Dr Uffe Ravnskov, a physician and scientist, and a recent addition to our list of advisors here at the International Wellness Directory, begins one of his papers with the shocking statement: “People with high cholesterol live the longest.” [The Benefits of High Cholesterol]
The biggest fraud in the US today concerns Cholesterol Lowering drugs. Plain and simple.
Dr Ravnskov has produced a book (currently updated and available on the web) called The Cholesterol Myths (you can read the previous version online by clicking the link or order a copy of his updated book). As a scientist, he clearly references the scientific evidence backing his claims. In our book, Bypassing Bypass, Dr Ravnskov allowed us to print the chapter highlights to his first book, and here they are:
New cholesterol guidelines seem to appear like magic time and again. Every time they appear, healthy people are suddenly turned into “patients.” The last time this occurred, every member of the panel (excluding the panel’s head) making the recommendations had connections to the companies making these drugs and will profit nicely when all of us are drugged to the gills with their statin drugs. Apparently conflicts of interest are not considered unethical in today’s medical climate.
It is modern heroic medicine’s hubris that dares to proclaim to us that our creator designed a flawed system. Despite the obvious fact that on this point medicine has no science to back up their theories, medicine touts its wares under a decree that our bodies have “bad” cholesterol. No cholesterol is bad. It is trying to save our lives. How can that be determined to be bad?
What medicine has is this: cardiovascular disease and cholesterol levels tend to rise together. The conclusion is that cholesterol causes cardiovascular disease, when the reality is that cardiovascular disease causes cholesterol levels to rise. Cholesterol levels rise in order to fix our cardiovascular problems. Problems which, for the most part, are caused by our diets and lifestyles, or as stated in our book Bypassing Bypass: “Cardiovascular disease is a disease of the fork.”
From the Daily University Science News, we found some interesting statistics. “Thirty-five percent of heart attacks occur in people with favorable cholesterol levels below 200 mg/Dl, and up to 8 percent of patients being treated "successfully" with cholesterol-lowering medications — as measured by falling cholesterol levels — will still suffer a coronary problem such as a heart attack or angina.”
The article tells us that physicians monitoring cholesterol levels feel that declining levels are an indication that a heart attack is less likely. But this is not the case for all patients, as there is a percentage for whom their risk, as well as their symptoms of cardiovascular illness, increase. However, the conclusion of this essay leaves reality behind as the expert quoted state: “While cholesterol-lowering drugs greatly reduce the risk of heart attack ….”
Wrong. No where in any research will you find a “great” reduction of risk from cholesterol lowering drugs. It is a very small reduction, with no increase in overall longevity.
Assuming that cholesterol causes heart disease is as silly as assuming that your speedometer on your car is causing the car to go fast.
Lowering cholesterol levels artificially is like trying lower your car’s speed by grabbing the speedometer needle and forcing it down.
The benefits from lowering cholesterol artificially are, statistically, nearly insignificant, but the risks are enormous.
Low cholesterol levels, in study after study, result in symptoms of depression, unexpected jumps in suicide and other violent deaths, and an increased risk of infection.
Bad cholesterol is anti-inflammatory. Bad, bad, bad.
When cholesterol lowering drugs were first tested, no benefits whatsoever were found. In fact, people began dying at an even greater rate than the control group. It wasn’t until statin drugs were used to lower cholesterol that the death rate dropped, albeit it was a very small drop.
As stated above, 85% of heart attacks are caused by inflammation/infections in the blood. Statin drugs have anti-inflammatory properties. However, there are much cheaper anti-inflammatories with a lot fewer side effects. And again, so-called “bad” cholesterol is also an anti-inflammatory.
In Dr Ravnskov’s paper, High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis, he points out immediately that, “Many researchers have suggested that the blood lipids play a key role in the immune defense system.” Nutritionists have known of the connection between certain lipids (fats) and infection for decades. Most warn us against using polyunsaturated oils (corn oil) and tell us to opt for healthier, monounsaturated oils, such as olive oil.
Cholesterol is a lipid/fat/oil. Ravnskov tells us of a study in which rats with hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) were able to fight off infections significantly better than the control mice. Additionally, it’s been found that men with high cholesterol levels have better T-cell counts than their lower cholesterol counterparts.
A good number of cholesterol studies, one that came from the Veteran’s Administration hospitals that deal with a large capacity of elderly (World War II and Korea veterans), show that cholesterol is protective.
You cannot have it both ways. Cholesterol cannot be a bad thing and a good thing at the same time.
