|Written by health professionals: Doctor, M.D., CphT, and others - but easy to read.|
Cholesterol drugs do take a long time to work. A study - Vale N, et al. Statins for Acute Coronary Syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 6. - found that if you were in urgent need to lower you cholesterol, that cholesterol drugs failed to lower cholesterol and failed to reduce the risk of stroke etc even after FOUR months of use. So when you take up the use of a cholesterol lowering drug, you need to be aware that the benefits are in the more distant future, but, as they say, the sooner you start using the cholesterol lowering drugs, the sooner the results will happen for you.
So, cholesterol lowering drugs are great for lowering cholesterol in the long term, but not the short term.
There is also some arguments over what constitutes high cholesterol blood levels. This is important, as you don't need cholesterol drugs unless you are deemed to have too a high a cholesterol level. Although it has been deemed for some time that a blood cholesterol level of 5 or below is great for most of us, the truth is that, that is still quite high in comparison to that found in countries with low cardiovascular disease - in fact a cholesterol level of 2.5 could possibly become the norm to aim for. With our western diets and lifestyle, cholesterol drugs may be going to end up being used by the bulk of the population.
Hard to believe, well in Australia, its been identified that close to 100% of diabetics over 25 years of age have high cholesterol and are 4 times more likely to die of a cardiovascular problem. Australian diabetics are now being asked to lower total cholesterol levels to below 4.0, with ldl down below 2.5, and triglycerides to 1.5 or below. Diabetes affects about 1 in 10 people in western societies now and it is believed it will reach about 1 in 3 in another 40 years. Nearly everyone with diabetes will need cholesterol drugs.
If you are already considered to be at high risk for a cardiovascular incident, some cardiologists were recommending back in 2002 that your total cholesterol should be no more than 2.5
Cholesterol drugs are a real growth industry.
Contents: The Two Sides in the Cholesterol Drug debate -- Cholesterol drugs can have dangerous side effects -- Are cholesterol drugs a giant pharmaceutical scam? -- The inflammation hypothesis of cardiovascular disease and cholesterol -- Triglycerides need to be lowered as well -- Cholesterol lowering drugs in Summary -- Some warnings and side effects of cholesterol drugs you may not hear about -- Cholesterol Drugs in Conclusion.
The Two Sides in the Cholesterol Drug debate
Cholesterol drugs are probably one of the hottest topics around.
On one side of the cholesterol drug fence we have one group - primarily doctors and drug companies - that state categorically that cholesterol drugs are life saving and beneficial.
On the other side we have anyone from a journalist to a herbal medicine dealer espousing the view that cholesterol drugs are not only useless, but that cholesterol drugs are quite dangerous with their side effects
Cholesterol drugs can have dangerous side effects
Certainly, there are few who would disagree about how dangerous some of those cholesterol drug side effects can be.
The side effects of the cholesterol drugs include such debilitating effects as complete loss of energy, where just sitting up in bed by oneself is a major accomplishment.
There are true stories of people who have lost their jobs because of a cholesterol drug's side effect.
BUT such serious side effects are very very rare and tend to happen because the doctor has placed you on a very high dose of a statin drug - this means that your cholesterol is considered by your doctor to be very very dangerously high. So a risk assessment is made by the doctor: The risk of the very bad adverse side effects versus the risk of of not treating your dangerously high cholesterol rigorously.
However, the debate is not over the side effects of these cholesterol drugs, as the side effects are normally stated in tiny writing on a piece of paper included in the packaging. So the cholesterol drug companies aren't apparently hiding this information.
Are cholesterol drugs a giant scam?
The debate is really over whether cholesterol drugs do anything beneficial for the sufferer of high cholesterol.
An extremely important consideration, as the doctors and drug companies make money out of having you on cholesterol drugs, while you or your insurance company foot the bill.
Some people have even gone so far to say that the whole cholesterol drugs scene is one giant scam and that there is no such thing as a cholesterol induced stroke. If you read our introductory cholesterol stroke on what cholesterol is and does, you will find this basis for rejecting cholesterol drugs to be somewhat doubtful. Our cholesterol page also discusses cholesterol and its role in our body and what can happen.
