Cholesterol Support
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Incontrovertible case FOR statins?

I have been sent this abstract - exhaustive. Quite old too. Several elements jump out in particular that statins - it says - achieve something diets cannot.

"These findings, coupled with the observation that lipid lowering by other means (e.g., fibrates, resins, or diet) has no impact on stroke incidence,[6,7,21,22] suggest that statins may be unique among lipid-lowering drugs in relation to stroke reduction."

So, please read carefully (or ignore this post) and consider - does this make the incontrovertible case for statins IF (I stress 'IF') a brand can be chosen that does not give side effects? And If you also have CoQ10?

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi...

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Statins reduce cholesterol and inflammation. But Statins also increase your susceptibility to diabetes and cancer (to name just a few!).

If someone's cholesterol/lipids is through the roof - and no, 'through the roof' doesn't mean around 5, 6, or 7 (in the UK) - a decent physician should surely try to figure out what is causing the 'through the roof' cholesterol/lipids. Is it thyroid dysfunction? Is it the ingredients in your diet? Are you suffering from infections that lead to inflammations and then CVD? Is there mould/mold in your property that is triggering this? WHAT is triggering your cascade of chronic inflammations and cardiovascular disease?

I created a post on these issues some time ago, and some bright spark/s wondered why some of the material in that post had referred to inflammation and not simply statins, statins, statins? It was self-evident why.

healthunlocked.com/choleste...

There are very few physicians who know that a number of things can trigger and exacerbate arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.

As for running our own private lab tests every few weeks (as some members have advised) we should be mindful that not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford several nutritional supplements on an ongoing basis AND of running multiple lab tests privately every few weeks.

healthunlocked.com/choleste...

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Have you carefully read the study I posted?

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Do you have a copy of the article? I do not wish to register to this site!

Flow chart: Have a health problem so the body says -----> go to your GP/doctor ---> blood test requested >>>>> Medication prescribed >>>> What next?

Do you take the medication, read all about side effect, go back to GP with questions OR

Go to a forum and ask questions!, read what is offered and decide on medication?

Imagine that there is no Internet, no social media, what will or can people do?

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THank you.

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I did not see anything in the meta-analysis study you provided a link to that suggests statins achieve things diet and exercise cannot. Nitric oxide production to improve endothelial dysfunction, anti-inflammatory effects, plaque stabilization, increased smooth muscle-cell proliferation, decreased thrombus formation, lower LDL cholesterol - are all achievable through diet, exercise and vitamin supplementation. I am living proof of this and have the evidence (which I have already posted) to back it up.

This study does not provide overwhelming evidence of the merits of statins for stroke reduction. It does not mention, the impact on all-cause mortality for statin use. Furthermore, it does not provide a statement expressing whether there was any potential conflict of interest by the authors of the study. There is no study in existence that establishes a clear cause and effect relationship between elevated LDL levels and coronary artery disease - all of the studies cite 'correlation'. As every scientist will tell you 'correlation is NOT causation' and to imply that it is, is dishonest.

This study touches on how statins reduce collagen degradation thus identifying collagen as important in the protection of blood vessels. This lends support to the view that insufficient collagen production plays a role in CAD. To produce collagen, the body needs vitamin C. Therefore, this study opens the door to the alternative view that vitamin C supplementation plays a vital role in the prevention of atherosclerosis.

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I largely agree with you sos007. However, I am convinced that the issue with collagen is a hormonal one as with bone remodelling (insulin resistance), rather than the lack of vitamin C you believe.

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Concerned Can you cite some evidence for this viewpoint?

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It's a hypothesis to be proved right or wrong, but this is relevant for a start ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/255... Rosedale cites studies of the effectiveness of lowering insulin/IGF-1 in slowing the ageing process.

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"Diverse genetic, nutritional, and pharmacological pro-longevity interventions delay an age-related decline in collagen expression."

This quote is from the link you provided. It does not isolate genetic causes alone, but clearly also cites the impact of nutrition and pharmacological interventions.

I have found in my extensive reading that the medical establishment uses 'genetics' as a catch-all explanation when they cannot definitively explain why the body behaves in a particular way.

However there is a scientific view on epigenetics that says dietary and lifestyle choices can alter gene expression:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

justinhealth.com/epigenetic...

