Last October, research was published linking lung cancer to popular blood pressure medications known as ACE inhibitors. This connection makes a lot of sense when you consider how many Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer who’ve never smoked a day in their lives. Finally, we have some much-needed answers.
But what angers me is that this tragedy could’ve been prevented, if the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had decided to look at — and study — all the risk factors for lung cancer 35 years ago.
Instead, they decided to single-mindedly persecute all tobacco smokers — despite the kind of tobacco, or amount smoked — as the one and only cause of lung cancer.
I know this because I was right there working at the NCI when the decision was made. In fact, I was one of the few, true research scientists in the room.
And the people who made this tragic, fateful decision were “behavioral scientists,” who believe controlling human behavior is the answer to scientific and health problems.
Therefore, they ignored the science on:
- The doses of smoking required to increase lung cancer risk (which is more than ½ a pack of cigarettes or 2 cigars per day).
- The real factors that make some people much more susceptible to tobacco smoke (while others aren’t), including a genetic link — for which we had already developed a test, like the BRCA1 breast cancer test, but much easier and less costly.
- All the other factors that can cause lung cancer besides tobacco.
They simply decided that tobacco was unsafe in any amount. And it should be prohibited to any and all kinds, in any form, at any time.
Placing the blame on smokers ignores other contributing risk factors
Despite this aggressive, behavioral approach, lung cancer still remains the No. 1 cause of cancer in both men and women. And now, most lung cancer victims today either never smoked — or quit smoking a long ago.
But mainstream medicine has little or nothing to offer them, other than the stigma that somehow their lung cancer is their own fault…
What’s even more tragic — but not at all surprising — is that we know there are other major risk factors for lung cancer which are entirely unrelated to tobacco use. And yes, this includes ACE inhibitors, the common blood pressure drugs I mentioned earlier.
Of course, this new research comes from the U.K., where researchers are a little less “blinded by the smoke,” if you will…
31 percent increase in lung cancer risk after just 10 years
For the new study, U.K. researchers analyzed data on nearly one million patients treated with blood pressure drugs (ACE inhibitors versus angiotensin receptor blockers) between 1995 and 2015.
About a third of the patients took ACE inhibitors, which inhibit the angiotensin converting enzyme (or ACE), helping blood vessels to relax.
I actually studied ACE, the enzyme these drugs block, with Dr. Jack Lieberman in the Pulmonary Biochemistry Lab at City of Hope National Medical Center in California back in 1973 as part of my undergraduate research scholarship. Your body actually keeps ACE in a delicate balance with two other enzymes — renin and aldosterone. So, by artificially blocking one enzyme in this balance — it’s bound to cause serious problems, as this study clearly found…
It turns out, after an average of nearly six-and-half years, there were nearly 8,000 cases of lung cancer — which overall, totals to be about 1.3 cases per year per 1,000 people.
And among those who specifically took the ACE inhibitor drugs, the rate was 1.6 cases per year per 1,000 people.
So all in all, the risk for lung cancer among people who took ACE inhibiting drugs was 29 percent higher, independent of their smoking history.
There was also a dose-response effect over time. So, after five years of taking the drug, there was a 22 percent increased risk. And after 10 years, the risk increased to 31 percent.
And we probably haven’t even hit the ceiling for risk — as people can spend 20, 30, or even 40 years taking ACE inhibitors.
It’s tragic, really…
The science has been there all along
Millions of Americans take ACE inhibitors — including Altace© (ramipril), Lotensin© (benazepril), and Prinivil© (lisinopril).
And this isn’t even the first study to show the dangers of these types of drugs. In fact, lisinopril is a terrible drug. And it causes an immediate, terrible, chronic cough. (Not surprising, since the drug targets and interferes with normal lung metabolism.)
And now that the drug’s been on the market long enough, we’re seeing that it also causes the far deadlier, long-term side effect of increased lung cancer risk.
Perhaps the cough is an early sign of lung cancer? (Maybe doctors should take note of when a drug causes a terrible, chronic cough. Could it be that the body is trying to reject it — and for good reason?!)
And with millions of Americans on these drugs, the potential for harm is alarmingly high.
But, of course, government experts and their co-dependents will continue urging you to take these drugs. And in the next breath, so to speak, they’ll continue to march on, in a war against tobacco.
It just makes no sense.
Of course, there are plenty more safe and effective ways to manage your blood pressure and protect your heart, using all-natural approaches. You can find all of this and more in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. Simply click here to learn more about this online learning tool or to enroll today.
P.S. – To read more about other types of U.S. prohibitionist policies, check out the November 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter — “The truth behind the latest anti-alcohol headlines: Raise a toast this holiday season to SAVE your heart, your brain…and your life.” Not a newsletter subscriber? Sign up today.
“Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and risk of lung cancer: population based cohort study,” BMJ 2018;363:k4209