Malhotra sounds statins death knell?

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HAS the death knell of statins finally sounded? I am probably going out on a big limb when I say: ‘Probably and not a moment too soon.’ If anyone can sound it, world-renowned British consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra can. Heart disease is, after all, not caused by a deficiency of statins.

By Marika Sboros

Consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra is back in Britain after a whistle-stop, sell-out lecture tour of Australia. It was aptly titled Bring Back The Fat. Malhotra took his usual precision scalpel to eviscerate the powerful vested interests behind statins.

He carefully dissected the controversy that has dogged these cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statins have made billions for pharmaceutical companies and millions for the doctors who still dish them out like smarties. For many patients, statins have made no different whatsoever. In some cases, the drugs may even have done harm.

Malhotra has also, and  once again, focused attention on weaknesses behind a startling recommendation by the UK  National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). NICE is a guideline body and now recommends that most people over 50 should be on statins.

Consequently, medical specialists say, NICE appears to believe that heart disease is caused by a deficiency of statins.

A good read: STATINS: MAD, BAD WORLD OF CHOLESTEROL DRUGS

Malhotra referred to an open letter to Britain’s Prime Minister and Health Secretary, which the BMJ published in 2014. He co-authored the letter with Sir Richard Thompson, then president of the Royal College of Physicians, and other prominent doctors.

In it, the authors object vigorously to the NICE guidelines. They say  inter alia that :

  •  The guidelines are based on industry-funded data;
  •  The guidelines take no account of the severe side-effect profile of statins. In many cases, side effects outweigh any benefits;
  • Some doctors who drew up the guidelines have direct ties to pharmaceutical companies who make statins.

The NICE guidelines also ignore independent data showing that otherwise healthy people have no mortality benefit whatsoever from taking statins. In other words, they don’t live even one day longer thanks to taking drugs that have serious side effects.

statins
Dr Michel de Lorgeril

You’d think that would have been enough to stop NICE in its statin-supporting tracks. However, the doctors have reacted defensively in support of the guidelines.

Malhotra raised the re-analysis of industry-funded data in January 2016 by respected French cardiologist and independent researcher Dr Michel de Lorgeril. 

De Lorgeril, of Grenoble University,  concluded that data from the industry-funded trials “cannot be trusted”. He declared that he would “warn people not to take statins”.

Malhotra told his audience that he would “not go that far”. However, he said that De Lorgeril has made a “very compelling case”.

Malhotra also raised attempts by vested interests in pharmaceutical and medical industries to discredit the work of Australian Dr Maryanne Demasi.

Demasi is a scientist and science journalist. She has done a pioneering two-part documentary series exposing the statin industry and doctors who collude with it for ABC’s Catalyst programme.

Dr Maryanne Demasi
Dr Maryanne Demasi

ABC aired both episodes. However, the network later bowed to pressure. It removed the videos from their website, claiming a breach of its “impartiality standards”.

In a study in the Australian Medical Journal last year, researchers claimed that up to 2,900 people may have died of a heart attack as a result of not taking their statin medication after Demasi’s documentary aired.

Malhotra said tht there was “not a single shred of scientific evidence” to back up the claim.

On the contrary, many doctors said that Demasi had “opened their eyes” to the very real risks associated with statins. They also commended Demasi for bravery in taking on the vested interests, Malhotra said.

It’s not clear precisely from where that pressure came. However, an educated guess will likely hit the right target.

Consequently, the videos went viral outside Australia. Click here to view Demasi’s Heart of the Matter: The Cholesterol Myth: Dietary Villains and Cholesterol Drug War  Part 1  and Part 2.

Below is a video clip of Malhotra’s presentation on a leg of his Bring Back The Fat tour. It makes riveting listening and reading. Australian nutrition specialist and author Christine Cronau organised the tour.