If we all exercise some common sense, it is clear that heart disease is something that current medical science has not been able to definitively explain due to too many variables being in play in the process. Studies cannot control for all variables and so they isolate only one at a time and find correlations. However there are multiple correlations of factors affecting the development of CAD and to specifically and definitively identify the liver's cholesterol production as the primary cause is not logical.

The human body is the most complicated mechanism known to science. Our existence is owing not entirely to genetic factors but also to behavior and diet. The body clearly has mechanisms that function better when diet and lifestyle are optimal or in harmony with the way the body was designed to function.

Man's interventions with chemicals i.e. pharmacological agents, only serve to disrupt this delicate and finely tuned organism, in an attempt to offset poor dietary and lifestyle choices made by individuals. If individuals made harmonious dietary and lifestyle choices, then pharmacological agents would not be necessary.

That's not to say that epigenetics can resolve all issues, clearly when one is born with a physical or mental disability, lifestyle choices will not make a difference. However for most people, the power is within them to improve their health status.

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You say: "Nitric oxide production to improve endothelial dysfunction, anti-inflammatory effects, plaque stabilization, increased smooth muscle-cell proliferation, decreased thrombus formation, lower LDL cholesterol - are all achievable through diet, exercise and vitamin supplementation"

Quoting from the abstract (which I linked to in the opening post):

"Statin therapy inhibits tissue factor expression by macrophages, which plays an integral role in blood coagulation and is an important determinant of plaque thrombogenicity.[23,25] There also may be a reduction in plasminogen activator inhibitor activity, which would facilitate fibrinolysis.[23] "

Please expand on how diet/exercise/vitamin supplementation may achieve this? The abstract says (simplified) 'Take a statin and this will be achieved' - how can the right combination (if it is a combination) of diet/exercise/vitamin supplementation be achieved - and are there studies to support this (as there are numerous studies to support statins)

Also can plaque regression be achieved through diet etc and if so are you referencing the no-oil Esselstyn approach?

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@Paul12

Based upon monitoring my blood tests as well as my endothelial function test (brachial artery responsiveness - FMD% score) as well as getting an updated echo-cardiogram, I have accomplished everything you referenced and, I noted, in my last posting to you.

I posted my updated blood-work 2 months ago here:

healthunlocked.com/choleste...

My triple bypass was March 2015 followed by 4 stents inserted between April and May 2015.

I have documented my journey and you can view all of my posts here and choose to read the ones you think are relevant:

healthunlocked.com/user/sos007

I'm not using the Esselstyn approach. When you go to a pesco-lacto-vegetarian diet as I did in January 2016, the idea of eliminating oil as well is just too overwhelming. In the National Geographic 'blue zone' research - 2 of the 7 places in the world with unusual longevity are island communities in Greece and Italy - places where olive oil is used freely. I'm Greek and have no intention of giving up olive oil.

Since I've accomplished some level of plaque regression (based on the endothelial function test) in addition to meeting every target for the various cholesterol metrics, without having given up dairy or olive oil, I think it proves that such extreme diets are unnecessary.

In the last four months, I reintroduced chicken for 2 meals per week and it didn't appear to have any negative effects on my blood-work. The biggest positive impact on my blood-work in the last year has been the introduction of the Linus Pauling Protocol - high dose vitamin C, lysine and proline.

I have also read Linus Pauling's 1986 book - 'How to Live Longer and Feel Better', in which he makes the following statement:

Paraphrasing - 'eat what you want, but do not be overweight. Avoid sucrose - sugar causes heart disease. You only need 3 oz of animal protein per day - take vitamin C to a dosage level just short of triggering bowel intolerance'.

Pauling himself took 18,000 mg of vitamin C daily by mixing ascorbic acid powder into a glass of water with a bit of baking soda to act as a buffering agent. I was taking vitamin C in 1,000 mg tablet dosages - 5 times per day along with the same dosage of lysine and 2,000 mg of Proline daily, until I discovered liposomal vitamin C. Now I take 2 packets of the liposomes daily which is the equivalent of between 8,000 and 12,000 mg of vitamin C in powder or pill format.

You can learn more here:

livonlabs.com/

I also read a book titled 'Practicing Medicine Without a License' of which you can read chapter 7 here:

practicingmedicinewithoutal...

