Take it from a doctor: Heart surgeon says statins DO NOT work, can even increase risk of diabetes and obesity


Image: Take it from a doctor: Heart surgeon says statins DO NOT work, can even increase risk of diabetes and obesity

If you aren’t taking statins, there is a good chance you know several people who do. After all, a quarter of the American population over the age of 45 takes one daily. Given their widespread use, you would think they are incredibly effective and safe, but nothing could be further from the truth – and some doctors are speaking out about the dangers.

When a respected heart surgeon like Dr. Dwight Lundell, who is the retired Chief of Surgery and Chief of Staff at Arizona’s Banner Heart Hospital, voices his concerns about statins, everyone should take notice. With 25 years of experience and more than 5,000 open heart surgeries under his belt, the doctor recently confessed that he, like many other physicians, has been getting it wrong when it comes to statins.

Dr. Lundell said that statins are no longer working, and the recommendations to take such medications and severely restrict fat intake are “no longer scientifically or morally defensible.”

As you might expect, his comments were not welcomed by the medical industry. Statins are huge money-makers in a population that is rife with obesity, poor eating habits and heart health concerns. Costing anywhere from $53 to $600 per month, drugs like Lipitor have racked up lifetime sales of $125 billion, while Crestor, 2013’s top-selling statin, generated $5.2 billion of revenue that year alone. With more people taking these drugs than ever, why are heart disease-related deaths still rising?

Lundell says that it’s time for a paradigm shift in how heart disease is treated now that we know its true cause is arterial wall inflammation. He said that foods full of sugars and simple carbohydrates, along with processed foods with omega-6 oils, “have slowly been poisoning everyone” and our bodies react to such “foreign invaders” with inflammation in the walls of arteries. If this inflammation is the cause of heart disease rather than high cholesterol, of course, there is no need for cholesterol-lowering statins. The inflammation, he says, causes the cholesterol to accumulate in blood vessel walls, so it’s the inflammation that we need to target.

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Those whose livelihoods depend on statin profits won’t be too thrilled with his advice: “By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.”

They’d much rather have people continuing to bark up the wrong tree, avoiding beneficial fats in favor of the very processed foods that create high cholesterol in the first place so they can convince you that you need their medications to bring it back down – medications that cause a slew of other health problems that will only drive you to need even more pills as the profits pile up.

For example, statins have been shown in studies to double your chances of developing diabetes and raise your risk of suffering serious diabetic complications, and they’ve also been linked to obesity.

https://www.brighteon.com/embed/5986093162001

Try a natural approach to heart health

So what should you do if you want to enhance your heart health? Increasing your physical activity, regardless of your current level, can make an impact, whether you’re completely sedentary and decide to start taking an evening stroll a few times a week or you already lift weights and choose to increase your reps.

Avoiding the foods Dr. Lundell identified as dangerous for heart health is another step that can make a big difference, so say goodbye to simple sugars and carbohydrates like refined sugar, white bread, and cookies, along with processed food.

While statins aren’t nearly as effective or safe as those who sell them would like you to believe, there are some very simple and affordable ways to keep your heart healthy without any negative side effects.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs reduce brown adipose tissue


Statins reduce brown adipose tissue.

ETH Zurich scientists have shown that statins, one of the most commonly prescribed classes of pharmaceuticals, reduce beneficial brown adipose tissue. But this is no reason to demonise these drugs, the researchers insist.

A certain proportion of the adult population has not only white adipose (or fatty) tissue, but also the brown kind. This brown adipose tissue helps to convert sugar and fat into heat. People with brown adipose tissue are better at regulating their body temperature in the winter, and are less likely to suffer from excess weight or diabetes.

An international team of researchers led by Christian Wolfrum, Professor for Translational Nutritional Biology at ETH Zurich, has now discovered that the class of pharmaceuticals reduces the formation of brown adipose tissue. Statins are prescribed as a way to reduce the risk of a heart attack since they reduce in the blood. They are among the most commonly prescribed drugs worldwide.

Of mice and men

Wolfrum and his colleagues have been researching brown adipose tissue for many years. They looked into the question of how “bad” white fat cells, which form the layer of fat under our skin, become “good” brown fat cells. Having conducted cell culture experiments, they found out that the biochemical pathway responsible for producing cholesterol plays a central role in this transformation. They also discovered that the key molecule regulating the transformation is the metabolite geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate.

