Crestor

  1. Feds finally own up to statin risks

    Not long ago, those of us who pointed out that cholesterol meds can actually cause diabetes and other serious health problems were dismissed as alarmists.

    Statins, we were told, are so safe they should be given to practically everyone – with some "experts" even pushing to give them out with every Big Mac. (That might sound like something I made up for an easy laugh – but believe it or not, it's actually true.)

    Well, maybe now the push to give everyone statins will start to slow a bit: The FDA has finally admitted that all those side effects the drug industry and its paid--for experts once brushed off are actually very real.

    And now, they want the labels of these meds changed to reflect the increased risk of diabetes, confusion, memory loss, and serious muscle pain.

    The feds say those side effects can hit anyone at anytime. They can strike after a single day on these meds...or they can come on after years of taking them without incident.

    And they can happen to everyone across all age groups.

    So who's the alarmist now?

    Of course, I can't help but find it a little suspicious that this warning comes only after every Big Pharma statin except for one – Crestor – lost its patent protection, with Lipitor going generic just a few months ago.

    It's almost as if the feds were giving their drug company friends a chance to maximize profits before issuing the same warning those of us in natural health delivered years ago.

    But even worse than the risks and the delayed warning is the fact that no one ever needed these meds in the first place.

    In many cases, people taking statins don't even have a cholesterol problem since mainstream LDL targets are set unrealistically low. And even when cholesterol does shoot up to high levels, taking a drug to "cure" it is akin to Homer Simpson putting a piece of tape over the "check engine" light on his car.

    Super high cholesterol is a warning that something's wrong – and lowering it without fixing the underlying issue won't make you healthier any more than that piece of tape will fix Homer's engine.

    If your own levels start climbing too high for comfort, work on lifestyle changes first. Cutting out sugars and sticking to fresh foods will almost always bring cholesterol to where it needs to be.

    If they're still high, don't visit a statin-slinging mainstream doc. Visit a naturopathic physician who can find and fix the real cause without meds.

    And for one easy way to lower your cholesterol naturally, keep reading.

  2. Statins aimed at healthy people

    The FDA has dished out some pretty bad advice over the years... but this one takes the cake: Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, has been approved for completely healthy people with normal cholesterol levels.

    I warned you this day would come... but that doesn't make this dose of bad news any easier to take.

    Under the new guidelines, docs can now give this dangerous drug to people with "other" risk factors for heart problems –-such as elevated levels of C-reactive protein.

    But this decision didn't come after an exhaustive series of studies... and it wasn't based on the overwhelming body of scientific evidence.

    It was made based on a single study funded by the drug's maker. Not only that, but they pulled the plug on this study two years early--essentially the moment they got the result they wanted.

    And even then, the researchers didn't uncover any real stunners. In fact, a recent article in the New York Times points out that 500 people would have to take Crestor for an entire year--at a combined cost of $638,000--to avoid a single usually survivable heart attack.

    That's a lot of prescriptions--and a lot of money--for not much benefit. Those pills cost $3.50 each--and you'll be paying for them whether or not you actually take Crestor, since the FDA approval means insurance companies will have to cover it. That can lead to higher premiums for everyone, and more money will be needed for taxpayer-funded medical plans.

    Of course, it's not about cost alone--most of us would gladly pay nearly any price for something that could truly help us to live longer, healthier lives.

    But statins aren't going to do that for you.

    These meds have been linked to debilitating muscle pain, liver damage and even an increased risk of diabetes. And they're not even the best way to achieve their original goal of lower cholesterol levels.

    Lifestyle changes will beat these meds every single time. You don't need to make dramatic changes--just simple choices like eating better and getting more movement into your life will do the trick.

    The time to act is now--before your own doctor begins pressuring you to take these meds.

    Then again, even if you're perfectly healthy, you can expect to hear a statin sales pitch any day now thanks to the FDA.

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