Misleading scientists – once again

October 2012

Right and wrong about statin treatment

Statin treatment accelerates atherosclerosis
Recently two separate studies showed that people on statin treatment develop atherosclerosis more often than untreated people. One of them was published in Diabetes Care, the other one in Atherosclerosis. You can get more details about this shocking finding in Dr. Mercola´s interview with senior scientist researcher Stephanie Seneff from MIT, who also is a member of THINCS. Read also Dr. Mercola´s comments about statin treatment.

Does statin treatment protect against cancer?
Ask any statinist and the answer is yes. In numerous studies the authors have claimed that statin treatment protect against all kinds of cancers. But all of them have made a serious error. Their evidence comes from comparisons between people on statin treatment and non-treated people. What all of the authors have ignored, unknowingly or deliberately, is that low cholesterol predispose to cancer. As most people on statin treatment have lived most of their life with high cholesterol, and as most untreated people have low cholesterol, there is an obvious risk of bias.

Here comes a section from my book Ignore the Awkward! to give you more details about this question Just exchange the word Alzheimer with the word cancer.

The statins cure everything

Statins are said to be useful against more than heart disease, e.g. cancer, lung disease, heart failure, hip fractures and much more. The way in which researchers have studied these alleged benefits is confounded with a serious error. As an example I shall analyse the allegation that statin treatment prevents Alzheimer’s disease. The idea goes against common sense. Today we know that not only is the brain the cholesterol-richest organ in the body; cholesterol is also vital for its function, because the creation ofnerve impulses demands a steady production of cholesterol.

First, the evidence for this alleged effect does not come from trials. Instead, researchers have counted the number of patients with Alzheimer’s disease among people with low cholesterol and among people treated with statins. Because the upper limit for normal cholesterol has been lowered more and more, we can be confident that the untreated people’s cholesterol was not only low, it was very low. The fact that most Alzheimer patients were identified in this low-cholesterol group is seen as a proof that statin treatment prevented those in the other group.

What has been forgotten is that low cholesterol is a frequent finding in people with various types of mental disturbances. For example, people whose cholesterol is lower than 200 are much more likely to decline in functional performance tests such as walking, turning around and dressing themselves.23 In addition, people with high cholesterol develop Parkinson’s disease and dementia less often than people with low cholesterol.24,25 Detailed records of the ability of people to learn, to reason, to concentrate and to organize their thoughts have also shown that, on average, the smartest people have the highest cholesterol.26 That statins should prevent Alzheimer’s disease is also contradicted by the finding that people with high cholesterol do not develop Alzheimer’s disease more often than people with low cholesterol.23

Not unexpectedly, researchers who are not employed by the pharmaceutical industry have even found negative effects from cholesterol reducing treatment. One of them is Matthew Muldoon, an American professor of internal medicine. Already after six months he noted that the memory of patients had declined.27 Later on in my book I shall tell the reader about more serious, cerebral disturbances caused by statin treatment.

Now to the crucial question. If Alzheimer´s disease is seen more often in untreated people than in people on statin treatment, is it because they have had low cholesterol for many years or is it because they have not received statin treatment? And if Alzheimer’s disease is seen less often in statin-treated people, is it because they have lived most of their life with high cholesterol, or is it because they have received statin treatment? Nobody knows.

A more scientific version, recently published in Quarterly Journal of Medicine by me and two colleagues of mine, Paul Rosch and Kilmer McCully, is available. Two of us have also mentioned it shortly in the coming film Statin Nation mentioned in my August 2012 Newsletter and hopefully presented for the public next month. Part of the section about cancer is available on Youtube.

I am an independent medical researcher