Earlier studies showed that the cholesterol biochemical pathway is also central to the functioning of statins; one of their effects is to reduce the production of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate. This is why the researchers wanted to know whether statins also impact the formation of brown adipose tissue. And indeed they do, as the scientists have now shown in studies on mice and humans.

One thing the researchers did was study positron emission tomography scans of 8,500 patients at the University Hospital Zurich. This let them determine whether the person had brown adipose tissue. It was also known whether the patients were taking statins. Evaluating the scans shows that 6 percent of those not taking the medication had brown adipose tissue, but this tissue type was present in only a little over 1 percent of those who were taking statins.

The researchers conducted a separate clinical study of 16 people at the University Hospitals of Basel and Zurich to demonstrate that statins reduce the activity of brown tissue.

“Incredibly important medications”

Although the study demonstrated that statins have a , Wolfrum warns against talking them down. “We also have to consider that statins are incredibly important as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease. They save millions of lives around the world, and they are prescribed for a very good reason,” he says.

However, statins also have another : in high doses, they slightly increase some people’s risk of developing diabetes – as has been shown in other studies. “It’s possible that these two effects – the reduction in and the slightly increased risk of diabetes – are related,” Wolfrum says, adding that this question requires further research.

But Wolfrum stresses that even if such a link were established, that would be no reason to demonise statins. Rather, it would become imperative to conduct further research into the mechanisms behind this and find out which patients are affected. It might then be possible to take a personalised medicine approach and continue to recommend statins to most people, while proposing alternative therapies for a small group of patients.

Rosuvastatin most peferred statin for hyperlipidaemia


https://speciality.medicaldialogues.in/rosuvastatin-most-peferred-statin-for-hyperlipidaemia/

Statins and BP lowering medicines don’t cause Erectile dysfunction


https://speciality.medicaldialogues.in/statins-and-bp-lowering-medicines-dont-cause-erectile-dysfunction/

High-Cholesterol Diets Can Speed Up Tumour Growth 100-Fold, Scientists Say


Diets high in cholesterol can ramp up the speed of cancer tumour growth by up to 100 times, a new study has revealed – but as scary as that is, the findings could also lead to better treatments to stop this from happening.

The research began as a way of studying a correlation between high-cholesterol diets and an increased risk of colon cancer. That link has already been identified but scientists still don’t understand much about its cause.

According to the team of researchers, stem cells could be the key: these cells can be turned into almost any kind of cell in the body, and it appears the extra cholesterol is increasing the rate at which these stem cells multiply, and then the rate at which tumours grow.

“We were excited to find that cholesterol influences the growth of stem cells in the intestines, which in turn accelerates the rate of tumour formation by more than 100-fold,” says one of the team, Peter Tontonoz from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

“While the connection between dietary cholesterol and colon cancer is well established, no one has previously explained the mechanism behind it.”

In tests on mice, the researchers noticed increased tumour growth rates after putting more cholesterol in the animals’ diets. Growth rates also increased in another group of mice where a specific gene was changed to get the animals to produce more cholesterol on their own.

Once the cholesterol levels of the mice rose, the stem cells’ ability to multiply increased, which then caused their intestines and gut tissue lining to expand. As a result, the rate of tumour formation in their colons also went up.

Now the challenge is to see if the same cholesterol effect can be noticed for other types of cancers, as well as finding methods for stopping it. If the same results can be recorded in humans, we could have a new way of fighting colon and other cancers.

The research also helps in the ongoing debate over whether statins – drugs which can lower the the level of “bad” cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood – can also reduce the risk of cancer.

Cholesterol is found in the outer membrane of all human cells and is produced by the liver as an essential building block for other substances in the body.

However too much of the fatty stuff in the bloodstream (particularly the LDL type) has been linked to a host of different health issues, including heart attacks and strokes.

Foods rich in saturated fats, trans fats, and certain carbohydrates can increase the levels of unwanted cholesterol in the body. As a result most experts warn against eating too much red meat and dairy food.

Let’s hope this discovery of how cancer tumours can be sent into overdrive eventually leads to better ways of reversing their growth.

Statins Increase Diabetes Risk by up to 50% in Older Women


Statin therapy increases the risk of new-onset diabetes in elderly women by 33%, and the higher the dose, the greater the risk, a new analysis of the observational Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health shows.

“Clearly, statins have beneficial effects, including a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events; however, the dose-response effect we observed suggests that it may be wise to avoid using higher doses of statins in older women,” lead author Mark Jones, MD, senior lecturer, school of public health, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, told Medscape Medical Newsin an email.