One last point: NASA shot Dr Duane Graveline, MD into outer space. However, it was his statin drug use that spaced him thoroughly out there. He’s written a book, Lipitor® Thief of Memory – Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol in which he reveals the critical importance of cholesterol for proper brain function and memory and the reasons for the damage statin drugs do to our muscles, nerves and heart and even our personalities. After participating in the in the San Diego College of Medicine statin study and reviewing thoroughly the FDA’s Medwatch files on adverse drug reports (not to mention his correspondence with thousands of patients the world over), Dr. Graveline is uniquely qualified to discuss the magnitude of the statin side effect problem, the complex and wide ranging role of cholesterol in our bodies and the range of serious and unintended consequences of the misguided war on this vital substance. His book is highly recommended.
The bottom line is this: Cholesterol lowering drugs are most profitable drugs sold today, and they are pure, unadulterated medical fraud.
In 1978 the government’s Office of Technical Assessment published a paper called Assessing the Efficacy and Safety of Medical Technologies in which they point out that of all the medical procedures used at that time (and in 30 years we’ve not changed that much; most of these procedures are still used today), only 20% of them had ever been tested, and of those, over half were tested badly.
Angiograms are a medical procedure that was adopted without testing. When finally tested, cardiologists refused to accept the results. Dr Charles McGee, MD had to really search out studies on Angiograms, when researching his book Heart Frauds, since they’ve never been published in the usual peer reviewed journals. It seems medicine doesn’t like being told that procedures that cost thousands of dollars are nearly worthless. Some studies never get published:
A … study was presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association in 1979, but never published. Thirty abnormal angiograms were circulated between three well respected medical centers for consensus evaluations. On the first time around there was significant disagreement between the readers in 39% of the films.
A few months later the same films were recycled through the same centers and read by the same experts. Individual radiologists were found to disagree substantially with their own previous reading 32% of the time.
He concludes his dialogue on the inaccuracy of angiograms with:
In 1984 a fourth study was published that approached the problem yet another way. Preoperative angiographic readings were compared to Doppler (ultrasound) flow velocity readings taken directly on coronary arteries with the chest open during surgery. The Doppler readings were accepted as reliable, representing the gold standard. . . . “The results of these studies should be profoundly disturbing to all physicians who have relied on the coronary arteriogram to provide accurate information regarding the physiologic consequences of individual coronary stenosis (obstruction).” Translated into plain English this means that the ordinary angiogram is so inaccurate it should not be used to plan bypass surgery or balloon procedures.
The media never picked up on the story. But then again, the media is controlled by the same people who control our medicine. This is painfully obvious when you watch the evening news to find out that organic food is dangerous and that vitamins just make expensive urine.
In Bypassing Bypass, we point out a long term study comparing the longevity of patients who received bypass surgery to those who did not receive bypass surgery. Here are the results:
Of those who received bypass surgery, 86 percent were still alive after two years.
Of those who did NOT receive bypass surgery, 87 percent were still alive after two years.
Interestingly enough, another group was monitored too, and they too did not receive bypass surgery but they did receive prayers. They lived the longest of all the groups.
Balloon angioplasty (a balloon is inserted into a clogged artery, inflated and supposedly this cures the clog) is another procedure that was incorporated without any studies, and when it finally was studied, it did not fair well. Dr McGee, in his book Heart Frauds, references a 10 year study ending in 1999 that determined that those receiving balloon angioplasty carried a 3% better chance of survival than those who did not. However, those who did not receive this dangerous procedure did not face the risk of dying on the operating table, which, overall, is 2%. The risk of dying on the table during bypass surgery is slightly over 5%.
Sadly, the primary focus of the medical industry is to make a profit. In any system in which the health and welfare of the patient is the primary focus, these procedures would never be considered. But because they are profitable, over 600,000 of these procedures are done yearly at an average cost of approximately $50,000.00, with 20 to 30 thousand people dying from the procedure.
Visit your doctor and he’ll tell you to eat right (whatever that means), exercise, and get regular checkups.
Visit your local American Heart Association (or go online) and you’ll get similar advice, though the dietary changes seem to be in flux. One day they tell you that coconut oil is bad for you and you need some partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and the next they tell you that partially hydrogenated oils will kill you can you need some olive oil.
Dr Dean Ornish’s book tells us to avoid nuts, because of their fats. However, in Scandinavian countries where you find the custom of eating nuts following meals, we see that the practice lowers incidence of heart disease.
We’re told to avoid red meat. I like Chris Rock’s take on this subject best: “Avoid GREEN meat. If you’re lucky enough to be in the minority of people on this planet who can get their hands on a good steak, eat it!” (Paraphrased.)
Recently in a WebMD story I read: "Instead of a beefsteak, try tuna or salmon steaks. A turkey burger could replace a beef burger. There are also vegetarian meat substitutes."
