You will recall that some weeks ago, I posted about a study in which the researchers suggested free statins should be offered with fast food to offset the cardiovascular damage.  Some of you wondered if the study was tongue-in-cheek.  Apparently not.  One of the researchers left a comment today.  Here is it in case you didn’t see it:

Dear Sirs,

Thank you for your interest in our article. Please let me clarify that we were not writing tongue in cheek, nor were we joking. Heart attacks are serious for our patients and those that suffer them often wish they could have been prevented.

What we are asking is why is it routine in fast food restaurants to have unhealthy condiments provided free (e.g. salt) which have no beneficial properties, and yet no access at that location to statins?

It can’t be because salt (for example) is healthier than statins.

Statins do not prevent many deaths in primary populations, i.e. people who seem healthy. They do convincingly prevent heart attacks but, since heart attacks are usually with modern care not fatal, these prevented heart attacks cannot be expected to translate into lives actually saved in a quantity that would be convincing to a neutral observer.

As for side effects of statin, they are few, when the genuine statin muscle abnormalities are compared to the blank placebo tablets. The power of the human imagination is gigantic: more than most people imagine (if that is not a self-defeating statement).

Daily statin tablets are now routine therapy for patients whose future diet and exercise are considered permanently irreparable; how can that be right and yet an individual statin an individual unhealthy meal be wrong?

How can it be right to hand out salt to people who may have high blood pressure (without checking or even asking), sugar to people who may be diabetic (without checking or asking), and excess calories to people who may be overweight (even obviously obese); and YET wrong to even make available statins for those who wish to exercise their free choice to have them? Let me reiterate that it is not the presence of the former that I object to, nor the lack of the latter, but the conjunction of the former being routine but the latter forbidden.

I do appreciate your good-humoured look at life, and at science. Keep it up. Somebody has to ask awkward questions – and you are definitely doing that. But that, too, is what I am doing in my own way.

Best wishes from London,

Darrel Francis

So there you have it, straight from the source.  Statins are better for you than salt, so we should allow people to self-medicate.

57 Responses to “A ‘McStatin’ Researcher Replies”
  1. Richard Tamesis, M.D. says:

    OT, Denise Minger has an awesome new post. Turns out Campbell’s epidemiological data shows that wheat intake is the biggest risk factor for heart disease in China.


  2. Be says:

    When’s the last time you’ve been to a McDonalds? Probably while making Fat Head. But is a G*@ D#%$. hedonistic orgy down there.

    I think they should double down on salt, sugar and the ketchup (HFCS in a convenient dose or for the true believer – the keg pump) and start to offer condoms as a condiment.

    No one at McDonalds would eat statins even if they were good for them. That just isn’t why people go there.

    I believe my last McMeal was about a month ago. Since I work at home now, I hardly ever eat in restaurants.

  3. Kait says:

    I know people who’ve used the King Institute Method to stop heart attacks. Fast food restaurants should print the diagrams on their paper bags in case of emergency. Much more reliable than statins! (But honestly, come on…These are restaurants, not hospitals or pharmacies, or alternative healer’s offices.)

    Exactly. People don’t go to McDonald’s for health treatments.

  4. Lori says:

    Re: Minger’s wheat post, I’ll bet Dr. William Davis is doing handsprings.

    I’ve met him. I believe he could do handsprings quite easily.

  5. Jakounezumi says:

    Saw a suggestion that was actually actually a good one, about mixing statins into junkfood. I eat lowcarb, but once or twice.. in bad cases thrice a month my resolve breaks down and I have a pizza or a kebab.. those are my big vices in life, I don’t drink or smoke, and I hate McDonalds, but just can’t stay away from the pizza. having them mix statins into that would DEFINITELY do that trick in keeping me at arms length from that kind of food for the rest of my life.

    As for salt, maybe it is true that it raises blood pressure, maybe it is not.. in my own case I actually hope it does as I’ve always had low blood pressure and my knees buckle if I get up too quickly.. Been my belief that that is why I’ve always had salt cravings. Always pour a little extra on top 🙂

    Actually it made me remember the movie “Demolition Man” with Stallone, funny movie, takes place in a future where “everything bad for you” is illegal, including salt. (swearing also illegal, big problem for Stallone)

    If they put statins in pizza, that would cure my cravings as well.

  6. dlm says:

    I became hypothyroid while on a low salt diet. And have since found out processed food is made too cheaply to use iodized salt.

    That figures.

  7. Troy says:

    Darrel Francis is definitely worth his weight in statins.

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