My vitamin and dietary regimen were documented in a July 2017 post and each vitamin I take was initiated based on my interest in achieving lower cholesterol, lower risk of thrombosis and reversing heart disease in a natural way.

healthunlocked.com/choleste...

Thus I have read a number of studies that supported each vitamin and studies that showed the merits of exercise and diet on cardiovascular health, but I did not save all of these studies to be able to readily provide links to them. Thus you'll have to do your own research, or accept my accomplishments as your evidence.

If I find any of the relevant studies I'll send you a private message.

Good luck.

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Thank you for your reply.

I have questions.

QUESTION ONE

If I plough through the links (not objecting, just checking) somewhere I will find how you

a. managed to increase nitric oxide production to improve endothelial dysfunction

b. ate/exercised etc to cause anti-inflammatory effects

c. how you caused plaque stabilization

d. how your protocol increased smooth muscle-cell proliferation

e. how you decreased thrombus formation

f. how you lowered LDL cholesterol

g. how you - through the regime - managed to inhibit tissue factor expression by macrophages, which plays an integral role in blood coagulation and is an important determinant of plaque thrombogenicity.

h. how you managed to reduce plasminogen activator inhibitor activity, which would facilitate fibrinolysis.

(The above are all taken from my previous message)

QUESTION TWO

You say: " in addition to meeting every target for the various cholesterol metrics"

Did the metrics include (I appreciate not all are cholesterol):

LDL

VLDL

HDL

Total

Homocysteine

LDL-P

HDL-P

Triglycerides

LDL-size

Lp(a)

Lp-PLA2

hs-CRP

Fibrinogen

HDL - size

VLDL-size

Also how to you manage to have so many blood tests (I assume you're in UK) or do you have frequent private testing and if so where and at what cost?

QUESTION THREE

You say: "Since I've accomplished some level of plaque regression" do you not want to achieve more/all - and if so then why did you not give Esselstyn a try even though it would have been difficult?

QUESTION FOUR

"the introduction of the Linus Pauling Protocol - high dose vitamin C, lysine and proline."

I have been looking at this: jeffreydachmd.com/heart-dis...

What is the Linus Pauling Protocol?

L-ascorbate (Vitamin C) 5-6 grams a day in divided doses

L-Lysine 5 grams a day in divided doses

L-Proline 2-3 grams a day in divided doses

These supplements can be obtained at any the health food store as tablets or capsules for 40 to 50 dollars a month.

Tower Labs Ascorcine 9

A convenient powder containing all the combined ingredients for the Linus Pauling Protocol is called Ascorsine 9 and can be purchased at Tower Laboratories. This is a good choice for anyone serious about preventing heart disease looking for an easy product with everything in it.

This seems different to the Vit C Linus Pauling consumed

Another site says:

6 - 18 g of vitamin C, and 2-3 grams of lysine for prevention.

5-6 grams of lysine he recommended for those with diagnosed CVD.

Very big difference! Plus intake is limited by bowel tolerance so you might take 18g and someone else takes 4g - so surely the 4g person gains little?

Presumably you have read: quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRe...

There are a variety of liposomal vitamin C available on Amazon - very different prices. Which one do you take and why?

Thanks

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Yes - to all of your questions although the answers may not be spelled out in exactly the format you are seeking.

QUESTIONS:

1. a - My FMD% score improved from 6.8 to 8.4. I'm due for my next test in February 2018;

1 b. - my CRP and MPO results are the evidence

1 c. - my Lp-pla2 (PLAC test) results are evidence

1 d. - reflected in endothlial function test - FMD% score

1 e. - reflected in my homocysteine and fibrinogen levels

1 f. - yes - my LDL test results are there

1 g and h. - same answer as 1 e.

2. yes to all except - LDL-P and HDL-P - I have test results for Apo B and ApoA1 which are proxies for those two metrics;

2 - LDL, VLDL, HDL particle size - I did an NMR Lipoprofile recently and I don't have those results yet, I expect them back in the next two weeks, but I didn't have a baseline, this is the first time I'm getting these values.

2. CRP, Lp(a), Lp-pla2 - all results are there -

Note: Lp(a) was reduced as of the last test in October but not below target level. I just did a new test last week and will have the results in the next week or so. Keep in mind Lp(a) is a value that statins cannot influence - doctors believe this number is genetically pre-determined and exercise and diet have no ability to improve it.