 “GPs and their elderly female patients should be aware of the risks,” Dr Jones added in a University of Queensland statement, noting that those elderly women taking statins “should be carefully and regularly monitored for increased blood glucose to ensure early detection and management of diabetes.”

And, he and his colleagues suggest, it may be the case that statins could be stopped altogether in some elderly women.

Women Take Statins on Average, for 6.5 Years

The new analysis included 8372 Australian women aged between 76 and 82 years at baseline who were followed for 10 years; it ispublished in the March issue of Drugs and Aging.

Dr Jones and colleagues note that the majority of participants in statin trials have been males and that females, especially elderly ones, have been underrepresented.

 “Our group has expertise and experience in women’s health, including being involved with the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health for the past 20 years, and we focused on the older cohort of women [in this study] because we thought this is a population that has generally not been included in clinical trials,” Dr Jones explained to Medscape Medical News.

Previous studies have also shown an association between use and onset of diabetes, he and his colleagues add, and while often the benefits of statins are said to outweigh the risk of diabetes, this depends on the indication for statins in the first place. For example, statin use in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease remains controversial, they say.

The primary outcome of their analysis, new-onset diabetes, was based on a new prescription for insulin, insulin analogues, or other glucose-lowering agents. And statin exposure was determined based on prescriptions dispensed between July 1, 2002 and August 31, 2013.

 “We found that almost 50% [49%] of women in their late seventies and eighties in the study took statins, and 5% were diagnosed with new-onset diabetes,” Dr Jones noted.

The mean interval for which women took a statin was 6.5 years.

While women could have taken different statins at different doses over the 10-year follow-up interval, the greatest proportion of participants received atorvastatin followed by simvastatin, the researchers explain.

And when there was a change in the dose of a statin, it tended to be toward a higher dose over time.

Risk of Diabetes Ranged From 17% to 51%

The risk of new-onset diabetes went from a low of 17% with the lowest doses of a statin to a high of 51% for those taking the highest doses.

 At an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.33% for the overall cohort, this risk translates into a number-needed-to-harm of 131 patients for every 5 years of treatment with a statin.

New-Onset Diabetes by Statin Dose*

Statin dose Hazard ratio P
Low dose 1.17 0.35
Mid dose 1.26 0.077
High dose 1.46 0.005
Very high dose 1.51 0.004
*Compared with no statin use

“What’s most concerning was that we found a ‘dose effect,’ where the risk of diabetes increased as the dosage of statins increased, [and] over the 10 years of the study, most of the women progressed to higher doses of statins,” Dr Jones observed.

 He and his colleagues therefore recommend that ongoing risk assessment is “critical” to ensure optimal health outcomes and quality of life in older women.

Deprescribe Statins in Older Women

The results suggest “elderly women should not be exposed to higher doses of statins,” they add.

Indeed, in some cases, it may be wiser to stop statins altogether in this patient group, they note, adding that, in their study, around one-third of users didn’t fill a prescription for statins in the last 6 months prior to death or end of follow-up.

 “The women in our study would have been aged 86 to 92 at the end of follow-up and, depending upon reason for initial prescribing—primary or secondary prevention—serious consideration could perhaps now be recommended for statin deprescribing in women of this age,” they conclude.
Source: medscape.com

Taking Statins May Boost Heart Surgery Outcomes.


Heart surgery patients taking statins should keep taking those cholesterol-lowering drugs, even on the day of their operation, because doing so may improve their chances of survival, a new study suggests.

“Based on our findings, we would advise patients to continue taking their statin medication all the way up to and including the day of surgery,” said study author Dr. Wei Pan.

Statins are one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. One in four Americans 40 or older takes a statin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the new study, Pan’s team looked at more than 3,000 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Pan is a cardiovascular anesthesiologist at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.

The findings showed that the rate of death from all causes within 30 days was about 2 percent for those who took statins 24 hours or less before their operation.

In those who took statins 24 to 72 hours before their operation, the rate of death was nearly 3 percent. And, for those who never took statins or who took statins more than 72 hours before the surgery, the death rate was just under 4 percent, the researchers said.

The study was published online March 16 in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

“Patients frequently forget to take their pills on the day of surgery, or they’ve been told to stop certain medications,” Pan said in a journal news release.

“This study shows that not taking your statin for even one day before cardiac surgery may increase your risk of death after surgery,” he said.

