Would You Like Some McStatins With That?

I don’t blame Ronald McDonald for the rise in obesity and diabetes.  I made that clear in Fat Head.  But if he starts handing out statins with the burgers and fries, I may have to track him down and punch him right in his red nose.

No, scratch that.  It wouldn’t actually be Ronald’s fault.  I should track these people down and punch them in the nose instead:

Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralise the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study.

In a paper published in the American Journal of Cardiology, Dr Darrel Francis and colleagues calculate that the reduction in cardiovascular risk offered by a statin is enough to offset the increase in heart attack risk from eating a cheeseburger and a milkshake.

Those must’ve been some amazing calculations.  After several major clinical trials that lasted for years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, researchers have been left with contradictory results.  At best, they can say that among people with previously identified heart disease — and no one else — statins might prevent one heart attack for every 100 people who take them.

And yet this group in Britain fired up a copy of Excel and precisely calculated that one dose of statins offsets the coronary damage from a Double Quarter Pounder and a chocolate shake.  Their study (ahem, ahem) should’ve been laughed into instant oblivion.  Instead, it appeared in the American Journal of Cardiology (which next month will publish a study examining the heart-protecting effects of standing outside naked and howling at passing aircraft).

Good grief.  We’re finally seeing major media outlets like the Los Angeles Times openly question the supposed benefits of statins, and in the same week we’ve got doctors suggesting Ronald McDonald should serve them as a side dish … at least in Britain, where statins are already an over-the-counter drug.  Here’s part of what they wrote in their paper:

Routine accessibility of statins in establishments providing unhealthy food might be a rational modern means to offset the cardiovascular risk. Fast food outlets already offer free condiments to supplement meals. A free statin-containing accompaniment would offer cardiovascular benefits, opposite to the effects of equally available salt, sugar, and high-fat condiments.

Yeah, fabulous idea:

“Salt?  Ketchup?  Statin?” 

“How much is the statin?”

“They’re free, sir.”

“Really?  They cost money at the pharmacy.  Give me a dozen.”

An article about the study (ahem, ahem) in today’s Science Daily was so full of bologna, I ingested three days’ worth of saturated fat merely by reading it.  Here are some quotes:

Statins reduce the amount of unhealthy “LDL” cholesterol in the blood. A wealth of trial data has proven them to be highly effective at lowering a person’s heart attack risk.

What “wealth of trial data” would that be, exactly?  Let’s review what the Los Angeles Times said on the topic:

In the first of three studies published in the Archives [of Internal Medicine] last month, medical researchers found that, contrary to widely held belief, statins do not drive down death rates among those who take them to prevent a first heart attack.

Perhaps those researches forgot to limit their study group to people who’d just consumed a Big Mac.  But it’s not just the Archives of Internal Medicine that’s knocking statins lately.  In a paper published in a French medical journal, researchers examined the clinical trials and came to same conclusion:  several recent studies have been conducted to test the effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs.  Most were disappointing or inconclusive, some were stopped early (and never published) because the results weren’t flattering, and the only one that declared a clear benefit for statins — JUPITER — is highly suspect.  That’s the one where the investigators moved their end-point back in time to get a result they liked.

But back to the Science Daily article:

“It’s ironic that people are free to take as many unhealthy condiments in fast food outlets as they like, but statins, which are beneficial to heart health, have to be prescribed,” Dr Francis said.

Doctor, I’m going to step out on a limb here and suggest that any substance that messes with your basic biological functions probably ought to be prescribed.  And if they aren’t prescribed, people should be given all the information about them.  Before we put a dish of statins next to the ketchup dispenser, can we at least talk about side-effects?

Statins have among the best safety profiles of any medication. A very small proportion of regular statin users experience significant side effects, with problems in the liver and kidneys reported in between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 10,000 people.