To quote S. M. Grundy, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, circa 2008: "That's the most established fact in all of medicine ... The more you lower LDL cholesterol, the more you lower the risk."
I have to wonder if the people pushing this cholesterol drug scam idea are the ones doing the scheming.
Anyway, to pursue the idea of a giant cholesterol drug scam:
Given that millions and millions of people - about around 12 to 14 million to be precise - in the United States alone are on statin cholesterol drugs - statin cholesterol drugs being a derivative from red yeast rice mould initially - the need to verify which group is right about the life saving effects of cholesterol drugs has become paramount.
The hypothesis that high cholesterol is not responsible for LDL depositing on the blood vessel walls has been propounded by some for some time now. There are studies that do show that lowering the LDL cholesterol through cholesterol drugs, does not necessarily result all the time in stopping cholesterol build up on blood vessel walls - a lowering of heart attack and cardiovascular risk - but overall, for many people it appears to do so, particularly if the cholesterol drugs are complemented by a low cholesterol diet.
Triglycerides need to be lowered as well:
From another recent study by Dr. Miller, we also know that to reduce cardiovascular risk even further, that triglycerides need to be lowered to a low level as well, in addition to lowering the LDL through cholesterol drugs. Triglycerides apparently can cause blood vessels to become inflamed and inflamed blood vessels are more likely to cause clotting when cholesterol deposits cause weakened blood vessel walls. Some cholesterol drugs lower triglycerides as well.
Also, there is a mountain of research that verifies that the higher the cholesterol in your blood stream, the more likely will be cardiovascular disease through cholesterol build up on artery walls etc. That's why we measure cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol Drugs - some warnings and side effects you may not hear about
When researchers deliberately increased HDL cholesterol - the good cholesterol - to unnaturally high levels in people, they also found that would kill people as well.
On a down side, drop your cholesterol levels to far, such as with cholesterol drugs, and you risk stomach cancers, amongst other things. Dr. Kouichi Asano et al, of Kyushu University, Fukuoka, circa 2006 in the International Journal of Cancer found that if your cholesterol levels were low you were nearly twice as likely to develop stomach cancer.
Finally, not all people with high cholesterol develop cardiovascular disease, but as we can't yet tell who needs cholesterol drugs and who doesn't, it means we all have to try and keep our cholesterol under control, and cholesterol drugs can be very, very good at doing just that.
Like any powerful medication, cholesterol drugs need to prescribed and MONITORED by your doctor. Your doctor needs to adjust the dose to the minimum possible - to help reduce the chances of dangerous side effects developing.
Even then, your body must be monitored closely for the rest of your life, as the cholesterol drugs are so powerful that they can cause some of your internal organs to fail and you know what that can mean, a trip to the cemetery perhaps. A real nasty side effect of statin cholesterol drugs that must be watched for through blood test, is whether it is causing your muscles to waste away. These side effects of cholesterol drugs are rare, but if it happens to you, believe me, you'll probably wish you had another life.
The non-statin cholesterol drugs that work by blocking fat absorption, also block your body from getting the fat soluble vitamins out of the fat, putting you at real risk of some vitamin deficiencies that can also be quite debilitating in their own right.
Cholesterol Drugs in Conclusion
This may all seem very confusing, but what the research appears to be pointing to, is that cholesterol drugs can help lower LDL cholesterol. That lowering the LDL cholesterol through the use of cholesterol drugs and diet can lead to lower cardiovascular incidents such as stroke and heart attack, but not always.
So, it would seem that cholesterol drugs do have a place in fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke
On a more positive note, cholesterol drugs, although not completely safe, are much safer than cholesterol drugs of just a few years ago.
Provided you have a doctor who monitors and adjusts the dosage of the cholesterol drug as needed, the risk of adverse side effects is expected to be reduced, and your life span usefully extended.
Remember, www.CholesterolCholestrol.com is crammed packed with useful and beneficial information for lowering high cholesterol naturally through a cholesterol diet, and much, much more.