“Statins are ubiquitous today, so this study is especially important as it highlights that a patient simply adhering to his or her already prescribed statin medication and not stopping it prematurely could be lifesaving,” Pan said.

The researchers noted that they believe this is the first study to look specifically at the timing of statin medication before surgery.

Dr. Todd Rosengart is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston who wasn’t involved in the study.

He said in the news release that “this is an important study that clearly extends our understanding of the growing importance of statins in benefiting patients with cardiovascular disease.”

Although the study found a link between regular statin use and increased survival rates in these patients, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Source:www.drugs.com

Apple-a-day as effective as statins


Eating an apple-a-day is an effective as statins at preventing deaths from strokes and heart attacks, Oxford University scientists has discovered.

Eating an apple-a-day is an effective as statins at preventing deaths from strokes and heart attacks, Oxford University scientists has discovered.

Previous studies have shown that apples are high in soluble fibre which slows the build-up of cholesterol-rich plaque in the arteries

The original 1866 proverb states: Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.

But a study from Oxford University has shown than an apple-a-day really will keep the doctor away and is as affective as statins at preventing strokes and heart attacks.

Researchers have concluded that around 8,500 deaths could be prevented every year if over-50s who are not already taking statins ate one apple each day.

Previous studies have shown that apples are high in soluble fibre which slows the build-up of cholesterol-rich plaque in the arteries.

Apples also contain antioxodiants and flavanoids which are beneficial to health and boost the immune system.

Dr Adam Briggs of the BHF Health Promotion Research Group at Oxford University said: “The Victorians had it spot on when they came up with the clear and simple public health advice, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’.

“It just shows how effective little changes in diet can be.

“While no-one currently prescribed medicine should replace them for apples, we could all benefit from simply eating more fruit.

“This study shows that small dietary changes as well as increased use of statins at a popuation level may significantly reduce vascular mortality in the UK.”

Apples also have fewer side effects than statins, which can raise the risk of diabetes and muscle weakness.

Researchers looked at previous studies which demonstrated the benefits of fruit consumption for cardiovascular health and decreased mortality. They then compared that to similar mortality figures for statins.

Around 5.2 million people are currently eligible for statins in the UK.

If everyone over the age of 50 was prescribed statins it would mean an extra 17.6 million people would take the drug – and 9,400 more deaths would be prevented each year.

Researchers assumed there would only be a 70 per cent compliance rate if apples were prescribed. But they said that even at that level it would prevent 8,500 deaths a year. If there was an100 per cent take-up it could prevent more than 12,000 deaths a year.

The report authors noted: “Prescribing either an apple a day or a statin a day to everyone over 50 yeas old is likely to have a similar effect on population vascular mortality.

“Choosing apples rather than statins may avoid more than a thousands excess cases of myopathy and more than 12,000 excess diabetes diagnoses.”

The authors found the only downside to prescribing apples in stead of statins would be that the fruit currently costs more.

Dr Peter Coleman, Deputy Director of Research at The Stroke Association said: “Apples have long been known as a natural source of antioxidants and chemical compounds called flavanoids, all of which are good for our health and wellbeing.

“This study shows that, as part of a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, a daily apple could help to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

“Whilst it is vital that those who have been prescribed the cholesterol lowering-drugs, statins, continue to take this highly effective medication, everyone can lower their risk of stroke with simple lifestyle changes, like eating a balanced diet.”

The results were published in the British Medical Journal.

Research on Antibiotics Reveals Silver Acts as a Booster, While Mixing Certain Antibiotics with Statins Can Be Devastating


The frivolous use of antibiotics, not just in medicine but also in food production, is the root cause of skyrocketing antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics

Story at-a-glance

  • Antibiotic-resistant disease is a major threat to public health, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics—both in medicine and agriculture
  • Researchers have discovered that gut viruses known as bacteriophages, a.k.a. “phages” are instrumental in conferring antibacterial resistance to bacteria
  • Under normal conditions, phages help you stay healthy by destroying harmful bacteria and encouraging beneficial bacteria to flourish in and on your body
  • According to a new study, low doses of silver can make antibiotics up to 1,000 times more effective, and may even allow an antibiotic to successfully combat otherwise antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Statin drug users should avoid the antibiotics clarithromycin and erythromycin, as these antibiotics inhibit the metabolism of statins, increasing your risk for muscle or kidney damage, and even death

Data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control1 (ECDC) shows a significant rise of resistance to multiple antibiotics in Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli in just the last four years alone, affecting more than one-third of the EU, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics.