AAAARRGGHHH!!  No, damnit, I mean the real side effects!  One in a thousand?  Are you kidding me?  Dr. Beatrice Golomb has been tracking statin side-effects for years and says the rate could be closer to 30%.  Most doctors just don’t attribute the side effects to the statins they’re handing out.  My mom’s doctor certainly didn’t.

Studies have shown a clear link between total fat intake and blood cholesterol, which is strongly linked to heart disease.

So we’re back to that same old @#$%.  If A is linked to B and B is linked to C, then A must cause C.  Just one little problem:  nobody can produce a single study that shows that eating saturated fat causes heart disease.  Recent studies have concluded exactly the opposite:  there is no link between the two.

Recent evidence suggests that trans fats, which are found in high levels in fast food, are the component of the Western diet that is most dangerous in terms of heart disease risk.

No kidding.  Too bad the goofs in white coats convinced us we had to stop frying in tallow and lard … you know, like we did back when heart disease was rare.

Even if you buy the theory that saturated fat raises cholesterol and elevated cholesterol causes heart disease, this proposal is still almost charmingly stupid.  Heart disease is a chronic condition.  It develops over years.  To the minor extent that statins prevent a second heart attack, they do it over the long term.  They’re not condoms for your arteries. If you have the occasional one-nighter with a milkshake, you can skip the protection without receiving a surprise phone call a few months later.

But apparently these researchers are convinced that saturated fat clogs your arteries the way tobacco stains your teeth:  a little bit with every dose.  Eat a burger, grow some plaque — unless, by gosh, you pop a statin immediately to halt the process.

If, heaven forbid, we start serving fast food with a side of statins, here’s what will happen:  five or 10 years from now, you’ll see headlines about a new study that links fast-food consumption to muscle weakness, depression and memory loss.  The blame, of course, will be assigned to the burgers.  Michael Jacobson of CSPI will seek out the nearest TV camera and declare Quarter Pounders “Alzheimer’s in a bun.”

The researchers note that studies should be conducted to assess the potential risks of allowing people to take statins freely, without medical supervision.

This is coming from the same people who think it’s “ironic” that we dispense free ketchup in restaurants but require a prescription for statins?  What a nice little note of caution.

They suggest that a warning on the packet should emphasise that no tablet can substitute for a healthy diet, and advise people to consult their doctor for more advice.

No thanks.  The way doctors give out statins these days, I think white coats should come with a big warning label on them.


If you enjoy my posts, please consider a small donation to the Fat Head Kids GoFundMe campaign.
Share

104 thoughts on “Would You Like Some McStatins With That?

  1. Dan

    As others have noted, this is as stupid as adding statins to the drinking water. I hope Stephan Guyanet is right that this could be a joke.

    As for “safe” goes, I’ve personnally known too many people who had side effects from statins. I’ve heard that they do a trial period before an actual clinical trial to weed out those who might have a reaction to the drug. Beatrice Golomb is on to them.

    That’s correct; they weed out the people prone to side effects before the trial.

    I’d like it to be a joke as well, but I dug up the original paper and they seem serious to me.

    Reply
  2. tro

    “If A is linked to B and B is linked to C, then A must cause B.” Um, did you happen to mean A must cause C?

    This push for statins never ceases to amaze me.

    Thank you. Fixed.

    Reply
  3. Wanda

    “So we’re back to that same old @#$%. If A is linked to B and B is linked to C, then A must cause B. ”

    I think you meant “then A must cause C.”

    😉

    Great post, as usual! Keep ’em coming!

    Arrgghh! That’s what happens when I proof my own work. Fixed it.

    Reply
  4. labrat

    How’d you get the paper? Did you find it free? (I certainly don’t want to pay to read such tripe.)
    Just from the abstract, I can’t believe this was accepted in a peer-reviewed journal.