Tests - I live in Canada - government run health care system - no private medical services permitted. Process for a blood test is to get a requisition form from your family doctor. Government will cover basic blood work and lipid profile - all other advanced test I pay for separately (lab services are privately-run but paid for by government for tests they deem necessary).

3 - Based on the trend of my test results - it appears I'm in the process of plaque regression - I don't see a need for Esselstyn protocol - it is also a dietary regimen that likely has low adherence since it is so restrictive. Linus Pauling lived to 93 and did not have heart disease - he started his Vitamin C treatment for himself in his late 60s. His diet only restricted sucrose and limited animal proteins to small quantities. I'm assuming he also restricted simple carbohydrates since they convert to a form of sugar in the body.

4.

This is the protocol I followed for a while was:

L-ascorbate (Vitamin C) 5-6 grams a day in divided doses

L-Lysine 5 grams a day in divided doses

L-Proline 2-3 grams a day in divided doses

As noted in my response - I have recently started using the livon labs liposomal vitamin c. Each 1,000 mg packet of vitamin C provides the equivalent bioavailability of 3-4000 mg of vitamin c if taken in powder or pill form. In addition, there is a compounding effect if you have 2 or more packets in a day - meaning the vitamin c dosage increases logarithmically. Livon labs have a detailed explanation on how liposomal technology works and how it bypasses the normal metabolic process of digestion, thus avoiding the potential for gastric upset or bowel issues associated with vitamin c powder or pills.

Dr. Thomas Levy is a big advocate of liposomes and you can read his views here:

peakenergy.com/articles/nh2...

- my personal experience with the Linus Pauling protocol began with much lower doses of all 3 ingredients and I still experienced a significant decline in all cholesterol metrics including Lp(a). Therefore I wouldn't sweat - the 4g vs 18 grams differential. If all you can do is 4 grams you will still get a benefit.

I've read the quackwatch as well as have sought out other objective websites on Linus Pauling. I'm aware that mainstream medicine dismissed his views. However, medical history is littered with instances where those who thought outside the mainstream were eventually proven correct.

His book written in 1986 at the age of 85 is lucid and detailed - he was a chemist - it shows that he had a firm grasp of his subject matter and demonstrated how he refuted those who criticized the merits of vitamin C.

I have also read much from his research colleague Dr. Rath, who is still alive and is also viewed skeptically, but supports Linus Pauling's findings.

At the end of the day, you'll have to try these things yourself and see if they work. They have worked for me.

My local Canadian distributor for the Livon labs product is livclear, so I order from there because they are the least expensive option.

I believe livon has distributors in the UK and Europe where you can place an order.

You may also want to see this video:

and this one:

Good luck.

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Okey dokey - thank you

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Paul, I wouldn't give Stephen Barrett/quackwatch any credit or merit. He's a fool, a tool, and a real quack - in my, and many other people's, opinion.

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You say: "I did not see anything in the meta-analysis study you provided a link to that suggests statins achieve things diet and exercise cannot."

It was very clearly stated and cited several studies to support the point.

There are many areas of the study that concern me as I am very much pro lifestyle and anti statin. The area you missed is perhaps the most worrying of all.

As I read through the study again the ONLY 'security' I have is that this is 13 years old so WHY haven't the statin-sellers been trumpeting it? It all seems odd.

Anyway, as said, it very clearly stated that statins can do something diet cannot.

exercise was not discussed.

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The statement you reference is an opinion. There is no conclusive evidence to support this view. The items I listed in my response, that theoretically only statins can accomplish such as - Nitric oxide production to improve endothelial dysfunction, anti-inflammatory effects, plaque stabilization, increased smooth muscle-cell proliferation, decreased thrombus formation, lower LDL cholesterol - are not unique to statin effects.

Dark chocolate, beets, arugula, spinach, exercise - all increase nitric oxide production which improves endothelial function and smooth muscle cell proliferation; a reduction in the consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates as well as regular exercise all reduce inflammatory effects; vitamins B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12 decrease thrombus formation; exercise and diet lower LDL cholesterol; Vitamin C increases collagen production and lowers LDL cholesterol as well as improving endothelial function and plaque stabilization. I have taken blood tests that measure all of these things and have noted their improvement over time as I modify either my exercise, diet or supplementation.

