41. A Choirboy for Cholesterol Turns
Steven Sinatra MD, a board certified cardiologist in
Connecticut and popular author, admits he was a cholesterol believer for many
years, and even lectured on behalf of statin makers Merck and Pfizer. However, after years of clinical practice,
Sinatra had a change of heart. He transformed himself from a choirboy for
cholesterol drugs into a disbeliever because of the following
Observations That Show Cholesterol IS
NOT the Cause of Heart Disease
Many patients with low cholesterol will go on to develop heart disease.
(2) In many patients with cholesterol above 280, angiograms show normal
coronary arteries. They don't have
(3) Population studies discredit cholesterol.
For example, the French have the highest cholesterol levels in Europe
of 250, and they also have lowest incidence of heart disease. On the Greek Island of Crete, average
cholesterol is well over 200, yet there was not a single heart attack there
in ten years.
(4) Half of all heart attacks occur in people with normal total cholesterol.
A Vending Machine for Statin Drugs?
Steven Sinatra, MD remarked in his writings that
drug companies Merck and Pfizer have transformed the medical profession into
one big vending machine for statin drugs.(1-4) Dr. Sinatra also informs us that the routine
Cholesterol Blood Test ordered by your doctor is now obsolete, and has been
replaced by the VAP test, a more sophisticated lipoprotein panel which provides
a wealth of useful information absent from the old cholesterol panel. What is this added information?
VAP Test - LDL Particles - Not All Sizes are Equal
Firstly the VAP Test provides the LDL particle size.
Small LDL particle size is the dangerous one associated with increased risk of
heart disease. Large buoyant LDL particle size is the safe one, with less heart
disease risk. Secondly the VAP includes
Lipoprotein (a), a marker of high risk for heart disease risk.
is the Value of a Total Cholesterol Test?
Sinatra says total cholesterol doesn't mean much
unless you have a level over 320 which increases risk of stroke. Reducing cholesterol can be accomplished with
weight reduction and increasing dietary fiber. He would not give a statin drug
for this unless you are a male with documented heart disease.
Effects of Low LDL
Sinatra says that statin drugs can drive down LDL,
yet low LDL below 80 is associated with adverse side effects of increased risk
of cancer, aggression, cerebral bleeding, amnesia, and immune dysfunction.
Don't Do It
Here is Dr Sinatra's advice to you if your doctor
tells you to take statin based on the standard cholesterol panel:
(1) Don't do it. Ask for a VAP
(2) If you are a 50-75 year old
male with increased numbers of small dense LDL particles on a VAP test, then
go for the statin drug. It's a good idea. If you are over 75, then don't take
a statin drug as the drugs cause increased mortality in the elderly.
(3) If you are a woman, avoid statins, as no statin drug study has ever
shown a benefit in all-cause mortality for women by lowering cholesterol, and
adverse effects of the drugs are horrendous.
(4) If you have elevated lipoprotein (a), do not take a statin. The drugs don't work for this. Instead use
Niacin (B3) 500-2000 mg per day, fish oil 2-3 grams per day, and nattokinase
100 mg per day.
The Greatest Scam Ever
The famous Framingham Study is the foundation and
basis of the cholesterol theory of heart disease. This is the idea that
elevated cholesterol causes heart disease, and statin drugs reduce cholesterol
thereby preventing heart disease. A biochemist
and participant in the Framingham study, George Mann, later described this as ,
" the greatest ‘scientific’ deception of the
century, and perhaps any century”.(17)
Stopped My Statin Drug - Now What?
Once a patient decides to get off statin drugs, the
next question is what replaces the statin drug?
What lifestyle modifications and nutritional supplements are used to
prevent or reverse heart disease? The
answer is that an entire program has been devised for this. This program is called “Track Your Plaque”, and was devised by William Davis MD, a
Wisconsin cardiologist. Contained within
Dr. Davis's program are lifestyle and diet modifications and targeted
supplements based on the VAP- Lipoprotein results. A complete description of this program can be
found in Natural Medicine 101.
William Davis MD Warns About the Evil Trio
If total cholesterol is not useful as a predictor of
heart disease risk, what is? Firstly, Dr. Davis uses the calcium score as a
predictor of heart disease risk. Secondly,
there are a few lipoprotein markers on the VAP test which are useful. Dr.
Davis tells us the VAP test sometimes reveals an evil trio of
lipoprotein abnormalities which are strongly predictive of heart disease risk,
often leading to advanced heart disease at an early age.(6)
The Evil Trio
of Dr Davis
Low HDL--generally less than 50 mg/dl.
2) Small Particle Size LDL--especially if 50% or more of total LDL.
3) Elevated Lipoprotein(a)--an aggressive risk factor by itself.
If you have the “Evil Trio” on your VAP test, rather than robotically prescribe
a statin drug, Dr. Davis instead recommends lifestyle modification and key
dietary supplements. Davis remarks that
some of his greatest heart disease reversals, with reduction in calcium score, have been in patient with this Evil Trio,
which responds well to the regimen listed below. Reversal of heart disease is determined by
reduction in coronary calcium score (or less of an increase) on follow up scans.
Here is Dr
Davis' Program for Reversing Heart Disease and the Evil Trio
1) Niacin--increases HDL, reduces
small LDL, and reduces Lp(a)
2) Elimination of wheat,
cornstarch, and sugars--Best for reducing small LDL; less potent for Lp(a)
3) Reduce carbohydrates and
increase healthy fats --Like niacin, effective for all three.
4) High-dose fish oil--Higher
doses of EPA + DHA 3000 mg per day.
