Recent statistics have showed that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. More precisely, it has been found that more than 610,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. High cholesterol levels are certainly one of the main causes of developing cardiovascular disease.
Therefore, many people start taking cholesterol-lowering medications in order to lower their risk of heart disease. However, it has been proved that the most popular cholesterol-lowering medications, known as statins, are poorly effective in reducing cholesterol levels, and have numerous side effects which are even liked to cancer.
What Are Statins?
Statins are group of drugs which can lower the LDL cholesterol levels. However, a number of studies have found that statins are poorly effective and have numerous side effects.
Latest study, published in the Vascular Health and Risk Management, has found that this group of medications is extremely ineffective in lowering cholesterol levels in people who suffer from heart disease. Moreover, researchers found that statins reduced cholesterol levels in 18% of the patients, while they were ineffective in 80% of the patients.
Additionally, it has been proved that these medications have many side effects, including:
- High blood sugar
- Memory loss
- Increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
The experts also add that statins are related to myositis and rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis can lead to kidney damage, kidney failure, and even death.
Various different studies have found a link between statins and a higher risk of cancer. Other, more recent study published in the journal Current Oncology, discovered that cholesterol-lowering drugs increase the risk of cancer in the elderly and people with prostate or breast cancer. Also, researchers found that statins caused tumor progression in people with bladder cancer.
Note: Statins stimulate the production of T cells in the body (white blood cells that fight off infection) which weakens other immune responses in the body, making it more vulnerable to developing cancer.
Cholesterol and the Body
Many people believe that cholesterol is the major reason for blood clogging which leads to heart disease. However, it turned out that this is a misconception, according to Dr. Beverly Teter, a renowned lipid biochemist at the University of Maryland. She says that scientists have mistakenly blamed cholesterol for heart disease simply because they found high levels of LDL in a damaged blood vessel. Her theory is that cholesterol, in fact, is put there to fix a problem that was caused by inflammation.
Dr. Beverly Teter said:
“It’s the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion. The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.”
Furthermore, she recommends consuming foods that rich in anti-inflammatories, rather than low in fat. Here are includes foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and natural saturated fats. Also, she suggests avoiding foods which contain inflammation-causing trans-fats.
Foods that are high in inflammation-busting properties include:
- Wild salmon
- Flaxseed oil
- Hickory nuts
Make sure to eat all of the foods mentioned above, while avoiding these inflammation-causing ones:
- Pie crust
- Deep-fried foods
- Non-dairy creamer
- Cake frosting
Note: The best way to prevent inflammation is to avoid deep fried or heavily processed foods. These foods trigger inflammation and increase the cholesterol levels, a combination that certainly leads to heart disease.