Between the years of 1993 and 2005, the number of Americans hospitalized due to the antibiotic-resistant “superbug” MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) skyrocketed from about 2,000 to 370,000.

Currently, MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant infections kill about 60,000 Americans annually, and account for billions of dollars in health care costs.2 Antibiotic-resistant disease is not the only danger associated with the misuse of these drugs. Excessive exposure to antibiotics also takes a heavy toll on your gastrointestinal health, which can predispose you to virtually any disease.

Abnormal gut flora may actually be a major contributing factor to the rise in a wide variety of childhood diseases and ailments, from bowel disorders and allergies to autism.

Agricultural uses of antibiotics account for about 80 percent of all antibiotic use in the US,3 so it’s a MAJOR source of human antibiotic consumption. Animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention and growth promotion, and those antibiotics are transferred to you via meat, and even via the manure used as crop fertilizer.

Protecting your gut health and reducing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are significant reasons for making sure you’re only eating grass-fed, organically-raised meats and animal products.

Gut Viruses Confer Antibiotic-Resistance to Bacteria, New Research Shows

When used properly, in the correct contexts and with responsibility, antibiotics can and do save lives that are threatened by bacterial infections. But there is one important variable that wasn’t considered when the widespread use of these “miracle medicines” began, and that is that bacteria are highly adaptable.

They are clearly capable of outsmarting antibiotics, and they are doing so with a vengeance. According to the CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System:4

“Antibiotics kill or inhibit the growth of susceptible bacteria. Sometimes one of the bacteria survives because it has the ability to neutralize or evade the effect of the antibiotic; that one bacteria can then multiply and replace all the bacteria that were killed off.

Exposure to antibiotics therefore provides selective pressure, which makes the surviving bacteria more likely to be resistant. In addition, bacteria that were at one time susceptible to an antibiotic can acquire resistance through mutation of their genetic material or by acquiring pieces of DNA that code for the resistance properties from other bacteria.

The DNA that codes for resistance can be grouped in a single easily transferable package. This means that bacteria can become resistant to many antimicrobial agents because of the transfer of one piece of DNA.”

Interestingly, these bacteria have previously unknown allies that supply them with the antibiotic-resistant genes necessary for their survival. Researchers at the Wyss Institute have discovered that gut viruses known as bacteriophages, a.k.a. “phages” are actually instrumental in conferring antibacterial resistance to bacteria.5, 6 Most importantly:

“[Phage] deliver genes that help the bacteria to survive not just the antibiotic they’ve been exposed to, but other types of antibiotics as well…

That suggests that phages in the gut may be partly responsible for the emergence of dangerous superbugs that withstand multiple antibiotics, and that drug targeting of phages could offer a potential new path to mitigate development of antibiotic resistance,” the Institute’s press release7 states.

Phages Are Actually an Important Part of Your Body’s Defense System

More than 90 percent of the DNA in your body is not yours, but actually belongs to a wide variety of microbes, and these findings just go to show how intricately tied your health is to the microorganisms that live inside you. And, while the word “virus” brings to mind all things “bad” for you, this is not necessarily true.

Another recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences8 found that many of these viruses (phages) actually serve as immune helpers—not enemies—and form an important part of your body’s defense system.9

Wherever bacteria reside, you will also find phages, because phages depend on bacteria for their survival. Phages specialize in breaking open and killing certain kinds of bacteria, hijacking them in order to replicate.

Most phages have hollow heads, which store their DNA and RNA, and tunnel tails designed for binding to the surface of their bacterial targets. According to phages.org, once a phage has attached itself to a bacterium:

“The viral DNA is then injected through the tail into the host cell, where it directs the production of progeny phages, often over a hundred in half an hour. These ‘young’ phages burst from the host cell (killing it) and infect more bacteria.”

The researchers found evidence that these phages partner with animals and humans to stave off bacterial infections and control the composition of friendly microbes in your body. The researchers speculate that some phages might protect bacteria that benefit their hosts (i.e. you), while destroying those that cause harm.

Which brings us back to the featured research, which suggests that these phages may also play a significant role in the rapid rise of antibiotic resistance… In essence, it would appear our zealous overuse of antibiotic drugs is causing these helpful viruses to boost the survivability of bacteria during the onslaught of a deadly foe—the antibiotic—only in this case, the end result is disastrous rather than helpful for the host… On the upside, these findings may confer new hope for effective treatments. According to Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director of the Wyss Institute:10

“Antibiotic resistance is as pressing a global health problem as they come, and to fight it, it’s critical to understand it. [These] novel findings offer a previously unknown way to approach this problem — by targeting the phage that live in our intestine, rather than the pathogens themselves.”

