An audio version of this post is available here.
Heart disease and stroke is the number one killer of North Americans. This disease accounts for over 600,000 deaths per year in the USA alone. And, like with the rest of the modern chronic disease epidemics we face, historically speaking, it is not a normal disease in the human population. Our extraordinary rate of heart disease is a relatively new phenomenon. It is considered to be just another disease of affluence and lifestyle. Obviously, we are somehow doing it to ourselves.
For decades now modern medicine has vilified cholesterol as being the primary culprit in causing heart disease and stroke. But, the exact mechanism behind why there’s a pandemic in increased cholesterol levels remains a mystery. For a long time now the elevated cholesterol levels have been very simplistically blamed on consuming too much saturated fat as part of the regular diet. However, things don’t move fast in medical research, and now finally after about 50 years that theory is losing its plausibility. If we are going to be realistic about it, with the massive real-world experience with the wide-scale adoption of low-fat diets, it has proven to be just dead-wrong. Yet, many folks in medical science still cling to the ridiculous notion that fat in the diet is the cause of high cholesterol. Not surprisingly, even with much of the population on long term low-fat diets the cholesterol levels for many people just remains way too high. And of course, the North American death rates due to heart disease and stroke are just as high as ever also. So, once again, the experts appear to have gotten it completely wrong. Regardless of what the experts claim, clearly, dietary fats are not the cause of high cholesterol.
Okay, but what about the very basic premise that high cholesterol is even the villain in causing coronary artery and heart disease in the first place? Surely, they can’t be wrong about that one too? After all, the arteries and the heart are being blocked up with plaque, and one of the main constituents of that plaque is cholesterol. I mean, just how much more evidence do they need to give us? Cholesterol is always found at the scene of the crime. Therefore, it must be guilty, right?
Well, not so fast. Here’s the little glitch in that theory. Only about 50% of people diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD) have elevated levels of serum cholesterol. Whereas, the other 50% of people with CAD have normal, or even low, serum levels. So, that’s a clear indication that there’s something vastly wrong with that “it’s the cholesterol causing heart disease” theory too.
Okay, what else do we know about the artery plugging plaque? Well, the two really interesting ones are that it is chocked full of dead macrophages and often calcium too. Next, we need to know that the walls of the arteries are an endothelium. The cells that make up the internal walls of the blood vessel are really just a specialized version of the epithelial cells. Then, the next critical detail to know is that the areas of the blood vessel walls where the plaque forms are almost always under distress from a non-healing lesion and chronic inflammation too. So much so, that many researchers now believe that the real root cause of the plaque formation is the inflammation. Their view is that the plaque is really the body’s internal band-aid trying to protect a chronic wound in the artery wall. Thus, in their view, the causal sequence goes like this:
Chronic arterial lesion => Inflammation => elevated cholesterol + calcium => plaque
Naturally, we need to look upstream and ask what can cause chronic lesions and inflammation in the blood vessel walls like that in the first place?
Long term exposure to retinoic acid would sure do it. Remember that retinoic acid indiscriminately attacks the basal membrane of the epitheliums anywhere in the body. Next, what about all those dead macrophages? Yes, retinoic acid, and even vitamin A, have been proven to cause that to happen too. What about the calcium? Yes, that too is very well documented to occur in high vitamin A conditions. That calcium has been drawn-out from the bones to bring the local pH levels back in line. Finally, what about the cholesterol itself? Yes, cholesterol is documented to be one of the chemical breakdown pathways for vitamin A.
See: Organic Chemistry
Morrison and Boyd
With all of that, I think we have a perfect fit as to who the real culprit is in causing coronary heart disease. It’s not cholesterol itself. Instead, cholesterol is just one of the by-products of the breakdown of vitamin A. It’s also very likely that elevated cholesterol is just a defensive measure in response to the inflammation.
Either way, the real culprit in heart disease is whatever’s causing the lesions to occur. Obviously, cholesterol is not the root cause of the plaque at all. Therefore, elevated cholesterol is just another symptom of the chronic disease.
But, the medical establishment does not want you to think like that, or to think too deeply about it. The thing is that they have a magic drug to take care of that elevated cholesterol for you. It does not matter to them one little bit if cholesterol is the real culprit or not. It’s the drug they have, and it’s the drug they are going to aggressively try to sell you.