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You said the statement I referenced is an opinion. As I said, the statement I referenced cited studies.

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Studies that are not conclusive. They all cite correlations - not cause and effect.

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Have you looked at all of them?

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Over the last 2 years I have read over 100 medical studies on CAD, statins and cholesterol, probabilities are that those studies you referenced are among them. Although I don't have them memorized, I know that none of those studies proved anything, other than identifying correlations.

Allow me to rephrase - I'm not arguing that statins don't have pleiotropic effects of reducing inflammation, increasing smooth muscle cell proliferation...etc...my point is that these pleiotropic effects can all be achieved naturally, without the use of statins. Therefore, why would a person accept the side-effects of statins unnecessarily?

Show me among these studies where it is stated these pleitropic effects can ONLY be achieved with statins and NOT with diet and exercise.

Even if you find such a statement I can tell you that its untrue because I have achieved all of those pleiotropic effects on my own. I have measured all of those effects with advanced blood tests and have seen them improve with dietary, exercise and nutraceutical therapy.

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I don't doubt anything you say - remember I said that the abstract did not mention exercise - it's just the first time I have read any study anywhere that openly says as fact (based on other studies that are cited) that a) diet doesn't work and b) statins work where diet doesn't.

It annoys me...hence my opening post.

There are other numerous claims in the abstract but the diet thing is the key one for me

Ok so you cannot comment on the particular evidence cited in the abstract I quoted.

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The studies referenced are flawed because they're focused on lipid reduction as the cause of thrombosis - the trigger for both strokes and heart attacks.

They do not consider that cholesterol may be a symptom of CAD and not the cause of CAD. They don't consider that half of the heart attacks and strokes occur to people with low lipid levels, but instead are caused by thrombosis.

They don't consider that dietary intake of foods high in B6, and B9 lower the probabilities of blood clot formation.

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I am not interested in the lipid hypothesis. I am interested in the validity of the studies-backed claim that statins will achieve something Diet cannot

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Well, as I've said, my optimal fibrinogen and homocysteine levels, my CRP and MPO levels, and my endothelium function, have all been attained through diet, nutraceuticals and exercise, so that's my anecdotal evidence. Exercise doesn't have to be in a gym, it can be as simple as walking or riding a stationary bike. Good luck.

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And as I have said, the abstract did not mention exercise. It's not that i am seeking a life changing lifestyle or modifications etc. As i say in the opening post - here is an abstract. It says many things, especially this.....and then i asked for comments as to the validity.

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For the record, here are blood tests that measure the pleiotropic effects noted:

CRP - general inflammation in the body

MPO - Myeloperoxidase - arterial inflammation

Lp-PLA2 - plaque stability

Brachial Artery Responsiveness test (Angiodefender test) - Flow Mediated Dilation Score - measures endothelial function - improvement of endothelial function is evidence of - smooth muscle proliferation and increased NO production.

Fibrinogen and homocysteine - risk of thrombus formation

I have been taking these tests over time as I modified my diet, lifestyle and added nutraceutical therapy, and have documented their impact in my test results.

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As an aside, as this thread is about one abstract and the points in it, the 'modified diet' is LCHF or LCHF vegan or something else?

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It's a bit like this, "We aren't sure whether cholesterol causes stroke, but statins do work to prevent stroke, so statins are useful anyway".

An alternative view is that it is the anti-coagulant properties of statins at work here, and there are healthier ways of achieving that.

So, no it's not incontrovertible.

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Did you thoroughly read the study?

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No. What did I miss that wasn't included in the abstract?

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There are numerous points supporting the use of statins stated (often citing other studies) in the abstract. Your post does not seem to address any of them.

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There are numerous points. Are all of them relevant, or are they a cumulative ploy to convince how wonderful this product is? It's a sales technique to convince us that they've reached a pinnacle of pharmaceutical technology, even though they now have PSK9s.

I must be a real pain to these people, because I DON'T NEED statins (or PSK9s, or anti-coagulants...). I have zero calcification because my hormonal system works; I have avoided insulin resistance by having only adequate amounts of carbohydrate, avoiding the ones that spike insulin.

