You have to be
under a rock (or calming your sympathetic nervous system through a media break)
if you missed the blow-back from the 2015 Dietary Guideline
suggestions advising to take cholesterol off the diet “hit list.” Along with this blow to low-fat dieters and amongst the cheers of the bacon connoisseurs’, controversy brewed between statin lovers and
haters. This was made evident by a new release of a study that
questioned the efficacy of statins and the concern of under-reporting this medications’ harms.
cholesterol really cause harm?
Recently, Sayer Jj and Dr.
Brogan reviewed studies of statin and lipid lowering side effects in their
article on Green Med Info. They
A new study finds the chemical war against cholesterol using statin drugs
was justified through statistical deception and the cover up of over 300
adverse health effects documented in the biomedical literature. (1)
The study they
were referring to was published online in a March 2015 article in the
Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology.
We have provided a critical assessment of research
on the reduction of cholesterol levels by statin treatment to reduce
cardiovascular disease. Our opinion is that although statins are effective at
reducing cholesterol levels, they have failed to substantially improve
cardiovascular outcomes. We have described the deceptive approach statin
advocates have deployed to create the appearance that cholesterol reduction
results in an impressive reduction in cardiovascular disease outcomes through
their use of a statistical tool called relative risk reduction (RRR), a method
which amplifies the trivial beneficial effects of statins. We have also
described how the directors of the clinical trials have succeeded in minimizing
the significance of the numerous adverse effects of statin treatment. (2)
The authors of the
trial further explained their outcomes as reported by Science Daily. They discussed how statins’ effectiveness was
inflated and its adverse effects minimized though misleading
statistical relevance. This was accomplished by using relative risk over absolute risk reporting. The authors
explain this mathematical madness below:
“”In the ASCOT-LLA study, which was
terminated early because it was considered to have such outstanding results,
there were heart attacks and deaths in 3% of the placebo (no treatment) group as
compared to 1.9% in the Lipitor group. The improvement in outcome with Lipitor
treatment was only 1.1 percentage point, but when this study was presented to
the public, the advertisements used the inflated (relative risk) statistic,
which transformed the 1.1% effect into a 36% reduction in heart attack risk.
events, the authors also reported, “Increased
rates of cancer, cataracts, diabetes, cognitive impairments and musculoskeletal
disorders more than offset the modest cardiovascular benefits of statin
…They also noted that most statin trials are
terminated within two to five years, a period too short to see most cancers
Are we approaching an end to “statin era?” We’ll have to wait and see.
(1) Ji S, Brogan
K. Cracking the Cholesterol Myth: How Statins Harm The Body and Mind. Green Med
Info. February 27, 2015.
(2) Diamond DM1,
Ravnskov U. How statistical deception created the appearance that statins are
safe and effective in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular
disease. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol.
2015 Mar;8(2):201-10. doi: 10.1586/17512433.2015.1012494. Epub 2015 Feb 12.
(3) University of
South Florida (USF Health). Safety, life-saving efficacy of statins have been
exaggerated, says scientist. ScienceDaily. February 20, 2015.