Can the world’s most-prescribed class of medications statin cause diabetes and heart disease? Wait isn’t statin supposed to PREVENT Heart Disease?
By Dr. Keith Maraffa: Dallas, Texas 100% Chiropractic A Wellness Center
In the Journal of the American Medical Association a number of years ago by Dr. David Jenkins from the University of Toronto showed that using a combination of soy, fiber, almonds, and plant sterols (cholesterol-lowering fats) could lower cholesterol levels as much as statin medications. In other words Diet can lower cholesterol as much as statin without any side effects.
What You Need to Know About Cholesterol in Order to Understand the Dangers of Statins
Statin drugs work by preventing the foration of cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol, which is considered the “bad” cholesterol. There is no argument that these drugs can effectively lower your cholesterol levels. However, what has NOT been proven is that they significantly lower your risk of dying from heart disease. In no way, shape or form do they treat the underlying cause of your problem.
So just what makes statins so dangerous, and why are they not the answer for managing your cholesterol levels?
First you need to understand the biological workings of cholesterol. In fact, there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol. Both HDL and LDL cholesterol perform vital functions in your body, which is why it’s actually dangerous to bring your LDL levels down too low.
HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (low density lipoprotein) are actually proteins that transport the cholesterol to and from your tissues. Cholesterol in turn is a precursor to your steroid hormones, bile acids, cell membrane walls and vitamin D. For example, cholesterol is essential for you to make testosterone or estrogen, cortisol, DHEA or pregnenolone, or a multitude of other steroid hormones that are necessary for health, without cholesterol. Even more importantly, your cells cannot regenerate their membranes without it.
The reason you have LDL to begin with is to transport the cholesterol to the tissues in order to make new cells and repair damaged ones. However, there are different sizes of LDL particles and it’s the LDL particle size that is relevant, and statins do not modulate the size of the particles. Unfortunately, most people still don’t know about that part, and very rarely, if ever, get tested for particle size. The particles are sticky, so very small LDL’s can easily get stuck in different areas, and the build-up eventually causes inflammation and damage.
The only way to make sure your LDL particles are large enough to not cause damage is through your diet. In fact, it’s one of the major functions of insulin.
Conveniently enough, a healthy diet is also the answer for type 2 diabetes, so by focusing on what you eat, you’re treating both your diabetes and your cholesterol levels, and reducing your associated risk of heart disease. If you eat properly, which is really the only known good way to regulate LDL particle size, then it does the right thing; it takes the cholesterol to your tissues, the HDL takes it back to your liver, and no plaque is formed.
How to Help Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
If you truly want to normalize your cholesterol levels, following these simple lifestyle changes can help get you there:
• First, normalize your insulin levels by eliminating sugar (particularly fructose) and grains. A fasting insulin level is easy to draw and is very inexpensive. It should be below 3.
• Receive a comprehensive spine and nervous system exam to make sure proper spinal alignment and function is optimal. These nerves regulate the release of hormones which run our body and regulate normal healthy function.
• Take a high-quality animal-based omega-3 supplement, such as what Dr. Ryan talked about earlier in this year’s blog.
• Eat a good portion of your food raw (ideally organic to avoid agricultural chemicals).
• Eat healthy, preferably raw, fats, such as: Olive oil, Coconut, and coconut oil, Organic raw dairy products, Avocados, Raw organic nuts, Seeds, Pastured eggs (raw, or lightly cooked with yolks intact), Organic grass-fed meats.
• Regular exercise is another important tool. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has the opportunity to spread.
• Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.
(i) Jenkins D.J., Kendall, C.W., Marchie, A., et. al. 2003. Effects of a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods vs Lovastatin on serum lipids and C-reactive protein. JAMA. 290(4): 502-10
GreenMedInfo August 11, 2012
Atherosclerosis August 24, 2012
Activist Post September 27, 2012
1. Atherosclerosis August 24, 2012
2. Diabetes Care. 2012 Aug 8. [Epub ahead of print]
3. FDA.gov FDA Expands Advice on Statin Risks
4. Greenmedinfo.com May 1, 2012
5. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 2008;8(6):373-418
6. Greenmedinfo.com April 2, 2012 Adverse Health Effects of Statins