    The investigators compared the increase in relative risk for cardiovascular disease associated with the total fat and trans fat content of fast foods against the relative risk decrease provided by daily statin consumption from a meta-analysis of statins in primary prevention of coronary artery disease (7 randomized controlled trials including 42,848 patients)

    Now where in the world did they dig up an RR for the increased “risk” of a single happy meal???
    They pulled it out of thin air is my bet. Where in the world did they dig up an RR for the decreased risk of a single dose of a statin? They pulled it out of thin air is my bet. Pretty math and a whole lot of assumptions does not science make. Everyone associated with this paper, from those who paid for it to those who published it should be fired for making a mockery of it.

    They did math tricks with heart-disease rates, risk factors associated with fatty food, and the fat content of fast-food meals figures to calculate the supposed heart-disease risk of a fast-food meal. Likewise with the supposed benefits of statins to calculate the degree of CVD prevention provided by one dose. It makes no real sense.

    Someone attached the paper to an email I received.

    Reply
  5. Dana

    Sad thing is, as you proved yourself, if you just leave off the starches and turn down the sugars at a fast food restaurant, it doesn’t damage your heart at all, at least as far as the accepted parameters for heart disease risk are concerned. But if they start handing out statins, people’s hearts WILL be damaged. Just the reduction of CoQ10 in heart tissue alone is going to cause problems. To say nothing of the effects of statins on diabetics.

    They’re *trying* to kill us, right?

    I’m afraid far too many doctors actually believe statins are miracle drugs. So they may not be trying to kill us, but that can certainly be the effect.

    Reply
  6. paleofriend

    I guess Dr John ‘put statins in the water supply’ Reckless may have been inspired by the system in the US to fluoridate the tap-water (as it turns out this practice is probably the cause of a large number of ailments, and there is no sound evidence that can justify such a regiment, and the little you need for dental health you will easily get from toothpaste).

    At first I thought that the press release from Dr Darrel Francis et al on ‘statins with your hamburger’ was a joke, now I’m convinced that they are simple statinators (Colloquialism for proponent of statins) fishing for research funds 😀

    Surely, this will be met with ridicule even in the research society.

    Let’s hope. It’s laughable to me.

    Reply
  7. Richard Tamesis, M.D.

    It doesn’t come up. I work more or less independently from others in our department since I am the only one who sees inflammatory diseases affecting the eye, so I can give as much advice as I want with regards to diet. Most of my patients with eye inflammation have either metabolic syndrome or are vegetarians whose overall health status is falling apart.

    Well, that figures.

    Reply
  8. Dana

    Sad thing is, as you proved yourself, if you just leave off the starches and turn down the sugars at a fast food restaurant, it doesn’t damage your heart at all, at least as far as the accepted parameters for heart disease risk are concerned. But if they start handing out statins, people’s hearts WILL be damaged. Just the reduction of CoQ10 in heart tissue alone is going to cause problems. To say nothing of the effects of statins on diabetics.

    They’re *trying* to kill us, right?

    I’m afraid far too many doctors actually believe statins are miracle drugs. So they may not be trying to kill us, but that can certainly be the effect.

    Reply
  9. justmeint

    Ladies and Gentlemen, allow us to announce a new facet of one stop shopping.

    Gone are the days when a doctor will advise you to make life style changes to improve your health, instead you will be able to order your Lipitor with a side of Burger and Fries!

    Talk about a new marketing ploy! Drug reps will now be spending time at your favourite fast food chains and take-away stores, pushing their ‘quick fix’ drugs to medically uneducated burger ‘flippers’ and salt shaker fillers.

    http://just-me-in-t-health.blogspot.com/2010/08/one-stop-shopping.html

    And of course pretty soon, they’ll be handing out pain medications along with the statins. But after the statins, people will forget to take them.

    Reply
  10. Richard Tamesis, M.D.

    It doesn’t come up. I work more or less independently from others in our department since I am the only one who sees inflammatory diseases affecting the eye, so I can give as much advice as I want with regards to diet. Most of my patients with eye inflammation have either metabolic syndrome or are vegetarians whose overall health status is falling apart.

    Well, that figures.

    Reply
  11. justmeint

    Ladies and Gentlemen, allow us to announce a new facet of one stop shopping.