Without high insulin levels my body is able to communicate to send calcium to the right places.

I don't eat too much fructose, so my blood doesn't become too thick, and my liver doesn't become fatty.

I don't eat pro-inflammatory processed oils.

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I am not sure which particular point(s) in the abstract you are addressing.

What I am/was hoping for when I started this thread was for someone/people to post as follows:

"In the abstract it says............however the study it quotes was later found to be flawed because....and also the abstract says .......which was totally contradicted by......... and (especially) the study says that statins do ....that diet cannot and yet this study.....clearly shows this to be untrue....and it was later found out that the participants falsified..."

That type of thing

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There are books from Dr Malcolm Kendrick and other cholesterol sceptics that will do that.

As an atheist I have no desire to challenge people's faith. With regard to statins, or any other cholesterol lowering medication, they are an irrelevance to a long and healthy life.

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So you won't actually be commenting on any of the specific points in the abstract then, in particular the pleiotropic effects. I am unaware of any books that comment on this particular abstract - which is why I started the thread.

If people do not wish to comment on the specifics - as I say in the opening post - of course that's fine.

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I think we've had this conversation before Paul12? Dr. Ron Rosedale explains that the difference between a man and a woman is around 200 genes, whereas each meal affects about 8000 genes. Much of what we believe is genetic may actually be influenced by lifestyle. It is the activation of genes that determines our predisposition.

The Weston A Price Foundation are critical of 'civilisation's' lack of preparation for pregnancy. Most peoples that were unaffected by civilisation had rich, nutrient dense foods in preparation for their offspring.

For society it is commonplace to have coffee, flour and sugar.

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I am not disagreeing with your post but I am after specific comment on the abstract quoted. You said you had read it - have you any comment on any particular specific area of the abstract? I only knew of the abstract about 48 hours ago so we have not had this conversation before.

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I did read your article - and I am for sure no expert - but it is an old article and I have read so many that say you can lower cholesterol and inflammation thru more natural diet and herbs. What's funny with my insurance my statin is only $4 a month but 10 times more do treat it naturally. Statins make me tired and with no energy - and that is the opposite of my normal life. So trying to get of the things. all studies - for are against statins - if possible search who is funding the study - sometimes very interesting

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Yes I have read articles/studies that says either diet has NO impact on cholesterol (usually pushing saturated fat) or diet can lower cholesterol (usually pushing vegan) an example being the Pritikin website.

The thing about this abstract is that is has 48 cited studies and it says a number of things I have not seen elsewhere - just as an example, it goes on (citing studies) about how lowering ALREADY LOW cholesterol has clear benefits which is the opposite if what I have heard.

Here's a couple of quotes from the abstract:

"Endothelial dysfunction is a risk factor for cerebrovascular events.[30,31]Statin therapy has been shown to improve endothelial function,[25,32,33,34]and there is evidence suggesting that statin therapy is accompanied by increased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability"

and

"The effects of statins on stroke are at variance with epidemiological studies and suggest that statins reduce stroke through cumulative improvements in a number of different components of atherosclerosis including effects on the endothelium, thrombosis, plaque stability, and through anti-inflammatory effects."

Now from what another poster said, all that can be achieved by diet and exercise (which is what i hope) BT this abstract goes on about how much better statins are.

In which case IF you can avoid the side effects that's pretty good isn't it? To answer my own question, 'No' because I have read that statins work AGAINST exercise etc

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I am on a low dose statin, but when I went on vacation I failed to bring it with me so I went almost a month without it and felt great - sometimes driving 12 hrs a day. I was do a blood test when I got back and bad cholesterol went up - so doc had a fit - I read an interesting study by the Japanese on use of statin, but when I mentioned to my doc - seemed to get mad and said that would not apply to me because I had a single bypass and look at the national cholesterol education program - interesting also

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The irony is that you feeling great would reduce stress, reduce risk. LDL rose as it was no longer being held down artificially. Cause... symptom.... risk factor....

Take your choice...

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What statins will do that diet won't is, destroy your body. Studies funded by the very people who make the pills are absolutely worthless. Any independent studies I've read say nothing good about the drug. If I were interested in buying a new Buick, the very LAST place I'd go for information would be a Buick dealership. An independent mechanic? Makes a lot more sense to me.

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