Tag Archives: heart disease

Statin Drugs and Side Effects – the truth

The hype about statin drugs to reduce cholesterol is increasing by the day.  In statin drugs and side effects, we will learn about the best selling and most profitable drugs ever created.

Study reveals the dangers of statin Drugsstatin drugs and side effects

A new study has been published revealing that statins do NOT decrease atherosclerosis and that the drugs may actually be exacerbating and stimulating atherosclerosis and heart failure.  The reason given in the research are numerous, the major ones being:

    • Vitamin K2 which protect the arteries from calcium buildup is inhibited by statins.  This is significant because K2, along with magnesium (Mg) is vital in moving calcium out of the soft tissues and into the bones where it belongs.
    • Mitochondrial dysfunction.  Our energy is produced in the mitochondria and statins are toxic to these energy centres in our cells, disrupting ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production, which is our energy currency.  This in turn compromises heart muscle function and disrupts intracellular signals.
    • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Statins are known to deplete CoQ10 (ubiquinol) levels and this fact was to be added as a warning on statin cartons and inserts but the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) decided against it in 2014.
    • 25% of Americans are taking statin drugs.  It is unfortunate that most of these patients are not warned about the devastating consequences of low CoQ10 levels.  (If you are taking statins, you need 100-200mg of CoQ10 or ubiquinol every day because you cannot get enough from your diet and statins will deplete what you have got.)
    • Statins and Ketones. Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an interventional cardiologist consultant in London, U.K. says that statins block the formation of ketones. Ketones are an essential part of mitochondrial nutrition and overall health. If you can’t make ketones, you impair the metabolism in your entire body.  This includes your heart which raises your risk for heart disease and a variety of other conditions.
    • Selenium-containing proteins: Statins interfere with Selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidase.  These proteins are vital in preventing oxidative damage to muscle tissue.
Selenium containing proteins – the authors state:

“Blocking the selenoprotein enzyme glutathione peroxidase is akin to pouring gasoline on the fire of inflammation and free radicals, which damages muscle tissue. In fact, the scientists described this blocking of the selenoproteins reminiscent of selenium deficiency induced heart failure, known as Keshan’s disease first identified in the 1930s.…the epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs. We propose that current statin treatment guidelines be critically reevaluated.”

cholesterolSo what exactly is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a ‘lipid’.  It is absorbed by the body from our food and is synthesized by some of our cells, primarily those of the intestines and the liver.  Cholesterol is also necessary for cell membranes in all tissues to produce normal cell and membrane growth.  It is a necessary precursor for many crucial hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone as well as the stress hormones.  When we are exposed to sunshine, it is the cholesterol in our skin that converts to vitamin D.

Different types of cholesterol

There are different types of cholesterol and here lies the problem.  The two main different kinds that you hear of today are HDL which stands for high density lipoproteins and LDL which stands for low density lipoproteins.  You may also hear of  (very) VLDL and TG which stands for triglycerides. Triglycerides are not really cholesterol but another class of fats or lipids found in the blood.

Good and bad cholesterol?
Nuts
Raise HDL with nuts

When you hear about high cholesterol, that’s not really the whole story.  You need to know the level of your HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) and your LDL, VLDL and TGs (the bad stuff).  “High cholesterol” is a term we hear a lot and it does seem to put the frighteners on the general population but it is a deceptive simplification.

So what has magnesium got to do with cholesterol?

Magnesium actually has an affect on cholesterol levels.  It regulates production of cholesterol by controlling the enzymes that produce it.  It can raise the level of HDL (good) cholesterol and at the same time lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Depending on what the body requires, it can either increase or reduce cholesterol production¹.

But isn’t that what statins do?

Yes it is but statins are drugs which will have side effects. Magnesium is a natural nutrient which is vital for healthy cholesterol production and has no side effects (except diarrhoea if used to excess).  Magnesium does the job naturally but even so, pharmaceutical companies started the quest of looking for a drug that would cut cholesterol off at its source.  They did this by coming up with a drug that inhibits the enzyme which is responsible for cholesterol synthesis.  So they invented a series of drugs called statins. The enzyme HMG-CoA reductase was the target.

statin drugs and side effectsStatins for all?

Statins are drugs that may reduce subsequent heart events ie. for those who already have heart disease and have suffered a heart attack or cardiac event.  Recent research has now put this into doubt. But what makes it worse is now there seems to be a trend to prescribe statins to those patients that haven’t even got heart disease and have no signs of having it.  Just elevated cholesterol levels will likely instigate your doctor to prescribe statins.  Could this be something to do with Big Pharma putting money before patients’ health!  Surely not?