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13 Comments

  1. Hmmm… I too was on Statins for about three years until I could take them no more (Atorvastatin, 10mg). I am hypothyroid. My current level of lipids is 5.1 of which the ‘bad’ lipid is a fraction over 1 and the remainder, the ‘good’ one. I’ve reduced them from 7.1 after taking 3000mg of Beetroot extract a day and 500mg of Niacin. I’ve also been going to the gym 3 days a week. I’m nearly 71 and 63 kilos. I eat healthily, don’t smoke (tho I did in the past) and drink alcohol very rarely.

    The problem I have with the dishing out these pills willy-nilly is that it’s not based on medicine but on the government’s political decision! And when you discover that NICE doesn’t actually test any drugs but instead relies on industry-supplied data, you realise that it’s a racket. Apparently, statins are the most profitable drug in history!!!

    Worst of all, my GP, when challenged over this, is caught between a rock and a hard place when I say to her she’s not making a medical decision but a political one as ordered by her masters. I have the same problem with my thyroid medication as the NHS only recognises levothyroxine.

    • Politics, greed, money, territory. You’d think those would not be driving forces behind medicine but sadly, they are these days. Fortunately for us all, there are ethical doctors, dietitians and scientists out there who are trying to make a difference, willing to say they got things wrong. It’s an understatement to say the medical, dietetic and scientific communities don’t make it easy for them. They are often vilified and subjected to the most appalling personal attacks. Prof Tim Noakes in South Africa, obesity specialist Dr Zoe Harcombe in the UK, science writer Nina Teicholz in the US, dietitian Jenn Elliot in Australia are just some who have shouldered a heavy burden for daring to challenge medical and scientific status quo and conventional “wisdom”. Seems to me a tipping point is being reached as doctors and dietitians are forced to confront the results of the advice they’ve dished out to patients for the past 30, 40 even 50 years: global epidemics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer. Definition of insanity on a plate!

      • You say:
        “Seems to me a tipping point is being reached as doctors and dietitians are forced to confront the results of the advice they’ve dished out to patients for the past 30, 40 even 50 years: global epidemics of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer. Definition of insanity on a plate!”

        I don’t think the medical profession alone, is responsible, they’re pretty much at the other end of the food chain. They have to deal with the consequences of an economic system that poisons us and our planet.

        At the risk of sounding decidedly 20th century, I’d say the root cause is an economic system past its sell-by date, namely capitalism. After all, isn’t it the ‘free market’ that has peddled junk food? Isn’t it the ‘free market’ that’s poisoned our lands, our air, and our water and poisoned us along with it?

        Of course, I live in the UK, it’s different in the US, worse maybe. Definitely more difficult to tackle, the Empire possesses enormous wealth.

        Whatever controls have been imposed by society on those corporations and governments that poison us, have all been stripped from us, again, under the name of the ‘free market’ and ‘free choice’.

        Capitalism has no other option but continue. To stop, of its own volition would be to sign its own death warrant. It has no choice but to expand continuously, until it runs out of, well whatever it no longer has: coal, oil, markets, cheap labour cheap Nature.

        We are all expendable, including Nature. Perhaps in their greed, in their addiction, they feel they have the power to survive whatever Nature throws at us as it seeks a new equilibrium. Well that’s my theory anyway.

        • And a very solid theory it is too, William! You are quite right. The medical profession is certainly not responsible alone. It just sticks in my throat when I see doctors of all people in the thrall of big business. The capitalist ‘free market’ system bears huge responsibility for the state of people’s health globally. Thank you for pointing that out

          • I agree with that. And Big Pharma has plenty of politicians and doctors on their pay role.

      • In the USA, if you kill one person, you might face the death penalty, but people who might be causing the death of virtually thousands, possible even millions of people within the USA and all over the world, due to their misleading drug or dietary recommendations get off scot-free and make lots of money in the process. This should not be allowed, but it appears the legislators are part of this plan. We try to get the best possible nutrition and health information to guide us and get false information designed to mislead us for the financial gain of those involved in this gruesome business.

        Thank you Marika for the great service you provide bringing out this desperately needed information

        Hector Vargas

    • When my GP said I might want to take statins I asked him if he was recommending them. He said he was passing on information and had been told patients would benefit. He said the government strongly recommended them. I thought that if I didn’t take them and had a stroke or a heart attack I would blame myself. I took them.