Of course, I’m referring to the now famous “statins.” This class of drugs is a huge blockbuster seller. With about 40 million people taking them daily, it’s been the biggest money maker in the history of the pharmaceuticals. Annual sales are in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And, the worldwide revenue generated in treating heart disease is approaching one trillion dollars. Therefore, there’s no compelling reason for anyone who is in the business to look any deeper into the cholesterol question. But, we will.
The statins have been on the market for about 30 years now. Like with so many other pharmaceuticals, the statins don’t actually cure disease or even prevent disease. They only mask or suppress the symptoms. For the industry, that’s the great thing about the statins. It’s precisely what the industry wants. They can get people hooked on them and have repeat and life-long customers.
Moreover, the statins actually do a pretty good job in suppressing the liver’s production of cholesterol. Therefore, for the average GP overseeing the treatment, it appears that they are even “working.” Okay, so almost everyone involved should be happy with that, right?
Well, that’s not the case at all for a lot of statin users. Many of them aren’t at all happy because they experience serious so–called “side-effects.” So much so, that a lot of patients can’t bear the suffering, and are forced to stop taking their statins after just one year. The other thing with the statins that most people shouldn’t be at all pleased about is that there’s almost no evidence that anyone is going to live one day longer by taking them.
The most commonly reported “side-effect” is that of muscle pain and weakness, and it’s often severe. So, right away the math just does not add up on it. If you are not going to live one day longer by being on a statin, but yet you could suffer in serious pain for every day that you are on them, and that’s potentially for the rest of your life too, why would anyone take them? Very sadly, it’s usually because their doctors have told them “You will die if you don’t take them.” Yes, it’s the same sordid story. They need to resort to scare tactics and fearmongering to keep selling their magic beans. Like with most pharmaceutical drugs, the real clinical trials for them start well after it has been approved and when it goes into widespread use. So, in a way, the patients are just human guinea pigs in these long-running experiments. The results of that long-term experiment with the statins are now showing up.
Of course, over the years, more and more evidence is leaking out that not only are the statins not preventing heart disease and stroke at all, but they are causing a massive amount of pain, suffering, and often accelerating people into other serious diseases and even early death. There are a bunch of very credible researchers now sounding the alarm, and asking serious questions about the statins. The industry, of course, is fighting back feverishly with propaganda, and marching out their own paid-off pundits to keep pushing the statin drugs as aggressively as ever. What exactly are the more serious long term complications of statin usage? In no particular order, they are significantly increased risks (often by about 50%) of:
- Serious Liver damage
- Breast Cancer
- Dementia / Alzheimer’s disease
- IBD / IBS
- Debilitating muscle atrophy
- Chronic fatigue
- Heart Failure
- Auto-immune diseases
Now, with all those severe and increased risks, and no proven benefit or even a decreased risk of having a first heart attack, who in their right mind would take a statin? How is the industry getting away with this nonsense? Of course, it’s with slick marketing, propaganda, fake science, rigged studies, aggressive media censorship, and with what I view as very deceitful manipulations. For example, seeing an increased risk of “Heart Failure” on the above list should have caught your attention. After all, aren’t the statins suppose to reduce the risk of Heart Attacks? Well, yes, they are. But, you see, technically speaking, catastrophic “heart failure,” due to the heart muscles being too weak to contract and pump blood, is not a “heart attack.” No, a “heart attack” is when a big slug of plaque peels off the artery wall and blocks it, or it gets lodged into the heart valve. Of course, to you and me, it’s just a bunch of weasel words to hide from the truth; there’s no material difference between dying from catastrophic “heart failure” or a “heart attack.”
The reason people on the statin so commonly experience debilitating muscle atrophy, muscle weakness, and sometimes catastrophic “heart failure” is because the drug does not just block the liver’s production of cholesterol. It also blocks the production of another critical enzyme called CoQ10, among other important processes. The CoQ10 enzyme is a key enzyme used by all cells, and especially so the muscle cells, to produce energy. So, the statins are just going to slowly drain the life force out of every cell in the human body. Remember too, that the liver is the body’s primary detoxification organ. Obviously “blocking” any aspect of its function is reckless if not just plain stupid. I don’t want to go more into that aspect of it here. But, please check out what other people are documenting on it. Here are a few good references.
Dr. Aseem Malhotra – Heart Stents, Cholesterol and Statin Smoking Guns?
Dr. Michael Eades – Statin drugs and diabetes
Dr. Maryanne Demasi – ‘Statin Wars: Have we been misled by the evidence?’