No benefits for disease free patients so why prescribe it?

Studies have been undertaken with data from 65,000 people and it has been found that there is no evidence that statins had any benefits for preventing cardiovascular disease from disease free patients or even from those at risk from getting heart disease.  For some, statins may do more harm than good with patients suffering from unpleasant side effects and recent studies are now pointing towards statins actually being dangerous.

Ask why!

If you are prescribed statin drugs for lowering your cholesterol, it would be wise to ask questions as to why it is being prescribed, particularly in the case of someone who does not have heart disease.  Dr Sircus cited in his interesting article Run from your Statin recommending Cardiologist, a recent study in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention which reports that women who have used cholesterol-lowering statin drugs for more than 10 years have double the risk of two common types of breast cancer: invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma².

Cancer risks, liver or muscle damage?

Dr Thomas B Newman

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Thomas B.Newman and co-workers showed that all cholesterol-lowering drugs, both the early drugs known as fibrates (clofibrate, gemfibrozil) and the newer drugs known as statins (Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor), cause cancer in rodents at the equivalent doses used by man.

Dr Carolyn Dean in her book ‘The Magnesium Miracle” states – “Because statins work on liver enzymes, they can disrupt liver function.  If you take statins, you must have regular blood tests to look for liver damage”   and    “Another acknowledged side effect, (of statins) statin myopathy, is an iatrogenic (doctor-induced) condition that damages muscles and is entirely related to statin intake.”

Dr GoodmanDr Dennis Goodman who’s a cardiologist states in his book ‘Magnificent Magnesium’ – “If statins can’t prevent heart disease in people who are at risk for developing it, why prescribe them so liberally?”

Gemfibrozil shown to increase death rates

Dr. Gloria Troendle, deputy director for the Division of Metabolism and Endocrine Drugstatin drugs and side effects Products for the FDA, noted that the cholesterol-lowering drug gemfibrozil belonged to a class of drugs that has repeatedly been shown to increase death rates among users.  Despite only 3 of the 9 committee members voting to pass this drug, the FDA decided to approve Gemfibrozil for human consumption.

Ex NASA astronaut and MD.

Dr Duane Graveline, MD, MPH has a website called ‘Spacedoc.com’.   He has retired as a medical doctor but was an American physician and a NASA astronaut. He was one of the six scientists selected in 1965, in NASA’s fourth group of astronauts, for the Apollo Crestor statinprogram.  In one of his many articles about statins he cites one written in March 2015 by Dr Sidney Wolfe; the article is in the the BMJ (British Medical Journal) at: www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1388.   Dr. Sidney Wolfe explains why he thinks the drug Crestor (rosuvastatin) should have been withdrawn and not used.  He documents that Crestor’s prime problem is its strength.  In the JUPITER study, compared to placebo, the rosuvastatin group had a significantly higher incidence (26%) of new onset diabetes.  This same effect of rosuvastatin has been observed in other studies³.

So is cholesterol really the enemy?

It is interesting to note that many people with normal cholesterol levels die of heart attacks.  In fact more people die of heart attacks exhibiting normal levels as those do exhibiting higher levels.  A study published in The American Heart Journal in January 2009, analysed 137,000 patients admitted to hospital in the United States presenting with a heart attack.  Almost 75% of those patients had ‘normal’ cholesterol levels.

Dr Ron RosedaleDr Ron Rosedale points out – “cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol. That will automatically tell you that, in and of itself, it cannot be evil. In fact, it is one of our best friends. We would not be here without it. No wonder lowering cholesterol too much increases one’s risk of dying. Cholesterol is also a precursor to all of the steroid hormones. You cannot make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone, and a host of other vital hormones without cholesterol.”

This could indicate that cholesterol is not the precursor to heart disease and there is something else going on which has been missed.  Is the medical profession overlooking something?  Perhaps we can’t see the wood for the trees?  Is there a missing link?

Eat fresh unprocessed foods

vegetablesOne thing’s for sure, we all need to strive towards eating a healthy diet which includes, oily fish such as wild caught salmon, mackerel and herring, nuts and seeds, oatmeal, olive oil, organic coconut oil, avocados, green vegetables, fresh fruits, garlic, onions (raw is best), beans and pulses to name a few.  Cut out the processed foods and try and cook from fresh.  I know, you haven’t got the time!  Make time, this is your health we’re talking about.  Recipes for quick and easy home made meals that are healthy and nourishing are everywhere.

