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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Heart Surgeon's Opinion On Statin Drugs

I came across another note worthy site dealing with the pro's and con's of statin drugs. Perhaps this is the BEST post I have done on this subject. It is written by a heart surgeon WHO HAS PERFORMED OVER 5000 OPEN HEART SURGERIES.

Perhaps there is a change taking place out there in the medical community. Time will tell. Here is a guy who was a dyed in the wool, heart disease is caused by saturated fat sort of guy. In addition he bought into the STATIN drugs to lower cholesterol group.

I won't bore you with my comments and I will  let you read the article in his own words. Kudos to Dr.Dwight Dundell. I will post several links here:


Statins, Cholesterol & Your Health

Statins and Your Health
Thirty six million Americans take a statin every day, generating annual sales of 26 billion for the manufacturers, and making two statins – Lipitor and Zocor – the top two best-selling drugs in the USA. Numerous doctors are coming forward and taking a different stance on statin usage.
Osteopathic physician Dr. Joesph Mercola has stated the following, “That these drugs have proliferated the market the way they have is a testimony to the power of marketing, corruption and corporate greed, because the odds are very high— greater than 100 to 1—that if you’re taking a statin, you don’t really need it.”

Is Dr. Mercola alone? Hardly! In fact, way back in 1977 five studies came to the conclusion that total cholesterol is a not a risk factor for heart disease. What about the touted “bad” LDL cholesterol (that actually serves beneficial roles in the body)? The same studies showed that LDL is marginal at best for predicting heart problems, and that your Triglyceride:HDL ratio was the best predictor of heart disease.

In fact dozens of studies show that low levels of cholesterol (below 150) increase our risk of cancer seven-fold, and levels below 160 can increase one’s risk of stroke and mental diseases. To me this makes perfect sense as our brain is heavily dependent upon cholesterol to properly function. More than twenty studies show that seniors with high cholesterol live longer than those with low cholesterol.

Dr. George Mann who is part of one of the longest running trials spanning three generations describes the cholesterol topic as, “Greatest scam in the history of medicine”.
The question begs to be asked; if total cholesterol is meaningless for heart health, why are statins prescribed, and do they actually show to be of benefit? Dr. Dwight Lundell, heart surgeon who has performed over 5,000 heart surgeries explains what the research actually shows behind statin medications:
  • Do modestly lower heart attack rates in middle-aged men with heart disease
  • DO NOT lower death rates in men who do not have heart disease
  • DO NOT decrease death rates or heart attack rates in women
  • May not be beneficial due to cholesterol lowering effects, but are anti-inflammatory
Whether or not a statin should be prescribed to you is easy, just look at the first three bullet points above. Which category do you fall into?
What about the side effects of statin drugs? I could devote a whole article to these, but in short they include: memory loss, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart failure, muscle aches and pains and tendon/ligament damage. Some of the side effects can be lessened by discussing Co-Q10 (better yet Ubiquinol) supplementation with your doctor. Statin medications can deplete Co-Q10 levels in the body by 50% in just thirty days. Co-Q10 is vital to every cell in your body for energy production and especially for your heart.
To summarize, statin drugs carry a host of side effects and are proven to only be effective for an extremely small percentage of the population. The fact that they are anti-inflammatory leads me to question, are there safer alternatives out there that can accomplish the same thing? Be in charge of your health and work with your doctor to come up with the best strategy to improve your health. Very rarely will the best answer be in a prescription bottle.
A few really great videos on the subject can be found here:
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The statin drug lowered their inflammation, and any lowering of inflammation improves risk factors for heart disease, not to mention overall health. Let's not forget those nasty side effects of painful muscle cramping and recent studies that show extreme cognitive dysfunction from statins.

Wouldn't an aspirin be better? And better yet, Omega-3?

Statins are the "Frankenstein" medication of our time. And Dr. Lundell exposes the reasons why in his excellent book.

The bottom line is that Inflammation is a very, very serious thing—it's a silent killer.

Cholesterol is not. My advice? Take Omega-3 fish oil, the most anti-inflammatory compound on the planet and one that has exactly zero side effects. With fish oil available, why in the world would someone choose a statin as their anti-inflammatory drug of choice?

The simple steps to begin healing your heart outlined in Dr. Lundell's book, "The Great Cholesterol Lie" will absolutely astonish you. - See more at:


(MY INPUT)  Dr. Lundell performed over 5000 open heart surgeries during his 25 year plus career. This is not ME talking or some nataropth or natural supplement vitamin/miner/herbal company rep speaking. This guy is genuine and worked under the "Lipid Theory" of heart disease most of his career.
The Statin Scam

lundell_crop_small_131by Dwight C. Lundell M.D.
For 25 years as a thoracic surgeon, my life was passionately dedicated to treating heart disease; I gave many thousands of patients a second chance at life.  

Then a few years ago I made the most difficult decision of my medical career.  I left the surgery that I loved to have the freedom necessary to speak the truth about heart disease, inflammation, statin medications, and the current methods of treating heart disease.

It was an exciting time to be a young cardiac surgeon in the eighties.  A new surgical technique, coronary bypass, was the only effective treatment for people afflicted with severe coronary artery disease.  Our ability to save lives increased and the risks of surgery decreased as techniques and technology improved.

