cholesterol-lowering statin

  1. Polypill madness strikes again

    Supersizing might be on the outs when it comes to fast food -- but it's all the rage in the drug industry.

    And right now, researchers are busily testing the limits of the ultimate in supersized meds: A drug that combines FOUR different pills in one, giving you a chance to swallow once... and experience side effects in four different ways.

    Would you like statins with that?

    The drug is called a polypill, and the latest version combines a cholesterol-lowering statin with two blood pressure meds -- along with some aspirin, just for good measure.

    The latest study claims this pill can slash the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent -- but if you read the fine print, you'll find it's not a claim backed up by the study itself.

    In fact, none of the patients in the study dodged heart disease or strokes... or maybe you could say all of them did.

    Since the study lasted just 12 weeks, either statement could be equally true.

    Let me explain. The researchers gave 378 people between the ages of 50 and 70 either a polypill or a placebo. Then, they compared before-and-after readings for cholesterol and blood pressure.

    When they found a 9.9 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 0.8 mmol/L average reduction in LDL ("bad") cholesterol among patients who took the polypill, the researchers declared victory and went home.

    But while no real lives were saved in this brief study, 58 percent of the people who took the polypill experienced very real side effects -- and 23 percent had to quit because they couldn't handle them, according to the details published in PLoS One.

    You don't have to test your own tolerance for those side effects -- because you don't need a polypill or even the individual drugs found inside it.

    The truth is, both cholesterol and blood pressure can be brought under control through lifestyle changes -- and in many cases, they don't even have to be dramatic changes.

    A study last year, for example, found that a handful of nuts a day lowered LDL levels by an average of 7.4 percent.

    On a similar note, other studies have identified common, healthy ingredients -- like oatmeal and cinnamon -- that can slash your BP levels.

    For more tips on lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels without drugs, visit the Web site of the Health Sciences Institute, where you'll find an extensive online library of natural treatments for any number of conditions.

    And some of them are pretty tasty.

  2. McStatins on the fast food menus?

    It's like super-sized magic!

    British researchers say you can now safely gulp down a gut-busting fast-food meal anytime you want. In fact, it's practically health food now.

    And all you have to do is swallow a little pill with your milkshake.

    But this isn't some new wonderdrug. Nope--the med they want you to take is a cholesterol-lowering statin.

    I've always said that the mainstream goal is to get absolutely everyone on cholesterol meds... and now, all the proof you need can be found in the pages of the American Journal of Cardiology, where researchers lamented the fact that statins are still a prescription drug.

    That's because they want restaurant chains to serve up McMeds with every meal, no doctor necessary.

    The research team even came up with a formula simple enough for any minimum wage teenage fast food worker/pharmacist to understand: One statin will cancel out the effects of a burger and a milkshake.

    I take you'll need a second one if you want fries--and maybe a third if you supersize it.

    And don't worry about the price--they've figured that one out, too: roughly 8 cents per meal, which they say is in line with a ketchup packet.

    But the cost of making hundreds of millions of people sicker than ever by encouraging them to eat fast food while taking dangerous drugs: Priceless.

    Especially for Big Pharma.

    Statins are already some of the most successful meds in all history--making them available prescription-free with every item on the dollar menu would keep the gravy train running for generations.

    But as many of the people who've taken these meds can attest, they're all risk and no reward.

    Dr. Donald Light, professor of comparative health policy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, said at a recent meeting of the American Sociological Association that a thorough review of the research finds that statins neither reduce the risk of heart attack nor help people live longer.

    You might even say that these meds are a genuine twofer-- because in addition to being utterly ineffective, they're also far more dangerous than your doctor will ever admit. They come with a risk of debilitating muscle pain and even permanent muscle damage, kidney failure, and even cataracts.

    So if you're really interested in staying healthy and winning the cholesterol battle, do yourself a favor--stay off these meds.

    And stay out of fast food joints.

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