Let The Buyer Beware: Cholesterol Poisons For Sale (Shhh!)

Steven P. Timmons

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By Steven P. Timmons – Wow, where can I buy some of these? Anything to poison that pesky little cholesterol! The darn stuff runs around the house (our bodies) doing all kinds of pesky things. Let’s see, if I can just get rid of cholesterol, wouldn’t that be a blessing? Would I even miss that little pest at all?

Actually…yes, you might. Cholesterol is used to make most of our beneficial hormones including Vitamin D, testosterone, estriol, estradiol, cortisone, and aldosterone. It is used in all of our membranes and is particularly concentrated in our myelin sheaths (the tubular covers that surround and protect our nerves). It is also used to make bile, which helps us digest fats and absorb fat soluble vitamins.

In fact, every cell requires cholesterol for normal function. Our body is constantly trying to make sure we have enough, and it produces cholesterol when there is not enough in the diet. Our medical community, on the other hand, is convinced that we should decrease the amount of cholesterol in the body, and is prescribing statins at an ever-increasing rate. The rationale for prescribing these drugs – drugs that poison the cholesterol producing system – is based on an attempt to decrease heart disease. At face value, this is a commendable idea.

Unfortunately, basic medical research keeps getting in the way of good intentions. Is it any surprise to us that study after study describes problems associated with statin use? It is now a well-accepted fact that statins activate a gene signal that causes muscle damage, with many patients reporting muscular and joint pain. One study states that “Physical exercise appears to increase the likelihood for the development of myopathy in patients taking statins.” Since exercise decreases your risk for many diseases, including heart disease, but taking statins along with exercise increases your risk for muscle damage, don’t we have a major dilemma on our hands that we should be talking about?

In the last year, several studies have revealed an increased risk of developing diabetes for those who are taking a statin. The most recently published study, in the January 2012 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, was done by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who reviewed data from the Women’s Health Initiative; this time from the perspective of statin use. The initial study reviewed 161,808 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years. It was found that women in the study who used statins were 71 percent more likely to develop Diabetes Mellitus than those who did not use statins. Wow…let’s say it together. “Wow!” Can I also suggest that we say “hurrah”? Some of the medical community is paying attention to the problems that can be caused by statins.

So we need to make a decision. We have this pest called cholesterol, that may be harmful in some cases, but we know for a fact that most of the time it is just running around the house (the body), minding its own business, and doing good. Poisoning it is a dangerous proposition and we can’t leave the house while the fumes dissipate. Caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware. Think about it. Read about it. After all, it is your body and your cholesterol we are talking about.

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