Desperately sick and diseased patients could be restored and rehabilitated with relatively low risk, it was an exciting challenge. During my career as a surgeon I performed over 5000 coronary bypass operations.
The consensus at that time was that elevated cholesterol in the blood caused a gradual deposition of cholesterol in the channel of the blood vessel.  We had two obvious treatment choices; lower the levels of cholesterol in the blood or do an operation to detour the blood around the accumulated plaque in the artery thus restoring blood flow and function to the heart muscle.

Other than looking at more effective ways to lower blood cholesterol, there was relatively little research going on as to what was causing the plaque.  The medical community had settled on the idea that it was as simple as controlling saturated fat and cholesterol.  

Statin drugs, the ones your Doctor insists that you take if your cholesterol is slightly elevated and Bernie Madoff ( the now infamous financial fraudster ) have both left in their wake many innocent victims, and many sincere but misled supporters. Both are huge frauds perpetrated on the unsuspecting.

Mr. Madoff, over 30 years swindled people out of about $50 billion. Statins have a worldwide market of over $30 billion annually and have had for many years. In addition, the testing for and treating elevated cholesterol costs about $100 billion annually with no noticeable benefit to the victims, I mean patients.

I'm not sure if Mr. Madoff intended to swindle when he started out, but reading the reports it seems things got out of hand and he had to continue to tell a false story in order to keep the money flowing into his coffers to support his and his supporters' lavish lifestyles, and perpetuate the fraud.

I'm not sure that the statin makers intended to swindle in the beginning but they also were not about to give up on a $30 billion annual market easily. There are many sincere, well intentioned and deeply convinced physicians that will continue to support the theory that dietary cholesterol and saturated fats cause heart disease.
They will continue to believe that cholesterol lowering medications will successfully treat and prevent heart disease in spite of the fact that a study published in The American Heart Journal ( January 2009 ) analyzing 137,000 patients admitted to hospitals in the United States with a heart attack demonstrated that almost 75% had "normal" cholesterol levels.

This fact continued to bother me during my surgical career. The idea that a normal substance, namely cholesterol, would cause heart disease never resonated with me. I would see patients coming back for second coronary bypass operations a few years after their first, having had normal cholesterol levels the entire time. In the operating room I had made the observation that there seemed to be inflammation around the coronary arteries that I was bypassing.

Through brilliant and massive marketing the makers of statin drugs have skillfully influenced science and controlled public policy so that prescribing statin drugs has become the standard of care.  Anyone questioning or disagreeing with these policies is labeled as a heretic, disregarded and ridiculed. 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), The National Cholesterol Education Program, The American Heart Association and many academic centers are led and influenced by physicians who receive direct or indirect benefit from the makers of statin drugs.

Their influence is so pervasive that recently the FDA approved Crestor®, a statin, to treat patients with normal cholesterol.  Some of these academics have called for treating children with statin drugs. Marketing has truly triumphed over medicine.

Treating or attempting to prevent heart disease with statin drugs is dangerous and fraudulent for two reasons:

1.) Serious, deadly and disabling side effects which are largely ignored by the medical profession and suppressed by the statin makers.  These side effects have been brilliantly documented by Dr. Duane Graveline and other brave doctors who dare to speak out against the official religion of cholesterol and saturated fat.

2.) Continued focus on this ineffective treatment diverts attention from truly understanding and controlling heart disease, and gives patients a false sense of security that prevents them from making the lifestyle changes that would truly prevent and reverse heart disease.
Consider also the following:
1.) Statins have not been proven to help any woman of any age!
2.) Statins have not been proven to help anyone over the age of 65! 

3.) The only group of patients who may, and I emphasize "may" get any benefit, are middle aged men who have had a previous heart attack.

It is amazing to see all the medical literature that is funded by the statin makers and delivered to doctors' offices by enthusiastic young drug reps that purport to prove that statins are beneficial. 

The very best statistical manipulation shows that one must treat at least 10 people for several years for 1 to have possible benefit. I'll bet that when your doctor told you to take statins you were not told that under the most favorable statistical slant on the data there is only 1 chance in 10 that you will benefit. 

The much publicized JUPITER study which led the FDA to approve Crestor® for people with normal cholesterol showed that treating 100 people for 3 years with Crestor® "may" have prevented one heart attack. 

Yet the approval was granted and millions of people were exposed to the risks of statins with no possible benefit except to the maker of Crestor®. Do you think the process is pure and clean and free of improper influence?

Just as a point of reference, if I had treated 100 people with the correct antibiotic for an infection 99 would have been cured. This is why I call statin treatment a scam that is bigger and more harmful than anything Bernie Madoff pulled off, at least his victims only lost money, not their health.

In spite of being Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at a large specialty heart hospital I found that I could not change Medicine no matter how much I preached and pleaded, no matter how much scientific evidence I gathered that cholesterol was not a problem and that treating cholesterol with medications was counter productive.

So I made that difficult decision and left my successful surgical practice in order to have the freedom to speak, write and teach the truth about heart disease. I wrote a book The Cure for Heart Disease, which explains that the real cause of heart disease is low grade inflammation.  For without inflammation cholesterol would never accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause plaque with its eventual consequence of heart attack and death.
Dwight C. Lundell M.D.
Chief Medical Consultant, Asantae Inc.
Chief Medical Consultant at
Dr. Lundell's experience in Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery over the last 25 years includes certification by the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Dr. Lundell was a pioneer in off-pump coronary artery bypass or "beating heart" surgery reducing surgical complications and recovery times.
He has served as Chief resident at the University of Arizona and Yale University Hospitals and later served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery.
He was one of the founding partners of the Lutheran Heart Hospital which became the second largest Heart hospital in the U.S.

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