Don’t forget your exercise

Walking the dog

Exercise regularly. How about using a bike or walking sometimes.  Leave the car at home, it saves fuel! Why not take the dog for an extra long walk!  Eating  healthily and exercising regularly is the number one priority for keeping your heart in good condition.  If you have no prior heart event then I would question your doctor if he  prescribes a statin drug.  In fact I would question him no matter what your state of health.  Do you own research.  Perhaps you could educate your doctor about cholesterol and the natural way to control it.  Good luck with that!

Statin drugs and side effects

Mg glassI want to finish this article by comparing what statin drugs do versus what magnesium does, specifically in relation to controlling cholesterol:  This is a table taken from ‘The Magnesium Factor’ a book by Mildred S Seelig MD and Andrea Rosanoff Ph.D.

A Comparison of the Physiological Effects of Magnesium and Statin Drugs

Effect                                        Statin Drugs                                        Magnesium
Target Enzyme                        HMG-CoA reductase only                 HMG-CoA reductase and LCAT*
Effect on enzyme                   Inhibits or poisons                             Regulates and controls
Lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol    Yes                                                               Yes
Raises ‘good’ cholesterol   Sometimes                                               Yes
Prevents clot formation      Yes                                                               Yes
Reduces Inflammation        Yes                                                               Yes
Slows and prevents
atherosclerotic plaques      Now in doubt                                          Yes
Raises liver enzymes
above normal                          Yes                                                               No
Can cause myopathy            Yes                                                               Prevents myopathy
Many side effects                    Yes                                                              No
*LCAT (Lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase) – an enzyme that converts LDL into HDL
which magnesium activates.

If you wish to make a comment, please do.  I always answer questions and comments.

  1. Ches Power AuthorCorica F1, Allegra A, Di Benedetto A et al., “Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus,” Magnes Res. 1994 Mar;7(1):43-7.
  2. Long-term statin use and risk of ductal and lobular breast cancer among women 55-74 years of age; Jean A. McDougall et al; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; Published OnlineFirst July 5, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0414
  3. Chih-Wei Chen, et al “Differential Impact of Statin on New-Onset Diabetes in Different Age Groups: A Population-Based Case-Control Study in Women from an Asian Country”  PLoS One. 2013; 8(8): e71817. Published online 2013 Aug 12. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0071817. 

What Is All-Cause Mortality? | a vital element ignored

Have you heard the phrase ‘all-cause mortality’?  What is all-cause mortality and in what context is it used?  Simply put, it is about the likelihood of dying from anything, any disease, accident, act of violence, anything.

medical termsIn medical terms…

But with respect to medical terms, it means mortality from any disease, infection or medical condition. There simply is no ‘silver bullet’ which will protect you from all- cause mortality…  but there is something that comes close.

Biggest killers

So let’s think about the serious diseases that are killing the majority of the population including your loved ones and friends. I suspect everyone reading this can relate to a family member or friend who has died as a consequence of one of these illnesses:

  1. acute myocardial infarction (AMI) otherwise known as a heart attack.AMI
  2. Ischemic stroke which is similar to a heart attack, the difference being it affects the blood vessels of the brain instead of the heart.
  3. Atherosclerosis is another major killer and is the precurser to AMI and stroke.  It is a disease of the arteries where plaque, made up of calcium, fat, cholesterol, fibrin and other substances, hardens and causes blockages.
  4. Inflammation, now generally regarded as being the start of many of the diseases we contract.
  5. Hypertension or high blood pressure, sometimes known as the silent killer and is another precurser to the conditions above.
  6. Diabetes type II where the cells are resistant to insulin so glucose is unable to enter the cell membrane.
  7. Cancer It is estimated that one in two men and one in three women will develop cancer sometime in their lives; a horrendous forecast.
Other illnesses

Other conditions that cause no end of misery and stress, with stress being a precursor to the above problems.  So, if you suffer from any condition, your body is under more stress than if you were healthy and stress free.  You are at risk of have one of the above life threatening diseases if you have:

  • osteo
    Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis  a condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break.

  • Asthma a respiratory condition causing difficulty in breathing because of attacks or spasms in the bronchi of the lungs.
  • Migraines characterized by recurrent headaches that can be severe enough to disable the sufferer.
  • Convulsive disorders such as epilepsy and narcolepsy.
  • Alzheimer’s progressive mental deterioration, mostly occuring in the older generation, due to a degeneration of the brain.
  • Angina caused by severe muscle spasms in heart muscles.
  • Adrenal Fatigue caused by chronic stress, anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Fibromyalgia or fibrositis has an array of symptoms, all unpleasant with the incidence of this condition is rapidly rising.
  • Kidney Stones most of which are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate.
  • Depression a mood disorder characterized by feelings of despair, dejection, melancholy and sadness.
  • Insomnia which presents as a habitual inability to sleep.MS
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse an abnormally thickened mitral valve leaflet which prevents efficient opening and closing into the left atrium of the heart.
  • Neurological disorders is any disorder of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
All of the above…

All the above diseases and conditions (and there are many more too numerous to mention) are caused and/or exacerbated by the lack of one single vital nutrient mineral.

