed at all. Because I’ve actually read the fine print, where just 94 of the 17,802 patients in the study experienced a clot in the first place.
That’s one half of one percent of the patients in the study. You can’t draw conclusions with numbers like that. Heck, you need a microscope just to see them.
But all that’s academic at this point. I’m more concerned about what this means for you, because if you’re at risk for a clot, all the statins in the world——whether it’s this world or on JUPITER——clearly aren’t going to help you out.
And even if you think you’re not at risk, don’t skip ahead to the next article just yet——because clots are notoriously hard to predict and almost as hard to prevent.
You could be facing a clot right now and not even know it——until it’s too late.
Fortunately, you don’t have to swallow your statins and hope for the best. All you really need are my...
FOUR ALL-NATURAL CLOT BUSTERS
1) The ‘Other’ Oil: Forget statin snake oil... if you really want to protect yourself from clots, pick up some fish oil instead. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce platelet activity, which in turn prevents the formation of clots. This isn’t radical alternative medicine, by the way——clot prevention is listed as one of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on the National Library of Medicine’s Web site.
2) Brush Your Teeth: The same Streptococcus bacteria behind tooth decay can get into your bloodstream, gum up your arteries, and ultimately cause a clot. So, brush and floss——but forget those supermarket toothpastes and fluoride-based dental rinses and use a mix of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and baking soda instead. You’ll have clean arteries and even cleaner teeth.
3) Go for a Guinness: You can’t go wrong with booze in general, since moderate drinkers have a lower risk of clots in the first place. That’s because alcohol makes platelets less sticky——and when they don’t stick, they don’t clot. And if you really want to slash your clot risk, pour yourself a pint of Ireland’s finest——because at least one study found that Guinness reduces clot risk by the same degree as aspirin...but with none of the risks. Slàinte!
4) The Vital Vitamins: The bottom line is B vitamins lower your risk of dying from heart problems. They work this magic my lowering artery-damaging homocysteine levels. Damage your arteries and the cholesterol that’s never a problem when you're healthy can stick and lead to blood clots. And if you’re like most people, you’ve got seriously low levels. Fortunately, you can get most of the B-vitamins you need by ignoring the low-fat nags with their heart-damaging advice. Sit down to a juicy rare steak and some nice fatty fish on a regular basis. And an affordable B-complex supplement will fill in any holes.
Finally, whatever you do, don’t go vegan. Vegans miss out on just about all the essential fats and nutrients needed for good circulation, including omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. That leads to higher levels of the inflammation marker homocysteine and lower levels of cholesterol——essential cholesterol, including the HDL that even the mainstream hacks call “good.”
That’s why passing on meats can actually INCREASE your risk of artery problems, including blood clots. In other words, the delicious, fatty steaks you’ve been told will clog your arteries are actually essential to keeping them clear.
Who needs meds when you can get these kinds of benefits from beer and steak?