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Statin Drugs Should be Handed Out
With Fast Food Meals, Scientists Say


“Do you want fries with that?” may be soon be eclipsed by a new slogan at your favorite fast-food establishment, “Do you want drugs with that?”

fast food

Soon when you order a double cheeseburger you might get it with a “side” of complimentary statin drugs.

It’s no joke.

Scientists at Imperial College London have determined that offering statin cholesterol-lowering drugs free of charge at fast food restaurants may help lower some of the heart disease risks the junk foods pose.

In their study, which was actually published in the American Journal of Cardiology, the researchers estimated that taking a statin drug can compensate for the heart attack risks of eating a cheeseburger and drinking a small milkshake.

Dr. Darrel Francis, National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, the senior author of the study, told Science Daily:

"Statins don't cut out all of the unhealthy effects of burgers and fries. It's better to avoid fatty food altogether. But we've worked out that in terms of your likelihood of having a heart attack, taking a statin can reduce your risk to more or less the same degree as a fast food meal increases it …

When people engage in risky behaviours like driving or smoking, they're encouraged to take measures that minimise their risk, like wearing a seatbelt or choosing cigarettes with filters. Taking a statin is a rational way of lowering some of the risks of eating a fatty meal.”

The authors even went so far as to imply that since fast food chains already hand out free condiments like ketchup, why not hand out free medications, too? But taking a statin drug is in no way similar to wearing a seatbelt while driving, because unlike a seatbelt, statin drugs are not without risks …

Why Statin Drugs Should NOT be Handed Out Like Candy

Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.

They work by interfering with an enzyme that your body needs to make cholesterol. Along with lowering cholesterol, the drugs -- which include Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, Pravachol, Crestor and others -- may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that has accumulated on your artery walls, helping to prevent further blockage.

But even though millions of Americans are already eating them like candy, their safety -- and effectiveness -- is currently being hotly debated.

In one of the most revealing looks into the true side effects of statin drugs, a review published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs found nearly 900 studies of adverse effects linked to the drugs.

"Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects," Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and co-author of the study, told EurekAlert. "But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported."

Other side effects included increases in blood glucose levels, tendon problems and an increase in liver enzymes, leading to permanent liver damage. Because of this latter risk, people taking the drugs must have their liver function tested periodically.

Nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches and skin rash are other known side effects.

Statin drugs are also known to block the production of important nutrients in your body, including CoQ10, which is beneficial to heart health and muscle function. If CoQ10 levels become depleted, which is common in those who take statin drugs, it can actually cause heart failure.

Drugs are Not the Solution to a Healthier Heart

To imply that handing out statin drugs, for free, to anyone who eats a hamburger and fries is a positive move for people’s health is completely ignoring these serious risks. Not to mention, what about the people who eat fast food multiple times a day? Will they be taking double and triple the dose?

Of course, this type of drug-centered solution completely wipes out personal responsibility as well, assuming that people cannot make heart-healthy eating decisions on their own but rather need to take a pill to “neutralize” the risks of their poor food choices.

Should we also hand out insulin injections at candy stores and diet pills at movie theater concession stands? And where will be the drug handouts to neutralize the side effects of the statins?

Further, even the study’s authors acknowledge that statins do not offset all the risks of fast food. For instance, trans fats, which are prevalent in fast food, not only raise your body's level of bad cholesterol (LDL), but also increase triglycerides, cancer risk and inflammation, a direct link to an increased risk of diabetes -- which statin drugs cannot prevent.

It is even being debated whether lowering cholesterol levels, which is statin drugs’ “claim to fame,” actually reduces your risk of heart disease and lowers your risk of heart attack,

There is growing evidence that lowering your cholesterol may not be the panacea to preventing heart disease that many people think it is.

“Nowhere is the failure of our medical system more evident than in the wholesale acceptance of cholesterol reduction as a way to prevent disease,” write Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD in “Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven’t Been Told About Popular Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines.” They continue:

“Most doctors are convinced -- and seek to convince their patients -- that the benefits of statin drugs far outweigh the side effects. They can cite a number of studies in which statin use has lowered the number of coronary deaths compared to controls. But as Dr. Ravnskov has pointed out in his book The Cholesterol Myths, the results of the major studies up to the year 2000 … generally showed only small differences and these differences were often statistically insignificant and independent of the amount of cholesterol lowering achieved.

