May 7, 2008

Yet Another Drug Study Shows Lowering LDL Does Not Affect Clogging of Arteries

The proposition that lowering LDL with drugs will protect you against developing clogged arteries just took another body blow.

We already saw that lowering LDL with Zetia and Vytorin did not lead to any improvement in the thickening in artery walls, and may, in fact, have actually worsened it in the case of Vytorin.

Now a 5 year study of fenofibrate, another drug that lowers LDL dramatically, has found the same thing. People who took it saw their LDL decline, but their arterial walls continued to thicken.

You can read about the presentation that described this finding in a report on HERE It was published in Diabetes in Control.

It's time to face the fact that the only reason doctors believe that lowering LDL is protective against heart disease is that the statin manufacturers sold their drugs for years on that premise.

But subsequent research is showing that the only reason that the statins seem to slightly lower the incidence of heart attack in middle aged men with pre-existing heart disease is because they fight inflammation. Studies reveal that statins do not prevent heart disease in women nor in men not already diagnosed with heart disease.

So as study after study finds that lowering LDL has no effect on how clogged arteries get, it is starting to look very clear that lowering your LDL is not going to prevent arterial thickening.

This is an issue of major concern to people with abnormal blood sugar now that we have learned that statins increase insulin resistance. There is also accumulating evidence that statins may promote cancer in older people. You can find the research cites that back up those findings that by visiting my web page about Dangerous Drugs for People with Diabetes.

So if these drugs won't prevent artery clogging, what will? Well, if you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably know my answer:

1. Maintain normal blood sugar levels.

2. Achieve normal blood sugars using the strategies that minimize the amount of insulin in your system. Insulin is a growth hormone and too much of it may grow the lining of your arteries.

3. The best way to do this is to cut back on your carb intake until you are getting normal blood sugars after meals. Avoid drugs like glyburide, amaryl, Prandin, and Starlix that lower blood sugar stimulating insulin production and use instead metformin which lowers blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance.

Another study published in this week's Diabetes in Control newsletter found that metformin had a much more positive effect on the cardiovascular system than did Prandin even when blood sugars achieved were the same.


The Old Man and His Dog said...

Dr. tried to put me on statins again last week. I wouldn't take them. Now I'm sure I'm considered an uncooperative patient. Oh well. My grandmother was always considered uncooperative too. She's now 92. Her mom was also considered a PITA, she died in her 90's too. Guess I'll be around irritating people for quite some time.

BTW I'm on Lantus and Janumet now and so far It's working like a charm. I'm real hesitant about the Januvia part, but it's really helping me. I'm always between 85-140 now, along with a reduced carb diet. And no more lows, like I had with the Lantus/glyburide I was taking.

Jenny said...

Is it the Januvia part of the Janumet that is helping so much or the metformin?

Have you tried the metformin separately? If not, you should do so. Januvia really is scary stuff.

An M.D. who published a letter in Annals of Internal Medicine estimates it is causing 30,000 excess cancer deaths a year. I have quoted his reasons on my Januvia page.

The Old Man and His Dog said...

I've been on Metformin for several years. Was on it with the glyburide prior to the switch to Janumet, so it's definitely the Januvia that's helping. When I try taking just the meyt with the Lantus my BS is still high.

Funny thing is, I was on Januvia and metformin a while back, two separate pills and no BS actually went up...higher than if I was just taking the met alone?? Seems the Janumet in conjunction with the lantus actually works for me. i haven't had BS this good for several years.

snappydawg said...

OM&HD: Stick to your guns on the statins. I've refused to take them for years and finally proved my doctor totally wrong recently…as you know from reading my blog. I know my past doctors have thought I was a total pain in the ass, but they're also the ones that were telling me to eat an unrealistic amount of carbs every day. So far, my new doctor is more in line with the research I've done on my own.

The Old Man and His Dog said...

Tell me which glucometer you like....

I'm trying to get as many opinions as possible and than blog on the results.

Mike said...

Funny, I trust you all more to answer this than my doctor...

I was on metformin last year and finally had to quit because of chronic diarrhea for 6 months and I just couldn't deal with it any more.

Are there substitutes for metformin?

I'm taking Januvia, switched over from Avandia last year. Now I'm scared of that, too.

What's a person suppposed to do?

I do take an over the counter supplement, Jarrow's Glucose Optimizer, available at Whole Foods and places like that, and it seems to help but it doesn't feel like it alone is enough.

Mike in Seattle

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post! I had no idea that statins don't actually work! Thanks for enlightening me! I myself don't have high blood pressure, but my husband is starting to (too much fast food I say), and our doctor told him we should consider a statin drug. I did a little research on natural remedies that are less harmful than prescription drugs and found this site:

which has unbiased information on vitamins as well as lifestyle changes that can help with high cholesterol. You're right, this is an increasing problem due to the typical western diet.

Does anyone else know of other useful natural treatments for high cholesterol?

Linda B.

Anonymous said...

Assuming you buy this whole cholesterol is bad theory, which is has more hole in it than swiss cheese, your absolute best natural treatment for cholesterol is to cut out all processed carbs from your diet. That means all flour, all sugar, all rice, all starchy vegetables. And no whole grain is not an acceptable substitute.

If your husband follows this, his cholesterol will drop, his ratio will improve and his triglycerides (which are a more important marker than total cholesterol) will drop hugely. And as a bonus, his blood pressure should normalize as well.

Bob Hawkinson said...

I am glad to see your interesting post. You are always wondering what to and what not to take. I try and take as little as i can but it sure seems to add up.