A vital element ignored

Some eminent doctors recognise the importance of this element, but the majority of the medical profession ignore its existance. They will not recommend supplementing with it and would prefer to prescribe a drug.  What’s more, the majority of medical professionals do not recommend this nutrient to their patients. This despite its proven protective capabilities, to avoid the onset of dangerous diseases in later life.

what is all-cause mortalityThe ignored silver bullet

This is a silver bullet that is being ignored by many, but thankfully not by all of the medical community.  Some of our medical doctors who are or have been practicing allopathic medicine have turned to naturopathic treatments.  They advocate treating with natural vitamins and minerals in preference to pharmaceutical drugs.  As long as they know that the natural treatment is more remedial.  They use drugs as a last resort and not in preference to a natural solution.

All the above conditions and diseases have been exacerbated or caused by a mineral deficiency.  That mineral is Magnesium (Mg).  Stress is the biggest depleter of Mg and unfortunately, we are all under all kinds of stress.

A medical myth

There is also a medical myth that many people, particularly women, are deficient in Ca.  This is believed by many doctors and medical practioners alike.  Consequently the public consume Ca supplements to excess. They wrongly think that the more they consume the better.  In fact, they are seriously damaging their health with a toxic overload of this vital, but overly consumed mineral.

Breast cancer

A group of 1,170 women who had breast cancer were followed after diagnosis for a term of just over 7 years. It was found that their magnesium levels were associated with their all course mortality. This means the higher intake of magnesium the lower risk of death from all causes. What’s more, the researchers found that higher levels of magnesium in the body may significantly improve survival following breast cancer.  Interestingly, they also found that the Ca:Mg ration was very important. The more calcium compared to magnesium, the worse your chances of survival.

Dr Thomas Levy – board certified cardiologist

Have a look at this short video of an interview with Dr Thomas Levy about the dangers of high Ca levels compared to Mg.  It’s only 2 minutes long but full of information that you need to know for your future good health!

Astounding studies

Here is another similar study on the amazing outcome of taking Mg. A study done back in 2003, aimed at analysing the long term survival and cardiac function of 194 AMI patients using Mg.  96 patients received a 48 hour intravenous Mg sulphate of 22g with the other group of 98 having a placebo.  After a follow up of nearly 5 years, all cause mortality and cardiac mortality were significantly lower in the Mg group compared to the placebo group.  There was absolutely no doubt that the group having just that one 22g infusion of Mg had a reduced all cause mortality.  Think of the benefits of having a Mg supplement on a daily basis not just over 48 hours!

And in 2011

Another study in 2011 found a reduction in all-cause mortality after a period of 10.1 years.  Those who were Mg deficient had 10.95 deaths per 1000 person years.  Those taking Mg supplement had 1.45 deaths per 1000 person years.  Specifically for cardiovascular disease, those who were Mg deficient had 3.44 deaths per 1000 person years and those replete in Mg had 1.53 deaths per 1000 person years.

balance Mg:CaA fine balance

Mg and Ca are in a constant dance and should be taken into the body in equal measures.  A ratio of 1:1 is the target for the best balance.  Our diet and all the junk food, sugary cakes and biscuits and sodas, is nearly always low in Mg. In turn, this gives the body a toxic overload of Ca by default.  Mg resides in our cells whereas Ca should reside outside of our cells.  Without the control of Mg, Ca floods our cells and unless ushered out in double quick time by Mg, the cell will start to die.

Why do we succumb?

All the above listed diseases, have a number of negative factors:

Stress

Stress comes in all forms such as emotional stress, like relationships, financial worries, work related issues, food related stress like junk food and sugary drinks devoid of nutrition, environmental stress like exposure to toxins and pharmaceutical drugs.  The body has to deal with all of these stressors and to cope, it uses up massive amounts of Mg.  You can include physical stress like exercise and working out too.  A disease or condition puts the body under constant Mg depleting stress on a daily basis.

Ca DangersMg deficiency

Most medical practioners see the main electrolytes as potassion (K), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), and Chloride (Cl).  For some strange reason which eludes me, they forget the most important mineral, the one that controls the others, magnesium (Mg).

An excess of Ca

Mg works hard to regulate Ca by activating hormones that control the levels and placement of Ca within the body.  Inadequate Mg means that Ca runs amok and starts migrating around the body and into the soft tissue and vascular system. Excessive Ca can damage your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which controls your unconscious functioning and reflexes.

