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Statins: should you believe the hype? – Episode 013

Statins: should you believe the hype? – Episode 013

Cholesterol –  the mere thought of it is enough to make many people’s arteries narrow. But is cholesterol truly a super-villain hell-bent on destroying your cardiovascular system? Or might this much maligned substance needed in nearly every cell of your body actually be the victim of a decades long smear campaign?

The so-called “statin” drugs, which have been the weapon of choice in medicine’s holy war against cholesterol, often come under heavy criticism due to a range of established and proposed side effects.

In this episode we scrape away some of the plaque surrounding the modern treatment of so-called high cholesterol, and marvel at how the coercive powers of statistical analysis can be used to make very convincing arguments for…well…just about whatever you want.

Topics in this episode include:

  • The long-term consequences of statin use for lowering cholesterol
  • “Bad cholesterol!”
  • “Good cholesterol”
  • How statins work and what that means for your health
  • Statin drug side-effects as a diagnostician’s worst enemy
  • What does your body use cholesterol for?
  • Does cholesterol actually translate to cardiovascular disease?
  • When is low cholesterol more dangerous than high cholesterol?
  • Who should consider taking statins, and who should avoid them: what the research says
  • Does lowering cholesterol actually lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases?
  • How funny number games can make drugs sound more effective than they really are
  • Can long term statin use lead to diabetes?
  • How statin use can actually contribute to heart failure
  • Why you absolutely need to take CoQ10 if you’re taking statin drugs
  • Who to talk with if you want to manage your prescription drug use safely
  • The curious simultaneous rise of statin use and cardiovascular disease

Related Resources:

Japanese Research Exposes Statin Scam: People with High Cholesterol Live Longer

Statin Therapy Associated with 46% Higher Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

New Study Shows Type 2 Diabetes Risk Drastically Increased By Stains

Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms

Statins & Muscle Destruction: Increasing incidence of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy: single-centre experience

New study strengthens evidence of connection between statin use and cataracts; any risks should be weighed against benefits

 

Picture credit: Pork sandwich from Istolethetv from wiki commons.

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Electronics that control inflammation? – Episode 003

Imagine a future where your anti-virus software has to protect your nervous system, not just your home computer. Or, where overseas hackers can commandeer your digestive tract. Science fiction coming alive is just around the corner with the growing field of bioelectronics – implanting electronic devices into the body to treat disease and regulate body… Continue Reading

Circumcision: is it worth it? – Episode 005

Circumcision: is it worth it? – Episode 005

Most of us would agree that avoiding unnecessary surgical procedures is good practice–especially when it comes to infants and children. But in the United States, and a few other countries, the surgical procedure of circumcising newborn baby boys is a common practice. Does circumcision promote the health & well-being of baby boys? Or is it just pediatric cosmetic… Continue Reading