If you’ve read anything lately about Salmon, much of it is so loaded with mercury that you really don’t want this stuff in your body. Fish are toxic sponges. Sadly, this is what happens when we keep polluting our world as if this were actually a good thing. As for turkeys, I’ve raised them. In Minnesota, to sell a live turkey, you have to first have a blood test. Why? Turkeys are susceptible to everything. They are difficult to raise, and if your turkey is not organic, it has received antibiotics every day of its life except for the last ten days. WebMD went on to say that tofu is a good substitute for red meat.
Wrong. We’ve talked about the Soy Myth at this site previously, but if you want to read more about it, you have to check out Dr Mercola’s Soy page.
Red meat is not bad for us. Red meat that was raised on antibiotics and growth hormones and was fed grains (like corn) is bad for us. Red meat raised organically without chemicals and fed grasses is good for us. Well-cooked red meat is bad for us in that it produces homocysteines that contribute to CVD (cardiovascular disease). You can take B Vitamins for this (specifically folic acid), but better still is to eat your steak as rare as possible. When it comes to steak and protecting your cardiovascular system, the rarer the better.
In Bypassing Bypass, I take a few jabs at Dean Ornish’s program in which we’d found a few myths. However, overall, we praise Ornish’s program because it works.
How can something flawed work?
When it comes to heart disease, doing anything helps. As my mother use to tell me, “Do something, even if it’s wrong!”
However, and this is very important, a few studies we’ve discovered seem to show that at times, doing something (or perhaps worrying about something [my guess]) sometimes doesn’t work as well as doing nothing.
Please, pay attention. This is kinda nutty.
From JAMA, we found the results of the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, in which nearly 13,000 men aged 35 to 57, were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group would get absolutely nothing. The other group, the experimental group, got “stepped-care’ treatment for hypertension, counseling for cigarette smoking, and dietary advice for lowering blood cholesterol levels, or to their usual sources of health care in the community. [JAMA. 1982 Sep 24;248(12):1465-77]
The results of the study are still being debated, for you see, in both groups, risk factor levels declined over a seven year period, with the difference in mortality from cardiovascular disease being statistically insignificant. The study group had fewer deaths by heart attack, 17.9 deaths per 1000 people, than the control group that had 19.3 per 1000. The truly interesting fact squeezed from this study concerns the overall mortality rate of both groups, because the people in the control group actually lived longer.
As we said, they’re still debating these results.
A similar study conducted in Finland took nearly 3,500 business executives with at least one cardiovascular risk and put them into two groups. The control group got nothing while the experimental group got visits from counselors who promoted dietetic-hygienic measures and monitored cholesterol lowering measures as well as blood pressure medicines. Again, fifteen years later, the results showed that the control group had fewer deaths during the study period. [Journal Watch September 10, 1991].
The results could be simply chance. It is very hard to determine, concretely, what the heck happened here, but Larry Dossey, MD brings up an interesting point in his book Healing Beyond the Body when he quotes an article from Annals of Internal Medicine:
Although the periodic health examination was introduced over 80 years ago, it remains a controversy in internal medicine. There have been few data from controlled studies to document the examination’s efficacy for adults, nevertheless, its popularity has become a multimillion-dollar industry in the United States,” states H C Mitchell in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
What it all boils down to is this: is medicine based upon science or is it based upon profit? Science tests, and retests. If an experiment works thusly in one part of the globe, then it should work thusly in another. Any disagreement has to be ironed out by further testing.
Is medicine today still the same as the medicine described by the 1978 Government pamphlet Assessing the Efficacy and Safety of Medical Technologies?
The definition of fraud is, according to my Encarta Electronic Encyclopedia: the crime of obtaining money or some other benefit by deliberate deception.
If physicians know that something is worthless, and they prescribe it, this is fraud. If they are unaware that something they prescribe is worthless, they are not guilty of fraud. However, the medical schools who taught them to prescribe worthless procedures and medicines, whether they are aware or not, could be construed as acting fraudulently, because it is their job to know these things.
Sadly, medical schools today are puppets of the pharmaceutical industry, for the most part. Medical schools do not get funding to study cheap alternatives. They get funding to promulgate those procedures and practices that profit their benefactors.
Sadly, the primary focus of the medical industry is to make a profit. This is the state of our health care system.
References and Further Reading
Death By Doctoring
The Benefits of High Cholesterol
Assessing the Efficacy and Safety of Medical Technologies
Dr Mercola’s Soy page
Lipitor® Thief of Memory – Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol
High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis
Daily University Science News
International Wellness Directory Home Page
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