    Gone are the days when a doctor will advise you to make life style changes to improve your health, instead you will be able to order your Lipitor with a side of Burger and Fries!

    Talk about a new marketing ploy! Drug reps will now be spending time at your favourite fast food chains and take-away stores, pushing their ‘quick fix’ drugs to medically uneducated burger ‘flippers’ and salt shaker fillers.

    http://just-me-in-t-health.blogspot.com/2010/08/one-stop-shopping.html

    And of course pretty soon, they’ll be handing out pain medications along with the statins. But after the statins, people will forget to take them.

    Reply
  12. Frank

    First, I absolutely love the movie FatHead, and I have recommended it to all of my friends. I found the movie after my wife taught me the benefits of “grill & greens”. I lost 80 pounds just by dropping all the simple sugar and carbs, and I’ve never felt better in my life. Your movie is wonderful in that it breaks down the science in a way that’s informative and educational. Thank you.

    Second, I saw this article, and it give me hope that more good information is slowly getting out there. Thought you could use more good news.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/the-cholesterol-myth-that_b_676817.html

    That is encouraging.

    Reply
  13. sharron

    I read your article, loved it. I also read all of the comments,because I am impressed that you reply! Great job. I’ll be passing this on.

    Reply
  14. Frank

    First, I absolutely love the movie FatHead, and I have recommended it to all of my friends. I found the movie after my wife taught me the benefits of “grill & greens”. I lost 80 pounds just by dropping all the simple sugar and carbs, and I’ve never felt better in my life. Your movie is wonderful in that it breaks down the science in a way that’s informative and educational. Thank you.

    Second, I saw this article, and it give me hope that more good information is slowly getting out there. Thought you could use more good news.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/the-cholesterol-myth-that_b_676817.html

    That is encouraging.

    Reply
  15. Todd

    Justmeint, why not go even further? The fast food restaurants can set up shop in the waiting rooms of doctors’ clinics. Pop in for a quick meal, some statins, perhaps even a bit of health advice. The wait to see the doctor will fly by, and then he’ll be able to encourage to “come back soon, y’all!”, right after he encourages you to get the kids on statins via the wonderful Happy Meals next door.

    Sounds very efficient.

    Reply
  16. Todd

    Heartwire calls the article a “mischievous” strategy, and spoke with Dr. Francis…

    http://www.theheart.org/article/1110267.do

    They sure went a long way with a lot of serious numbers to be tongue in cheek, if that’s what they were doing. I think it’s possible they intended to serious until the howls started.

    Reply
  17. Todd

    Justmeint, why not go even further? The fast food restaurants can set up shop in the waiting rooms of doctors’ clinics. Pop in for a quick meal, some statins, perhaps even a bit of health advice. The wait to see the doctor will fly by, and then he’ll be able to encourage to “come back soon, y’all!”, right after he encourages you to get the kids on statins via the wonderful Happy Meals next door.

    Sounds very efficient.

    Reply
  18. LeonRover

    May a canard get its tongue stuck in cheek ?

    That seems to be excuse now. Perhaps it was. But I read the full paper, and darned if they didn’t do a lot of math and come across as deadly serious.

    Reply
  19. Todd

    I see a link a few comments above to one of Dr. Mercola’s articles. I generally like what he writes (although I think he promotes too many supplements), but I recently read him endorsing Supersize Me. I get that he is especially against additives used in the fast food industry, but I don’t think Supersize Me is a good way to educate the public about those additives.

    There’s probably almost nothing McDonald’s sells that Dr. Mercola would eat, so I guess that makes sense. However, Spurlock was also clearly promoting a vegetarian diet, which Mercola wouldn’t recommend.

    Reply
  20. LeonRover

    May a canard get its tongue stuck in cheek ?

    That seems to be excuse now. Perhaps it was. But I read the full paper, and darned if they didn’t do a lot of math and come across as deadly serious.