The SNSMg Ca in cells

The SNS is responsible for initiating the ‘fight-flight’ response and triggers the inflammatory process.  Without Mg, Ca will overstimulate your SNS and set in motion an inflammatory cascade which again increases already high levels of stress hormones.  This creates more stress contributing to more Mg depletion which produces a vicious circle of Mg deficiency.

Energy production.

Our energy is produced in the mitrochondria, tiny organelles found in our cells.  Muscle cells have an abundance of mitrochondria because of the work they have to do.  Without Mg,  the heart cannot make the energy it needs to function properly.  Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the energy currency of our body and enables the body’s fundamental metabolic processes. But before ATP can be activated it needs to be bound to a Mg ion, forming a new compound known as Mg-ATP enabling the energy to then be used by the cells.

Magnesium HeartThe hard working heart

Because the heart works harder than any other organ in the body, it needs copious amounts of Mg-ATP.  If Mg is depleted, the heart muscle cells cannot work efficiently and the ability to pump blood around the vascular system will be impaired.  The heart muscle cells will slowly begin to deteriorate, starve and die.

Did you know

The human heart cycles around 6kgs of Mg-ATP per day!! For the whole body, the amount is 70kg per day! This is according to the reknowned Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff of Nottingham University in the UK.

Calcium is a double edged sword!

When we die, our cells are flooded with Ca which starts the death throws of our body, heralding the start of rigor mortis.  If Ca is allowed to stay in the cell, it will kill it.

99% of Ca should be in bone tissue

Ca is a vital mineral but it needs to be in the right place, mainly in the bones.  Our bodies contain around 1kg of Ca with 99% of it stored in the bone tissue.  The remaining 1% circulates in the blood and other fluids.

CC scanIn a nutshell

So here we have it.  Various stressors including excess Ca help cause a Mg deficiency.  The Mg deficiency causes an electrolyte imbalance and loss of energy.  This in turn causes a malfunction in the cardiovascular system (as well as other parts of the body). As a result, the heart cells start to die and the arteries become damaged.  Inflammation sets in with plaque and Ca deposits building up in the heart and arteries.  Heart disease ensues in forms of atherosclerosis, cardiac arrest, hypertension, stroke, heart attack etc..

Mg glassDon’t ignore Mgwhat is all-cause mortality

Mg is the nearest thing you will get to a silver bullet.  Being replete in this vital mineral will protect you from numerous diseases and conditions so get your silver bullet now and supplement with a good quality Mg supplement.  Those I recommend can be found on the right hand side bar of this site.

Have you had a CCS?

Ches PowerIf you’ve had a coronary calcium scan (CCS) and it shows you have Ca buildup in your arteries, you can take a Mg supplement along with vitamin K2 MK-7 (menaquinone 7).  See my article for the lowdown on this vitamin which actually aids Mg to usher Ca back into the bones by activating MGP (matrix gla protein) found in the vascular system.

Type 2 Diabetes – what causes it?

type 2 diabetesMore importantly, how to reverse it!

So you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Has your doctor explained to you what you can do to reduce or reverse your symptoms?  Does it involve pharmaceutical drugs?  Have you been told it’s hereditary and/or to do with your lifestyle?  Is it implied that it’s your fault? Continue reading Type 2 Diabetes – what causes it?

Early Signs – Heart Disease

Heart disease link to low magnesium levels

In this post, ‘early signs – heart disease’ I really want to drive it home to everyone, why most heart disease occurs.   If you already have heart disease, or any kind of cardiovascular condition, then you can help to alleviate it.  If you don’t have heart disease, don’t get complacent because there’s a high possibility you already have the early signs.  In fact, there’s a high possibility that most of our children have the beginnings of cardiovascular disease. Continue reading Early Signs – Heart Disease

How to Prevent Atrial Fibrillation – Part 2

Part 2

Carrying on from Part one of ‘how to prevent atrial fibrillation’, what causes this condition and other arrythmias in the first place?

Here we have it…

Dr David Snow
Dr David Snow

I want to relate a conversation two doctors had on the Doctor Health Radio hosted by Dr David Snow.  They were talking about the problems of AF and what can be done to alleviate the symptoms:

Dr Snow –  David Snow here with you talking today to Dr Steve Ryan about his book Beat Your A-Fib the essential guide to finding your cure.  Alright let’s talk about supplements, things like fish oil and magnesium, I know you have a part or section in your book about magnesium….. Continue reading How to Prevent Atrial Fibrillation – Part 2