cholesterol

Have You Seen Those Misleading Lipitor Ads?

Thursday, March 27, 2008 by: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS
Tags: Lipitor, health news, Natural News

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) I'm sure you've seen the ads. Dr. Robert Jarvik, best known for the artificial heart he pioneered more than 25 years ago, is rowing a one-man racing shell across a mountain lake, looking like the picture of health. "When diet and exercise aren't enough", Dr. Jarvik says solemnly, "adding Lipitor significantly lowers cholesterol".

The implication is clear. This stuff's got to be good. Here's one of the big guns in the area of heart medicine - he invented the artificial heart for goodness sake - endorsing it. He uses it himself and he's rowing away like an athlete half his age. It's got to be good, right?

Shades of those old late night infomercials for hair replacement - "I would not lie to you! I'm the president of the company!"

Well, it turns out that Jarvik doesn't actually row. And he isn't actually a cardiologist and currently isn't even licensed to practice medicine. "He's about as much an outdoorsman as Woody Allen" said his longtime collaborator, Dr. O. H. Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute.

OK, so they used a stunt double to sell the pill. Is that so bad?

Not by itself. But taken together with some other troubling information that was revealed recently, it might cause us to take a new look at the whole mania for lowering cholesterol.

Most people only care about lowering their cholesterol for one reason: they believe that doing so is going to make them live longer and reduce the risk for a heart attack. Otherwise why bother, right? So the recent trials on Vytorin - a new cholesterol medication - have something interesting to tell us.

Vytorin (which became famous for commercials which showed people who look similar to foods like banana cream pie and tacos) actually combines two drugs: Zocor, a top-selling statin (cholesterol lowering med) and Zetia, a drug that limits cholesterol's absorption. The hope was that the combo med would be a blockbuster because it lowers cholesterol even more than either medication taken alone.

And it does.

Problem is, that's all it does. The recent study that got headline attention showed that the new drug didn't do a darn thing to slow the growth of arterial plaque. The decline in cholesterol level didn't translate into any appreciable benefit if by benefit you mean living longer or avoiding heart disease.

Which might make you wonder.

Maybe, just maybe, we've been concentrating on the wrong thing. Maybe lowering cholesterol isn't the be-all and end-all of a heart healthy lifestyle.

Remember, fully half of people with heart attacks have normal cholesterol. And half of the people with "elevated" cholesterol have perfectly fine tickers.

Emperor's new clothes, anyone?

Trying to lower death rates and heart disease just by lowering cholesterol is like trying to reduce auto fatalities just by making stronger air bags. The air bag industry likes it; but it doesn't touch the major risk factors for highway deaths, like drunk driving.

For a long time I've been part of the "International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics" who believe our collective emphasis on this one measurement is wrong-headed and not even based in good science. I've seen people with absolutely not a heart disease risk factor in sight be given Lipitor or Zocor because their total cholesterol was a measly 210. That is utterly ridiculous.

And by the way, there is not a shred, and I mean not a shred, of evidence that lowering LDL cholesterol does a thing for women. The only population it seems to help is middle aged men who have already had a heart attack.

We would be so much better off looking at blood measures like triglycerides, homocysteine, CRP (a measure of inflammation) and the ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol, a ratio which, in a published article in the journal Circulation, was found to predict heart disease 16 times better than cholesterol. To find your ratio take your triglycerides and divide by your HDL cholesterol. For example if you've got triglycerides of 100 and HDL cholesterol of 50, your ratio is 2, which is a vanishingly low level of risk. Five, on the other hand is high risk. You can lower your ratio simply by bringing down your triglycerides, something relatively easy to do with a lower carb, no-sugar diet!

And while I'm ranting, let me say one more thing about statin drugs, which, by the way, are inching close to being a 20 billion dollar a year industry, and that's just for the two top selling cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Statin drugs probably do some good but not because they lower cholesterol.

Statin drugs lower inflammation, and that is something we should be concerned about. But saying they prevent heart attacks by lowering cholesterol is like saying aspirin prevents clotting because it gets rid of headaches.

And by the way, in case you're interested, cholesterol is the parent molecule for your sex hormones, not to mention for vitamin D. And there are multiple dangers to lowering it too much, despite what the drug manufacturers would like you to believe.

Let's start looking at the other risk factors for heart disease, like smoking, not exercising, not eating fish or fish oil, being overweight and stress. Remember, in the Nurses Health Study they got an 83% reduction in risk for heart disease just by following five simple lifestyle modifications: a healthy diet (with fish), a healthy weight, no smoking, moderate alcohol and daily exercise.

Eighty three percent!

There's not a drug on earth that can give you those results.

And by the way, Pfizer has pulled those ads with Dr. Jarvik.

About the author

Dr. Jonny Bowden (www.jonnybowden.com) is a board certified nutritionist, and nationally known speaker who has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC and CBS as a nutrition expert. His latest book is "The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth"(http://www.amazon.com/Most-Effective-Natural...). For more information, free audio courses and newsletter please visit (www.jonnybowden.com) .

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.