    Reply
  21. Amy Dungan

    Condoms for your arteries – that would make an awesome headline! 🙂

    I can’t say I’m surprised. It seems like drug companies go father and farther to push the idea that we can just medicate all our problems. And hey… who is gonna turn down free meds that “prevent heart disease”. It’s crap ideas like this that make getting the truth out there all the more important. People need to be armed with knowledge and they sure as heck aren’t gonna get that knowledge from the mainstream media. (Although I’ll admit we are seeing more and more real science talked about recently.)

    Would like liver/kidney failure and severe muscle pain with that? No thanks, I’ll skip the statins and throw in an extra burger.

    I fully expect drug companies to push drugs. I’m just sorry so many doctors have joined their sales teams.

    Reply
  22. Amy Dungan

    Condoms for your arteries – that would make an awesome headline! 🙂

    I can’t say I’m surprised. It seems like drug companies go father and farther to push the idea that we can just medicate all our problems. And hey… who is gonna turn down free meds that “prevent heart disease”. It’s crap ideas like this that make getting the truth out there all the more important. People need to be armed with knowledge and they sure as heck aren’t gonna get that knowledge from the mainstream media. (Although I’ll admit we are seeing more and more real science talked about recently.)

    Would like liver/kidney failure and severe muscle pain with that? No thanks, I’ll skip the statins and throw in an extra burger.

    I fully expect drug companies to push drugs. I’m just sorry so many doctors have joined their sales teams.

    Reply
  23. Laurie

    Punked or not, the trend and sentiment expressed is frightening. Dr Reckless suggested adding statins to drinking water: Lipitor is prescribed to women (never been tested in women- more males have heart attacks anyway and higher testosterone levels so why treat the symptom of ‘high’ cholesterol and not the symptom of high androgen?): statins have been approved for use in children as young as 8 : Dr Ravnskov mentioned that the treatment for high blood sugar is MORE insulin : he said the most likely cause of heart disease is infection and LDL is part of the immune system, but heart disease victims get Lipitor to lower LDL and it increases cancer risk too. Oy Vey and Egad.

    It is frightening, and after reading the original paper, I’m not at all convinced these doctors were kidding. The tone was Engfish serious with lots of mathematical analysis. If it was a joke, it was so subtle (even for Brits) as to be undetectable. I think perhaps they claimed they were kidding only after the criticisms began.

    Reply
  24. Margot

    I got lucky 🙂

    My Doc is totally on board with my ‘Zero carb, high fat’ diet. Having lost 85lbs eating this way, my trigs were 25 and my HDL was 82. He still had to offer me statins (protocol) because my total cholesterol was over 200.

    He understands how the results are skewed when I have numbers like that, so he didn’t pressure me when I said No Thanks… he also knows my ratios are perfect.

    I have been eating ‘Zero Carb’ for over 18 months and have no intention of ever eating carbs again. I went from 220 to 135 in 5 months of low carb and then 8 months of zero carbs. Maintained since 10/09.

    PS: all my blood work came out perfectly.

    You can see my transformation here: http://forum.zeroinginonhealth.com/showthread.php?tid=2461

    Outstanding results. Congratulations to both of you. You’re lucky to have a doctor who gets it.

    Reply
  25. Laurie

    Punked or not, the trend and sentiment expressed is frightening. Dr Reckless suggested adding statins to drinking water: Lipitor is prescribed to women (never been tested in women- more males have heart attacks anyway and higher testosterone levels so why treat the symptom of ‘high’ cholesterol and not the symptom of high androgen?): statins have been approved for use in children as young as 8 : Dr Ravnskov mentioned that the treatment for high blood sugar is MORE insulin : he said the most likely cause of heart disease is infection and LDL is part of the immune system, but heart disease victims get Lipitor to lower LDL and it increases cancer risk too. Oy Vey and Egad.

    It is frightening, and after reading the original paper, I’m not at all convinced these doctors were kidding. The tone was Engfish serious with lots of mathematical analysis. If it was a joke, it was so subtle (even for Brits) as to be undetectable. I think perhaps they claimed they were kidding only after the criticisms began.