Statin Drug Case Stories: Here are a few statin drug case histories from my office:
Number One - Chronic Psoriatic Rash from
Dan is about 65 with no history of heart disease and
has been on a statin drug for a cholesterol of 220 about two years. His major problem is a red raised rash on his
forearms, and hands and forehead which looks a lot like psoriasis, present for
about 2 years. Dermatologists have been
stumped and of no help. Dan's VAP test
show large buoyant LDL particles indicating low risk for heart disease. His coronary calcium score was 75th percentile
indicating only moderately above average risk of heart disease (50% per centile
is average risk). I told Dan that the
rash was most likely a reaction to the statin anti-cholesterol drug, and
advised a two week trial off the drug to see if the rash resolves. Three weeks later Dan returns to the office,
and reports the skin rash is gone.
Number Two- Lupus-like Skin Lesion from Statins
Sarah is an 82 year old with no history of heart
disease on a statin drug for a cholesterol of 235. She had been to the dermatologist because of
skin lesions on her face near the temple areas which were biopsied and reported
by the pathologist as inflammation in the skin suggestive of lupus
erythematosis (SLE). Sarah is concerned
she has Lupus and came to see me for a second opinion. I told Sarah she most definitely did not have
Lupus and advised her that the skin eruptions were a reaction to the statin
drug. Sarah stopped the statin drug and
three weeks later reported the skin had returned to normal.
Number Three- Early Alzheimer's from Statins
Lori is a 52 year old post menopausal with chief
complaint of memory loss, cognitive dysfunction and severe fatigue. She had no history of heart disease and been
on a statin drug for many years for a cholesterol of 230. I advised her to stop the statin drug. However, her cognitive dysfunction and memory
loss continued unchanged. Her memory was
so bad, she got lost and was unable to find her way to the office for her
follow up visit. She wandered around and
eventually made her way home A study
by Muldoon showed virtual 100% of patients on statin drugs have some element of
cognitive impairment, ranging from mild to severe symptoms of amnesia and
cognitive dysfunction. (5) I have found
this to be the case in actual clinical practice.
Number Four- Wheelchair bound non-healing deep infections from
Jim is a war veteran and was paralyzed from a
roadside bomb many years ago, and has since been wheelchair bound. Although
there is no history of heart disease, his doctor placed him on a statin drug
for a cholesterol of 245 about two years ago.
Shortly thereafter, Jim developed non-healing chronic decubitus
infections at the ischial tuberosities (buttocks) at the site of pressure
sitting in the wheelchair. Jim has had
numerous surgical procedure and drainages, debridement, and multiple courses of
antibiotics for these chronic infections which refuse to heal. In this case, the statin drug prevents
healing of chronic infection. Jim
stopped the statin drug, began an intensive nutritional program to boost
immunity and healing ability. Six weeks
later he reported considerable improvement.
For references and links, see my web site: www.bioidenticalhormones101.com
References for Chapter 41. A
Choirboy for Cholesterol Turns Disbeliever
Dr. Stephen Sinatra - From Cholesterol Choirboy to Non-Believer, Spacedoc blog.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra - How to Determine if You Really Need a Statin
Dr. Stephen Sinatra - Statins, CoQ10, and Carnitine
Clearing Up the Cholesterol Confusion by Steven Sinatra, MD, Townsend Letter.
Am J Med. 2000 May;108(7):538-46. Effects of lovastatin on cognitive function
and psychological well-being. Muldoon MF, Barger SD, Ryan CM, Flory JD,
Lehoczky JP, Matthews KA, Manuck SB.
Lethal lipids-Heart Scan Blog William Davis MD
(7) http://jeffreydach.com/2008/01/27/cholesterol-lowering-statin-drugs-for-women-just-say-no-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx Cholesterol Lowering Statin
Drugs for Women, Just Say No by Jeffrey Dach MD
(8) http://jeffreydach.com/2008/08/30/cholesterol-lowering-drugs-for-the-elderly-just-say-no-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx Cholesterol Lowering Drugs for
the Elderly, Bad Idea
(9) http://jeffreydach.com/2008/11/27/heart-disease-ascorbate-lysine-and-linus-pauling-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx Heart Disease, Ascorbate, Lysine
and Linus Pauling by Jeffrey Dach MD
Russert and George Carlin by Jeffrey Dach MD
(11) http://jeffreydach.com/2007/05/14/lipitor-and-the-dracula-of-modern-technology-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx Lipitor and The Dracula of
Modern Technology by Jeffrey Dach MD
http://jeffreydach.com/2008/03/27/cat-coronary-calcium-scoring-reversing-heart-disease-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx CAT Coronary Calcium Scoring,
Reversing Heart Disease by Jeffrey Dach MD
http://jeffreydach.com/2008/04/18/heart-disease-part-two-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx Heart Disease Part Two by
Jeffrey Dach MD
Crestor, Jupitor, CRP and Heart Attack by Jeffrey Dach MD
Vitamin C and Stroke Prevention by Jeffrey Dach MD
(16) http://jeffreydach.com/2009/01/13/cardiac-bypass-angioplasty-and-stenting-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx Cardiac Bypass, Angioplasty and
Stenting by Jeffrey Dach MD
“Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are not the cause of coronary
heart disease. That myth is the greatest ‘scientific’ deception of the century,
and perhaps any century.” - George V. Mann, M.D. Professor of Biochemistry, The
Physician’s Concise Guide To: The Cholesterol Myth.
Author: Jeffrey Dach MD