Colloidal Silver Dramatically Boosts Effectiveness of Antibiotics

The use of silver in the battle against pathogenic bacteria goes way back into antiquity. Hippocrates was one of the first to describe its antimicrobial properties in 400 B.C. Over the past few years, several studies have demonstrated the fact that silver is indeed one of the most effective agents in the battle against antibiotic-resistant super pathogens. Yet conventional medicine has largely dismissed such claims, relegating colloidal silver to the “woo-woo” section of medical myth.

They may be inclined to change their tune however, in light of the latest research11, 12 which shows that low doses of silver can make antibiotics up to 1,000 times more effective, and may even allow an antibiotic to successfully combat otherwise antibiotic-resistant bacteria. As reported by Medical News Today:13

“…[N]ot only did silver boost the ability of a broad range of commonly used antibiotics so as to stop mice dying of otherwise lethal infections, but it made at least one resistant bacterium succumb to antibiotics again. The addition of silver also broadened the effect of vancomycin, an antibiotic that is usually only effective at killing Gram-positive bacteria like Staph and Strep; aided by silver it killed Gram-negative bacteria such as those that cause food poisoning and dangerous hospital-acquired infections.”

For example, by adding a small amount of silver to the antibiotic, a powerful synergism occurred, and a urinary tract infection caused by tetracycline-resistant E. coli was successfully eradicated. Silver also helped save the lives of 90 percent of mice suffering with a life-threatening abdominal inflammation by adding it to the antibiotic vanomycin. In the group receiving vanomycin only, a mere 10 percent survived. The researchers discovered two mechanisms that help explain how silver can boost the effectiveness of an antibiotic:

  • Silver interferes with the bacteria’s metabolism, increasing production of reactive oxygen species14 (ROS); products of normal oxygen consuming metabolic processes in your body that, in excess, can damage cell membranes and DNA. Many antibiotics are believed to kill bacteria by producing ROS compounds, and here, the researchers found that adding a small amount of silver boosted the antibiotic’s ability to kill anywhere from 10 and 1,000 times more bacteria
  • Silver makes the bacteria’s cell membrane more permeable. This may explain the beneficial effect of silver on gram-negative bacteria, the cells of which are often impenetrable to antibiotics due to the molecular size of the drugs

What About Potential Toxicity of Colloidal Silver?

As for toxicity, the researchers found that the doses of silver required were far smaller than the dose needed to harm either mice or cultured human cells, suggesting that oral and injectable silver should be quite safe. That said, quality is extremely important, as misrepresentation of colloidal silver by less scrupulous manufacturers has in the past led to some of its more negative connotations. According to a Commercial Product Report15 by silver-colloids.com, a site that provides detailed laboratory analyses of colloidal silver products, there are three distinctly different types of silver products on the market that are all labeled and sold as “colloidal” silver:

  • True colloidal silver
  • Ionic silver
  • Silver protein: Due to the high concentration of large silver particles, silver protein products are known to cause argyria, which turns your skin blue-gray color.

When purchasing colloidal silver, it’s very important to avoid silver protein formulas. True colloidal silver seems to be the most recommended, but ionic silver could probably also be used. In the featured study, they used ionic silver (Ag) in a silver nitrate salt (AgNO3), which, again, was found to be quite non-toxic in animals and human cell cultures. Substantial antimicrobial activity was found at 30 microns (μM) against E. coli. If you take ionic silver products according to the manufacturer’s recommended dosage, ionic silver will not cause argyria. That said, since there are potential health risks involved if you select the wrong formula, I recommend you use colloidal silver only under the guidance and supervision of a qualified alternative health practitioner who can help you select a high-quality product.

Statin Users Beware… Your Cholesterol Medication May Not Mix Well with Antibiotics!

In related news, Canadian researchers16 warn that patients —especially the elderly—taking cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor, should avoid the antibiotics clarithromycin and erythromycin, as these antibiotics inhibit the metabolism of statins. Increased drug concentrations in your body may cause muscle or kidney damage, and even death. As reported by WebMD:17

“‘These drugs do interact and cause difficulties for patients,’ said lead researcher Dr. Amit Garg, a professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. These adverse reactions are rare, Garg added. ‘Most people will be fine,’ he said. ‘But at a population level, hundreds of preventable hospitalizations are occurring.’ For someone taking a statin, the study suggests that substituting a different antibiotic — azithromycin — is safer because it doesn’t interfere with the metabolism of statins. Another strategy is to stop the statin until the antibiotic course is finished, Garg said.”

