As I’ve reported before, it’s quite challenging to keep track of the growing list of problems caused by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. It’s gotten so bad that I’m wondering whether there’s a single, major disease left that these drugs don’t cause.
But one side effect is slightly different from all the rest…
It’s called the statin-induced “gluttony effect.” And scientists recently published another study about the problems it causes in the Journal of the American Heart Association. So, let’s jump right in…
A healthy diet and lifestyle are still the answer to heart disease
As I’ve often discussed, solid evidence over many decades shows cardiovascular health depends on four simple, healthy habits…
- Adopt a healthy, balanced, Mediterranean-type diet
- Get moderate exercise
- Find ways to reduce stress
- Drink alcohol in moderation
By comparison, lowering cholesterol artificially with statin drugs makes no difference whatsoever in cardiovascular health or overall mortality rate. In addition, research suggests that men and women who take statins actually have a higher risk of developing heart disease—the very problem they’re supposed to solve!
And one reason why these drugs don’t work as promised relates to the statin gluttony effect. Which basically means that patients abandon their healthy dietary and lifestyle habits (which really do work in supporting cardiovascular health) when they start taking statin drugs (which don’t really work in supporting cardiovascular health)…
Why people drop their healthy habits on statins
For this new study, researchers followed more than 40,000 public sector workers who didn’t suffer from heart disease. They were primarily white, female workers with an average age of 52 years. The participants also completed at least two questionnaires every four years from 2000 to 2013. And the researchers checked pharmacy data to determine medication use.
It turns out, participants who started to take a statin or blood pressure drug during this time period experienced up to a 20 percent increase in body mass index (BMI). Furthermore, they were 82 percent more likely to become obese.
Of course, we shouldn’t look at those factors in isolation. As I’ve explained before, my work with Finnish researchers during the mid-1980s found that BMI isn’t the be-all, end-all of good health. There are many other indicators that matter.
So, the researchers also looked at two more factors…
First, they observed that the people who took statins were also more likely to reduce physical exercise and were 8 percent more likely to become completely sedentary.
Second, they observed that moderate alcohol consumption declined among people who took statins. However, heavy drinking (a big problem in Finland) did not decrease.
The researchers called this outcome a positive.
But don’t they know that studies show moderate drinking supports heart health? Whereas excess drinking—which did not decrease—is harmful. So—reducing moderate drinking, but not excessive alcohol, is actually another harmful result of taking these drugs!
We keep repeating the same mistakes, despite mounting data
As I mentioned, researchers have looked at this statin gluttony effect before. But the previous studies were primarily cross-sectional analyses, done at one point in time. Plus, they only looked at the effects of statins or blood pressure drugs.
By comparison, the new study followed participants over 13 years. Plus, it analyzed both kinds of drug for managing heart disease risk. (While I’m focusing on statins in this Daily Dispatch, I talked about the hazards of blood pressure medications in the October 2019 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“Here’s why I no longer recommend any blood pressure medication”]. Subscribers can access that issue from the archives by logging in to my website with your username and password. And if you’re not already a subscriber, you can become one today by clicking here.)
A senior researcher involved in the study said that people taking statin drugs seem to think, “now I don’t need to worry about my lifestyle because the medication will do all the work for me.”
He also suggested that today’s short, 15-minute appointments (which are typically actually shorter in the U.S.) don’t allow physicians enough time to effectively counsel patients about diet and lifestyle. (That’s assuming the doctors actually follow the real science about diet and nutrition…and not the myths.) But there always seems to be just enough time to scribble out a couple drug prescriptions as a substitute for what really works!
And that’s just the way big pharma likes it.
Indeed, an expert at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. said, the results aren’t surprising, because “people who get started on medications for their increased cardiovascular risk let other things slide. We live in a pill culture.” And I agree.
Safe, effective solutions to protect your heart
Thankfully, some experts here in the U.S. have seen more than enough to call it quits on these horrible drugs. In fact, the American Medical Association (AMA) and geriatric doctors have begun recommending that we stop prescribing statins altogether to people older than 69.
But really—we should stop prescribing them to anyone and everyone! They’re simply not a safe or effective solution to preventing heart disease.
And you can learn more about the latest research on these toxic drugs in the May 2020 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“EXPOSED: The covered-up dangers behind America’s top-selling heart drug”).
In addition, you can learn more about the many safe, effective, natural approaches to protect your heart—without the use of statins or any harmful drugs—in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. To learn more about this innovative online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now!
“Lifestyle Changes in Relation to Initiation of Antihypertensive and Lipid‐Lowering Medication: A Cohort Study.” Journal of the American Heart Association, 2020;9:e014168. doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.014168