In two studies, EXCEL and FACAPT/TexCAPS, more deaths occurred in the treatment group compared to controls. Dr. Ravnskov’s 1992 meta-analysis of 26 controlled cholesterol-lowering trials found an equal number of cardiovascular deaths in the treatment and control groups and a greater number of total deaths in the treatment groups.

An analysis of all the big controlled trials reported before 2000 found that long-term use of statins for primary prevention of heart disease produced a 1 percent greater risk of death over 10 years compared to a placebo.”

A Heart Healthy Lifestyle, Sans Statins


No pill will ever make you feel as good as leading a healthy lifestyle.

If a food is so unhealthy that it is dee,.med necessary to take a drug to make up for its ill effects on your health, the easier solution would be to not eat that food, or at least to eat it only in moderation, and combined with other healthy lifestyle habits.

Only a healthy lifestyle can ultimately protect your heart, and your health. A drug, including a statin drug, can never replace that.

Making excess cholesterol is actually your body’s response to inflammation, so if you have high cholesterol you probably have high inflammation levels too. Likewise, if you eat a lot of fast food, you probably have increased inflammation levels as well, as pro-inflammatory foods include sugar, soda, alcohol, bread, trans fats and red meat.

Inflammation is a problem because when your body is in a chronic state of inflammation, the inflammation can lodge in your muscles, joints and tissues. In fact, chronic inflammation is a leading cause of many diseases, both physical and neurological, including heart disease.

Determining the cause of the inflammation, which often is due to poor diet and the consumption of processed foods or lack of live healthy raw foods, reduces cholesterol as well as protects your heart.

So, if you’re interested in keeping your heart healthy without taking drugs, some keys to consider are:

  • Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and buy whole foods whenever possible. Fast food should be only a very occasional indulgence, or not on your diet plan at all. As you switch over to more fresh foods, we highly recommend you take advantage of the healthy and absolutely delicious recipes in Alive in 5: Raw Gourmet Meals in Five Minutes. When prepared with locally grown ingredients from a source you trust, these are among some of the healthiest meals you can eat, and they’re also incredibly quick and easy to prepare.

  • Exercising regularly. If you’re looking for an exercise program you can do right from your own home, we highly recommend adding SheaNetics from, a mind-body workout, to your exercise routine.

SheaNetics, founded by fitness expert Shea Vaughn, blends ancient and contemporary movements with eastern philosophy, creating a stylized approach to fitness designed to improve the quality of today’s western living.

Shea spent years researching and teaching in the commercial fitness industry and has a first-hand understanding of the physical, mental and emotional benefits of living a life of exercise.

The range of SheaNetics students are impressively diverse from 25- to 75-year-olds, men and women, fitness buffs and athletes, people who want to get in shape, those who wish to maintain their present state of fitness and many who want to take it to a higher level.

  • Not smoking

You can also try The Pure Relaxation CD, which will calm your mind, soothe your emotions and create a state of deep relaxation in your body. These meditations are unique in that they guide you to relax in a natural, effortless way.

To keep stress levels at bay, the staff at SixWise also LOVES Staying Healthy in a Stressful World CD, the highly praised CD by Dr. Peter Reznik, one of the most respected mind/body integrative therapists of our time. The program will actually help you to embark on a practice for transforming your stress into life-enhancing experiences.

If you’re finding it hard to de-stress because of too many “to-do’s” in your daily life, time management experts recommend taking care of as much of the small stuff as possible right away. For instance, stop on any quick errands you can on your way to work, then write back any quick e-mails, make any quick phone calls and get any other fast tasks out of the way immediately. This will free up more of your day later on to do something you love, like exercise, read, write or spend time with family.

These are the steps that will help you to keep your health on the right track … without having to resort to toxic drugs being handed out by your local fast food restaurant.

SixWise Ways!
SixWise Says ...

“The best doctors are Dr Diet, Dr Quiet and Dr Merryman.”


Recommended Reading

Heart Health: Nutrition Vs. Drugs and Surgery

The Top 15 Signs of Heart Disease Everyone Needs to Know


American Journal of Cardiology 2010 Aug 15;106(4):587-592. August 12, 2010 January 26, 2009

American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 2008;8(6):373-418. June 14, 2004

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