What You Can Do to Help Stop the Spread of Antibiotic-Resistant Disease

You can help yourself and your community by using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and by purchasing organic, antibiotic-free meats and other foods. Even though the problem of antibiotic resistance needs to be stemmed through public policy on a nationwide level, the more people who get involved on a personal level to stop unnecessary antibiotic use the better.

Remember, not every bacterial infection needs to be treated with a drug. First, as an all-around preventive measure, you’ll want to make sure your vitamin D level is optimized year-round, especially during pregnancy, along with vitamin K2. But there are also a number of natural compounds that can help boost your immune system function to help rid you of an infection, including:

Last but not least, the use of silver compounds appears to bring new hope against antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Still, creating more potent antibiotics, regardless of how that’s achieved, will not help us in the long run unless we also address the root causes of antibiotic resistance, which is rampant overuse—in medicine, but perhaps even more importantly, in agriculture.

If you live in the United States and want to get involved on a national level, Food Democracy Now! has created a petition against the overuse of antibiotics in livestock production.18 If you care about this issue, I suggest you use this petition to make your voice heard.

Statins Harm The Heart, Confirmed Once Again.


Statins Harm The Heart, Confirmed Once Again

New research published in the journal PLoS indicates that the use of the cholesterol-lowing class of drugs known as statins is associated with an increased prevalence of microalbuminuria, a well-known marker of vascular dysfunction, affecting both cardiovascular and kidney disease risk.

Statins Harm The Heart

Microalbuminuria is known to double the risk for a cardiovascular event in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and is a marker for endothelial function; endothelial dysfunction may, in fact, be far more significant than elevated blood lipids in determining cardiovascular disease risk. This new finding therefore calls into question the justification for using statin drugs for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, which is presently the standard of care in the drug-base conventional medical model.

According to the study:

Microalbuminuria (MAU) is considered as a predictor or marker of cardiovascular and renal events. Statins are widely prescribed to reduce cardiovascular risk and to slow down progression of kidney disease. But statins may also generate tubular MAU. The current observational study evaluated the impact of statin use on the interpretation of MAU as a predictor or marker of cardiovascular or renal disease…
Use of statins is independently associated with MAU, even after adjusting for bias by indication to receive a statin.

This study confirms a growing body of research indicating that statin drugs are cardiotoxic. Examples of this cardiotoxicy are as follows:

A review published in the journal Biofactors in 2004 found that the use of statin drugs may be resulting in coenzyme q10 depletion, and raised the possibility that this could be behind the congestive heart failure epidemic presently afflicting those in the United States.

Another more recent study published in the journal of Clinical Cardiology demonstrated that statin drugs weaken the heart muscle in humans.

 

Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of statin therapy on myocardial function as measured with echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and strain imaging (SI) independent of its lipid-lowering effect. BACKGROUND: Statin use is known to improve outcomes in the primary and secondary prevention of ischemic heart disease, but their use is also associated with myopathy, muscle weakness and in rare cases, rhabdomyolysis. We sought to evaluate whether TDI and SI is able to identify changes in myocardial function associated with statin use. METHODS: Myocardial function was evaluated in 28 patients via echocardiography with TDI and SI. We identified 12 patients (5 females) without overt cardiovascular disease (including hypertension, smoking, and diabetes) that were on statin therapy and compared their echocardiographic findings with 16 (12 females) age, sex, and cholesterol-profile-matched controls. Tissue Doppler imaging parameters of diastolic (E(‘)/A(‘) and E/E(‘)) and systolic (S’) function were measured. Regional systolic function was obtained by SI in 4-chamber, 2-chamber, long axis, and average global views. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in myocardial function as measured by Doppler and minor differences as measured via TDI among the 2 groups. There was significantly better function noted with SI in the control group vs the statin group in the 4-chamber (-19.05% +/- 2.45% vs -16.47% +/- 2.37% P = 0.009), 2-chamber (-20.30% +/- 2.66% vs -17.45% +/- 4.29% P = 0.03), long axis (-17.63% +/- 3.79% vs -13.83% +/- 3.74% P = 0.01), and average global (-19.0% +/- 2.07% vs -15.91% +/- 2.81% P = 0.004) views. CONCLUSION: Statin therapy is associated with decreased myocardial function as evaluated with SI.