Some of the propaganda statements from industry pundits are so egregious, it’s just obscene. It’s as if they are saying, don’t worry about the vastly increased risk of dementia/ Alzheimer’s, my god man, you could have a heart attack. Don’t worry about the vastly increased risk for diabetes. We, the experts in medicine, have new synthetic insulin we can sell you for the rest of your life, and at 10x the old price too. And when your diabetes gets worse, and you lose the ability to circulate blood in your lower limbs, don’t worry, we can just simply cut off your legs. And ladies, don’t worry about the 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer; we, the experts in medicine, can just simply cut off your breasts. We are really good at that too. Don’t worry that you can become too fatigued and weak even to move. Just trust us, we are the experts. Above all else, don’t stop taking your statins, or “YOU COULD DIE.”
But, my purpose here is not to go bashing the statin drugs. Rather, it’s to highlight this list:
- Serious Liver damage
- Breast Cancer
- Dementia / Alzheimer’s disease
- IBD / IBS
- Debilitating muscle atrophy
- Chronic fatigue
- Auto-immune diseases
Do you recognize that list? It is, for the most part, the same list of the major diseases I’ve been attributing to chronic vitamin A poisoning. Here we now have substantial evidence showing that the statins are causing these same diseases. How can that be possible? Could they be caused by a deficiency in cholesterol? Well, no, because there are a lot of people with naturally low cholesterol levels, and we still have a massive epidemic in all of these diseases.
What about this little tiny detail of one of the breakdown pathways of vitamin A is to convert it into cholesterol? What if the statins are preventing this breakdown? On one hand that would sure lower the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver, as it indeed does. But, in doing so, what does that mean for serum vitamin A levels? They should be going up with statin use then too. Yes, they do.
Serum retinol levels throughout 2 years of cholesterol-lowering therapy.
In the entire population (N = 102), serum retinol was 3.46 +/- 0.08 mumol/L before therapy and 3.76 +/- 0.07 after 2 years of therapy (P < .001). Serum retinol increased in diet- and statin-treated groups, but not in fibrate- and resin-treated groups.
Quite remarkably, here we have a drug with massive market adoption, that is inadvertently increasing serum vitamin A levels. Almost all of the other reported so-called “side-effects” documented for the statins are a perfect match for those of vitamin A toxicity too. But, most amazingly, its use is now proving to result in significantly increased rates of above listed chronic diseases.
The silver lining in this dark cloud of the on-going statin fiasco is that it has inadvertently given us a tremendous amount of more strong evidence that chronic vitamin A toxicity is actually causing all of the above-listed diseases.
Additionally, there’s the other bit of very bad, and yet almost global, advice dished out by the medical experts regarding heart disease. They have pretty much vilified salt, and said that everyone should be on a low salt diet. The experts have correspondingly set ridiculously low guidelines for its intake. But, once again, it looks like that advice is entirely wrong. Here’s an excellent video presentation using historical references and data to show that higher intakes of salt actually reduce the rates of coronary and other chronic diseases.
But, there’s one other super important and connecting detail you need to know about salt and cholesterol. Much of the body’s cholesterol is excreted and disposed of by the liver via the bile salts. Therefore, you need adequate dietary salts to facilitate that critical process.
Now, if I didn’t know better, it’s almost as if much of the advice from the medical establishment is rigged to manipulate us into a chronic disease.
Anyhow, if the advice from the experts is so often wrong, what’s a person to do when they are concerned about high blood pressure, or heart disease and stroke? All I can do is share what’s happened in my case. After four years on my vitamin A elimination diet, my cholesterol levels have dropped in half. The various cholesterol ratios are like perfect too. My blood pressure is excellent. And somewhat recently, my resting heart rate has fallen a bit more to now being usually around 50. That’s reported to be a standard heart rate for a well-trained athlete. But, I’m not a well-trained athlete and I’m now in my late fifties. Go figure?
Therefore, if I had a friend concerned with the long term risks of heart disease I would definitely encourage them to consider a low vitamin A diet. Lastly, there’s the concern for the potentially already built-up calcium deposits in the arteries. I think that a regular dose of apple cider or balsamic vinegar will quickly take care of that.
The human body was perfect and is perfect. We just have to be very careful in not poisoning it. Obviously, we should also never be taking any drug that “blocks” some critical function of it.