    Reply
  26. Margot

    I got lucky 🙂

    My Doc is totally on board with my ‘Zero carb, high fat’ diet. Having lost 85lbs eating this way, my trigs were 25 and my HDL was 82. He still had to offer me statins (protocol) because my total cholesterol was over 200.

    He understands how the results are skewed when I have numbers like that, so he didn’t pressure me when I said No Thanks… he also knows my ratios are perfect.

    I have been eating ‘Zero Carb’ for over 18 months and have no intention of ever eating carbs again. I went from 220 to 135 in 5 months of low carb and then 8 months of zero carbs. Maintained since 10/09.

    PS: all my blood work came out perfectly.

    You can see my transformation here: http://forum.zeroinginonhealth.com/showthread.php?tid=2461

    Outstanding results. Congratulations to both of you. You’re lucky to have a doctor who gets it.

    Reply
  27. Gracie

    I would not take a statin at gunpoint, the bullet would do far less harm!

    I might give in at gunpoint, but I’d want to hunt the pill-pusher down later in true High Plains Drifter style. (You younger folks look it up.)

    Reply
  28. Gracie

    I would not take a statin at gunpoint, the bullet would do far less harm!

    I might give in at gunpoint, but I’d want to hunt the pill-pusher down later in true High Plains Drifter style. (You younger folks look it up.)

    Reply
  29. john hunter

    I keep hoping i’ll find out this article was from the onion.

    The researchers are saying it was tongue-in-cheek now, but the original paper sure came across as serious.

    Reply
  30. john hunter

    I keep hoping i’ll find out this article was from the onion.

    The researchers are saying it was tongue-in-cheek now, but the original paper sure came across as serious.

    Reply
  31. Be

    You are a funny funny man!

    “the American Journal of Cardiology (which next month will publish a study examining the heart-protecting effects of standing outside naked and howling at passing aircraft).” – Actually I don’t see how that could do anything but help the heart – especially if you are in good company.

    And of course, as other readers pointed out, I nearly spit all over my screen at the idea of statins being a morning after pill for a Big Mac!.

    You are a riot! Keep on slugging!

    Thank you.

    Reply
  32. Be

    You are a funny funny man!

    “the American Journal of Cardiology (which next month will publish a study examining the heart-protecting effects of standing outside naked and howling at passing aircraft).” – Actually I don’t see how that could do anything but help the heart – especially if you are in good company.

    And of course, as other readers pointed out, I nearly spit all over my screen at the idea of statins being a morning after pill for a Big Mac!.

    You are a riot! Keep on slugging!

    Thank you.

    Reply
  33. Darrel Francis

    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

    Okay, readers, you now have it from the source: they weren’t joking. Since salt is freely available in restaurants, we should also allow customers to grab some statins from a dish and self-medicate.

    Reply
  34. Darrel Francis

    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

    Okay, readers, you now have it from the source: they weren’t joking. Since salt is freely available in restaurants, we should also allow customers to grab some statins from a dish and self-medicate.

    Reply
  35. gallier2

    Wow, just wow. The whole letter is so incredibly dumb, even Campbell looks like a genius in comparison.
    We should also advocate that McDonalds dispenses Chemotherapy and Radiation-therapy, because of the increased risk of cancer, from all the O6 oils.

    For the reason you just mentioned, I decided to let the letter speak for itself.

    Reply
  36. gallier2

    Wow, just wow. The whole letter is so incredibly dumb, even Campbell looks like a genius in comparison.
    We should also advocate that McDonalds dispenses Chemotherapy and Radiation-therapy, because of the increased risk of cancer, from all the O6 oils.

    For the reason you just mentioned, I decided to let the letter speak for itself.