 

A growing body of clinical research now indicates that the cholesterol-lowering class of drugs known as statins, are associated with over 300 adverse health effects — research boldly flying in the face of national health policy, medical insurance premium guidelines, statin drug manufacturer advertising claims, and the general sentiment of the public, with approximately 1 in every 4 adult Americans over 45 currently using these drugs to “prevent heart disease.”

The Cholesterol Myth

For well over 40 years, statin drugs have successfully concretized a century old myth about the primary cause of heart disease: namely, that cholesterol “causes” plaque build up in the arteries, ultimately leading to obstruction of blood flow, and subsequent morbidity and mortality.

Indeed, the medical establishment and drug companies have been singing the praises of this “cholesterol myth,” to the tune of 25 billion dollars in statin drug sales, annually.

While it is true that oxidized low-density lipoprotein is found within the atheromatous plaque that is found in damaged arteries, it is less likely a cause than an effect of heart disease. The underlying damage to the lining of the artery, which could be infectious, chemical, stress and/or nutritionally-related, comes before the immune response that results in plaque buildup there. Blaming LDL cholesterol for causing heart disease, is like blaming the scab for the injury that caused it to form, or, like blaming the band-aid for the scab it is covering — this is, after all, the inborn and fatal flaw of allopathic medicine which focuses only on symptoms of disease, which it then — fool-heartedly — attempts to suppress by any chemical means necessary.

Death By Statins?

No one can deny that statins do exactly what they are designed to do: suppress cholesterol production and reduce measurable blood serum levels. The question is, rather, at what price do they accomplish this feat, and for what ultimate purpose?

With the National Cholesterol Education Program Guidelines, having been designed by “experts” on the payroll of statin drug manufacturers, requiring ultra-low levels to obtain a strictly theoretical and numerical definition of “health,” statin drugs are guaranteed to receive first-line treatment status in the goal of the preventing and treating heart disease through lipid suppression.

What is at question here, is whether the unintended, adverse effects of this chemical class of drugs are less, the same or worse than the purported “cardiovascular” benefits they provide?

Fundamentally, statin drugs damage the muscles and nerves in the body — so much so that a dose as low as 5 mg a day (albeit in rare cases) can kill a human. There are well over 100 studies demonstrating the myotoxic, or muscle-harming effects of these drugs, and over 80 demonstrating the effects of nerve damage, as well. When you consider that a vast proportion of our body is comprised of muscles and coordinating nerve systems, this drug has the potential to cause damage to the entire body, and undoubtedly does so universally, differing only in the matter of degree — the damage occurring acutely in those at the tip of the iceberg, asymptomatically in the majority of others at the base.

Moreover, statin myotoxicity is not exclusive to skeletal muscle. If you consider that the heart is also a muscle, in fact, is our most tireless muscle, an obvious red flag should go up. It is a remarkable fact that it took over 40 years before the biomedical research and publishing fields were able to produce a human study, like the one published in the Journal of Clinical Cardiology in Dec. 2009, showing that statin drugs, despite billions of advertising/marketing dollars to the contrary, actually weaken the heart muscle. 

These results, while disturbing, are to be expected given the well-known problem associated with statin drug use, namely, the inhibition of the mevalonate pathway necessary to produce the heart-essential nutrient coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 deficiency itself may be a major contributing cause to heart disease. There is also research that statin drugs deplete the body of the cardioprotective minerals (and associated mineral-protein complexes) zinc and selenium. This finding may also explain why rates of heart failure may be increasing in the general population given these drugs.

While the discovery that statin drugs, instead of preventing heart disease, likely contribute to it, is surprising and counterintuitive, it should not distract from the more disturbing discovery that they contribute to over 300 disease and/or adverse health effects.

Millions of statin drugs users around the globe are risking their lives on a bad bet that taking a magic chemical pill will reduce their risk of dying of a disease that is not caused by a lack of the drug. What is more likely to happen, however, is that the quality and duration of their lives will be reduced, profoundly, along with billions of dollars of squandered cash that could have been spent on authentically medicinal and cardioprotective foods, nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

In light of these findings, a very serious question is raised: are those who are party to the manufacture, promotion, administration and/or prescribing of this chemical class of drugs, in violation of the medical ethical principle of informed consent? And is this ethical violation, insofar as it results in injury to those who have been mislead and/or coerced to take these drugs, also a legal/criminal one?