As if the MacStatin study wasn’t bad enough, there was another recent example of the statin-for-everything mania...and it's ironically timely, given that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.
British researcher John Betteridge, from the University College of London, advised a gathering of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm that all people over the age of 40 with diabetes should take a statin to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and consequently the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as other coronary events.
Stressing the safety and efficacy of taking statins in his talk, Mr. Betteridge used the well-known connection between diabetes and cardiovascular problems as rationale for his stance.
As if that were not a carte blanche enough position in favor of yet another Big Pharma marketing ploy, he advised doctors to reassure patients that any side effects they encountered were most unlikely due to the drug. What!?!?
Tell patients that the side effects we all know can go along with statins—muscle and joint pain being most tantamount—are NOT because of the drug? Just let them suffer? And not make an informed choice? Hmmm, that’s tantamount to malpractice in my book.
But it does beg the question, when should someone with diabetes take a statin?
Dr. Sinatra never puts his “healthy” diabetics (ones with no known heart disease, etc.) on a statin. The only cadre of diabetics he thinks should take them are middle-aged men, say 50 to 70, who’ve had a heart attack or have documented coronary artery disease. That makes sense: it’s the same recommendation he gives to men without diabetes.
So, why doesn’t he use statins more routinely?
Firstly, because statins come with too much negative baggage to be used as primary prevention, as reported in an earlier blog about “MacStatins.” Even in 2010, there just are too few mainstream doctors who even watch out for that baggage. Yet, many physicians are still recommending statins helter-skelter.
And, secondly, as you know if you take Dr. Sinatra’s newsletter, Dr. Sinatra does not believe that cholesterol causes heart disease. High sugar levels are more responsible, and statins don’t lower blood sugar for diabetics.
However, they are potent anti-inflammatory drugs, and both heart disease and diabetes are caused by inflammation. Statins will also help to make the blood thinner, but there are so many safer ways to reduce inflammation and thin the blood.
What folks with diabetes, and without any history of cardiovascular problems, should do is follow an anti-inflammatory diet (staying away from sweets), exercise, sleep grounded, and take natural anti-inflammatories, including:
- fish oil,
- digestive enzymes,
- garlic, and
This approach can reverse diabetes! And, an even tougher—but very effective—approach is to follow a raw food diet. You may have read about Dr. Gabriel Cousins and his success with that a while back in Dr. Sinatra’s newsletter.
We learned even about the raw food approach this past September at David Wolfe’s conference, where Dr Sinatra gave a riveting opening keynote address.
In fact, our co-author for HeartSense for Women—Roberta Jo Lieberman—had such a powerful experience reversing her diabetes on a raw food diet that she has written a book that’s easy for anyone to reference on topic. I’ll be letting you know all about it when it is released in 2011.
For more information cardiovascular nutrition, lowering blood sugar levels, and reducing inflammation, visit Dr. Sinatra’s Web site.