    Reply
  37. Luca Mascitelli MD

    Darrel, you say statins “prevent” heart attacks. This not true. At best, these drugs delay a heart attack (days? months?). Indeed hypercholesterolemia
    does not represent a ‘causa sine qua non’ for the development of atherosclerosis and the beneficial effects of statins are overstated.
    In fact, patients may present with coronary heart disease (CHD) events despite low low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, which fall well within guideline-recommended targets. Indeed, it has been shown that half the patients hospitalized with CHD had admission LDL <100 mg/dl, and LDL 130 mg/dl. Not surprisingly, accelerated severe atherosclerosis
    and its complications can be produced experimentally in herbivores with serum cholesterol levels below 100 mg/dl under conditions analogous to those prevailing in humans.
    Furthermore, there is reason to believe that the (little) beneficial action of statin drugs is mediated in spite of their cholesterol-lowering effects. It has been shown for example that statins have an effect only when patients have a heightened inflammatory state. Finally, it has been shown that low total cholesterol is an independent and robust predictor of future external-cause mortality, and this association could not be explained by other obvious interrelated risk factors.
    Changing our current practice pattern could take other 50 or more years,
    but we may one day prescribe cholesterol-raising medications to certain patients!!

    Mine’s 203 with HDL of 64, and if any doctors tries to give me a drug to lower it, he’ll need medical care.

    Reply
  38. Luca Mascitelli MD

    Darrel, you say statins “prevent” heart attacks. This not true. At best, these drugs delay a heart attack (days? months?). Indeed hypercholesterolemia
    does not represent a ‘causa sine qua non’ for the development of atherosclerosis and the beneficial effects of statins are overstated.
    In fact, patients may present with coronary heart disease (CHD) events despite low low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, which fall well within guideline-recommended targets. Indeed, it has been shown that half the patients hospitalized with CHD had admission LDL <100 mg/dl, and LDL 130 mg/dl. Not surprisingly, accelerated severe atherosclerosis
    and its complications can be produced experimentally in herbivores with serum cholesterol levels below 100 mg/dl under conditions analogous to those prevailing in humans.
    Furthermore, there is reason to believe that the (little) beneficial action of statin drugs is mediated in spite of their cholesterol-lowering effects. It has been shown for example that statins have an effect only when patients have a heightened inflammatory state. Finally, it has been shown that low total cholesterol is an independent and robust predictor of future external-cause mortality, and this association could not be explained by other obvious interrelated risk factors.
    Changing our current practice pattern could take other 50 or more years,
    but we may one day prescribe cholesterol-raising medications to certain patients!!

    Mine’s 203 with HDL of 64, and if any doctors tries to give me a drug to lower it, he’ll need medical care.

    Reply
  39. Malcolm Kendrick

    Tom,

    So, as you knew all along, they were being serious. They are truly bonkers, completley and utterly. I thought the Polypill idea was a joke….nope. I thought teleoanalysis was a joke….nope. I have now come to realise that nothing is a joke to the true believers in the idea that humans, in their natural unstatinated state, can only be brouhgt back to full health with re-statination therapy.

    Malcolm

    Down is up, up is down, and normal cholesterol levels are abnormal and require treatment. What a world.

    Reply
  40. Malcolm Kendrick

    Tom,

    So, as you knew all along, they were being serious. They are truly bonkers, completley and utterly. I thought the Polypill idea was a joke….nope. I thought teleoanalysis was a joke….nope. I have now come to realise that nothing is a joke to the true believers in the idea that humans, in their natural unstatinated state, can only be brouhgt back to full health with re-statination therapy.

    Malcolm

    Down is up, up is down, and normal cholesterol levels are abnormal and require treatment. What a world.

    Reply
  41. trina

    I know this is an old post, but I just had to pass on this image I got of everyone standing on those doggie floor scales they have at the vets so the pimply teenaged cashier can calculate the dose of their statin.

    From there I went to an image of a wall chart -instead of “you must be taller than this to ride” it’s “if you are not thinner than this, you cannot order!” Maybe they could just use gates of some kind.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.