The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) recently updated their guidelines for how to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Basically, they urged physicians to ratchet down so-called “bad,” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in patients at high risk for developing heart disease. To do so, they said “high-risk” patients should take a cholesterol-lowering statin drug in combination with a PCSK9 inhibitor (another kind of drug that lowers cholesterol in a different way).
They also mentioned the use of ezetimibe—a somewhat “newer” statin drug that hit the U.S. market in 2002—especially for people with Type II diabetes (who run a higher risk of suffering a cardiovascular event).
The problem is, a wealth of rock-solid scientific research—some of it dating back four decades—shows that cholesterol simply isn’t a risk factor for developing (or dying) from cardiovascular disease. And that statin drugs aren’t the best option for protection. (Plus, they come with a whole slew of side effects!)
Yet, somehow, the new European guidelines don’t reflect the current research. (And neither do the guidelines here in U.S.!)
Well, thankfully, a group of 15 distinguished, international experts in heart disease have seen and heard enough. They recently banded together to publish a rebuke of the misguided and misleading ESC/EAS guidelines. Let’s take a look…
Seven reasons why “new” European guidelines are flawed
According to the 15 international experts, the new European guidelines for prevention of cardiovascular disease are downright “misleading”—and a disaster in the making. Here are seven of their key reasons why…
1.) Studies show that LDL cholesterol levels in patients who suffer acute heart attacks are actually lower than normal.
2.) High cholesterol isn’t a cardiac risk factor for people with Type II diabetes.
3.) Calcification (or hardening) of the coronary arteries isn’t associated with high LDL cholesterol.
4.) Twenty-seven previously published studies show that people with high total cholesterol, and/or high LDL-cholesterol, actually live longer than people with low cholesterol.
5.) Many clinical trials on statin drugs did not demonstrate that they lead to any reduction in heart disease mortality or overall mortality (death from any cause). Which is key. (As I always report, mortality rate is the one statistic to which we should pay a lot of attention. Statisticians can’t manipulate it. So, it’s the ultimate litmus test for whether a treatment works…or doesn’t.)
6.) No statin drug trial has been shown to reduce deaths in women, in older people, or in people with Type II diabetes.
7.) Statin drugs cause many serious short- and long-term side effects.
After looking at that list, one has to wonder what the European organizations were actually thinking when they made the recommendations to push cholesterol as low as possible using a multitude of drugs?! One might even be tempted to ask, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”
The science clearly shows that statins are a disaster for health. And, as you just read, they don’t reduce mortality rate. Yet cardiologists continue to dole them out—especially here in the U.S.
And while we can all agree that Type II diabetes is a risk factor for cardio–metabolic heart disease, the key way to reduce that risk is to lower blood sugar.
(Though, remember, studies show we shouldn’t push blood sugar too low either. Especially among older people. Plus, there’s a ton of emerging research showing you can prevent—and even reverse—Type II diabetes without resorting to drugs. You can obtain a full report about the uncommonly effective, commonsense strategies to do so in my online learning protocol, the Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes. To learn more about this innovative online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now.)
Well, as we wait for the “experts” in Europe and the U.S. to finally get their guidelines straight, here’s what you can actually do right now to reduce your cardiovascular disease risk…
Simple but effective ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
For optimum cardiovascular health, you need to focus on three key factors:
- Controlling your blood pressure.
- Stopping chronic inflammation (as it can compromise heart and circulatory function).
- Lowering your blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine.
And you can achieve all of these improvements naturally. Here’s how…
1.) Eat like the Greeks and Italians. The Mediterranean diet is widely considered the healthiest diet on the planet. It’s also a big reason why Greeks and Italians traditionally maintain such good heart health.
That’s why I encourage you to eat a variety of these healthy foods all week long: organic, full-fat dairy (like milk, cheeses, yogurts, and butter); five servings daily of fresh fruits and vegetables; nuts and seeds; grass-fed and -finished meats, like lamb; wild-caught fish and seafood; olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar; and alcohol, in moderation.
You should also avoid eating ultra-processed foods with added sugars and carbs, which a new study found skyrockets your stroke and heart attack risk.
2.) Supplement with heart-healthy nutrients. Science shows there are a number of supplements to help reduce harmful homocysteine and supports overall heart health. Look for a high-quality formula that contains these science-backed ingredients:
- Vitamin B6 30 milligrams (mg)
- Vitamin B12 1,000 micrograms (mcg)
- Vitamin D3 25 mcg
- Vitamin K2 150 mcg
- Folate 800 mcg
- Magnesium 150 mg
- Betaine (TMG) 500 mg
- L-carnitine 500 mg
- CoQ10 200 mg
- Barberry 400 – 500 mg (to lower blood pressure)
3.) Exercise, but don’t overdo it. Regular, moderate exercise is important for a healthy heart. But the key word is “moderation.” In fact, as I often report, excessive exercise (what I call “excess-ercise”) can harm your heart and other organs, especially as you get older.
So, aim to get just 140 to 150 minutes total per week of light-to-moderate exercises—like walking, swimming, gardening, or housework. I also encourage you to exercise outdoors in Nature when you’re able, since sunshine exposure at this time of year triggers vitamin D production and helps reduce stress.
4.) Reduce stress. You don’t hear cardiologists talk a lot about the cardiovascular impact of stress. But stress increases blood pressure and is the No.1 “silent killer” behind cardiovascular disease.
So, I encourage you to seek out natural, effective ways to reduce it, including biofeedback, guided imagery, massage, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and others. (To find out which stress-reduction technique will work best for you, take this quick online quiz and read my popular book with Mike Jawer, Your Emotional Type.)
For more insight into natural ways to protect your heart as you get older, I encourage you to check out my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool outlines the natural, heart-healing pathway to low blood pressure, a stroke-free brain, and never having to take a dangerous heart medication again. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“The new European guidelines for prevention of cardiovascular disease are misleading.” Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol, 2020 Dec;13(12):1289-1294. doi.org/10.1080/17512433.2020.1841635.