      When I decided to stop and decided to tell my GP be he was on holiday. I met a locum, recently qualified. I told her I had stopped statins and told her why. I asked her if she would recommend I took statins. She said, “Doctors don’t recommend. They place the facts before the patient and they decide.” I thought this was nonsense and said I wanted her opinion. After a somewhat edgy discussion she said, “If you were my father I would not advise you to take statins.” To what extent are doctors hiding what they think from their patients?

  2. What a wonderful visit by Dr Aseem Malhotra to Australia with great presentations by all concerned. Christien Cronau leading the charge for Low Carb Health Fat in Australia. In South Africa it’s Prof. Tim Noakes with The Real Meal Revolution and banting; in the USA Nina Teicholz’s book “The Big Fat Surprise” aon eof the best books that I have ever read.

  3. I have been taking statins for about 25 years and during this time I experienced a number of issues that I can now identify as very probably being statin related side effects. These include Rynauds syndrome / peripheral neuropathy, elevated HbA1c, reduced kidney function, insomnia, peripheral vision disturbance, breathing related issues / mild asthma, frozen shoulder and hypothyroidism. Some of these required drug treatment and all the related cost. Have now stopped statins and there are definite signs of improvement. My next blood tests should tell an interesting story

    • I was prescribed statins although I was a very fit and active 65 year old: hiking in the hills with my dog; chopping my own trees; using my kayak on the sea. Six weeks after beginning statins I was half a mile from home and I was struggling to walk. This was a shock as I often walked for hours. I thought old age had caught up with me. My thighs ached and instead of being active I spent my time sitting in a chair. Then I became depressed, a new experience, and spent hours just looking at the wall.

      By chance, I read an article in “The Sunday Times” which described the side effects of statins. I stopped statins immediately. My wife, a retired doctor, urged caution as she had read that stopping was dangerous. I said, “I have stopped. I would prefer to be dead than go on like this.” Within weeks I had fully recovered. I followed this up by reading a series of books about the lies about fat being bad and the great cholesterol con.

      Statins are a health disaster and the public are being deceived by the pharmaceutical companies who make £billions from them. NICE our supposed safeguard is a disgrace and deserves nothing but contempt and seems to be in thrall to Big Pharma. Our government is gutless and indifferent to the vast waste of resources on this toxic drug and its effect on people. I’m lucky I stopped in time. To say I am a cynic about medical advice on statins doesn’t begin to explain what I feel. Statins almost crippled me. I was one of the lucky ones that got away.

  4. As a former Critical Care RN of 12 years, I was prescribed the Statin, Lipitor in 1998, as an “educated RN” I “knew” the risks and the benefits, as taught by the plethora of Pharmaceutical Sales Reps who frequented our hospital, as well as the many Pharmaceutical funded “Educational” conferences I attended…I knew these drugs were nothing short of miracle drugs, boasting a 40-60% Risk Reduction, why would I not want to reduced my chance of heart attack by that much if possible? I tolerated the 10mg lipitor I was prescribed for 3 and 1/2 years, until my body SCREAMED, NO MORE!!! I fell deathly ill in 2002, headaches to the likes Id never known, unbelievable fatigue, which my wife tells me, would keep me in bed 16+ hours per day. I missed several days of work between August and October 2002, due to the headaches and somnolence, bouts of confusion. After a dr visit, I had an MRI scan, revealed dozens of lesions on my brain, to which I was told it looks like Multiple Sclerosis. I sought a second opinion from an MS Specialist, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who told me he did not think what I had was MS, though he could not say what it was. I was sent home with a return appointment scheduled in a few weeks. Over this time, my wife woke one night to find me digging in the kitchen trash can, and when she asked what I was doing, “I replied Im looking for some milk”…several days later my wife woke to find me not in bed, and she searched the house, and found the front door open, she walked out, and saw me walking down the middle of the street, in my underwear (what I slept in), when she approached me, she tells me, I had no idea who she was, where I was, nor what I was doing. She was able to convince me to come back home, and in the morning she called the MS Specialist and shared my experience with him, he instructed my wife to bring be down (3 hour drive) and he would meet me in the Emergency Room. And when we arrived, I did not know who I was, who my wife was, where I was, and I was admitted. after failing a mini mental exam. Over the next 2 weeks or so. I remained in my advanced Alzheimer’s like state. Unable to walk, unable to speak coherently. I was incontinent of bowel and bladder. I had a brain biopsy. which revealed the lesions to appear as “Autophagic Vacoules”, electron microscopy of the Brain tissue, revealed abnormal Mitochondrial DNA, similar to that of Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-Like Episodes” (MELAS). A muscle biopsy corroborated these findings as did serial Lactic Acid levels. which were consistently elevated. Drs prepared my wife for the worst, telling her to prepare for my funeral. When a visiting professor from Johns Hopkins was asked to evaluate me, he started me on a “Mitochondrial Cocktail” essentially 12 vitamins, Amino Acids, a Robust dose of Ubiquinol (CoQ10) and Acetyl L carnitine. When within 36 hours of starting this cocktail, I began to answer simple questions, I was able to communicate the need to use the restroom, I was able to speak coherently, and feed myself, all of which I had been unable to do previous to this. Within a week, I was discharged home with a diagnosis of “Viral Encephalitis”. I went home with aggressive Rehab therapies, which I continued for several months. Approx 6 weeks after I was discharged home, my wife and I saw Dr Beatrice Golomb interviewed on Good Morning America, and was discussing a Statin Effects Study, she was to be doing at the University of California, San Diego. My wife pleaded with me to enroll, to which I stated “Honey, I know everything there is to know about these drugs, it was my job” but due to her continued asking, and for the sanctity of our marriage, I enrolled in the UCSD Statin Effects Study. When the study had concluded, I received a phone call from Dr Golomb, telling me that I was one of several patients in her study, with strikingly similar courses of illness. biopsy findings, and that she had referred our cases to one of the top mitochondrial experts, Dr Doug Wallace, PhD at UC Irvine. And it was his expert opinion that my use of Lipitor was the causal contributor to the “Holes in my brain, as well as the Mitochondrial DNA mutations”. Approx a week or so later, I received a call from Dr Wallace, who called to inform me that “we know what your use of statins did to you, and assured me. that if I choose to take another statin, there is only one way for you to go”….I thanked him repeatedly, as my internal med dr, kept insisting I was going to die if I didnt take another statin to lower my cholesterol. Dr Golomb had graciously offered to speak to my neurologist as well as my statin prescribing internist, and when she did, her call was not very well received by either doctor. As a nurse, and as a human being, my heart broke when I learned, the drug (statins) which I so freely doled out to my patients, may have offered them very little benefit, if any, and in fact may have caused harm to the patients, I cared for, I fell into a deep depression, which nearly led me to the brink of suicide. When my wife learned of my depression, she encouraged me to seek counseling, which I did, successfully. After months of therapy, I no longer wanted to end my life and in fact, wanted to do everything I could to learn about these drugs, the notion of the Cholesterol theory of heart disease, the crucial importance of Cholesterol in the human body, and brought me to a path of trying to educate as many people as I could to the harsh reality that Statins, may go down as one of the biggest scams in the history of mankind. Everywhere I go, I somehow do my best to educate as many as I can as to the reality of this “Checkbook Science” which is the Cholesterol theory of heart disease. I currently am an Admin in a Facebook group, for statin effects sufferers, in which there are going on 1700 victims worldwide in this group, to which all but one gentleman that I know of, from Denmark, heard the same from their statin prescribers, “Statins Dont do that”. Also in this group, are 2 highly respected Cardiologists, Dr Aseem Malhotra, and Dr Barbara Roberts, a few chemists, biochemists, researchers, and more than 1600 statin effects sufferers. If anyone is interested in learning the truth about these poisons we know as Statins, feel free to check out http://www.facebook.com/groups/statins

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