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Why are Cholesterol Drugs Being Recommended for 8 Year Olds?

July 22, 2008 | 33,921 views

kids, cholesterol, childrenFor the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that some children as young as 8 should be given cholesterol-lowering drugs to ward off future heart problems.

Dr. Stephen Daniels, who is on the academy‘s nutrition committee, says the new advice is based on mounting evidence that damage leading to heart disease, the nation‘s leading killer, begins early in life.

The drug treatments would be targeted at kids at least 8 years old who have too much LDL, or "bad," cholesterol along with other risky factors, including obesity and high blood pressure.


Cholesterol screening is also now being recommended for kids with a family history of high cholesterol and those who are overweight, obese or have other heart disease risk factors. Screening should take place after age 2 but no later than age 10, according to the AAP.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It never ceases to amaze me just how far the drug companies push the limit of what they can get away with. Simply an absolutely amazing testimony to the effectiveness of their brainwashing and manipulation by investing in key non-scrupulous professionals and organizations.

Every few years, the number of people who “need” cholesterol-lowering (statin) drugs is suddenly expanded. At this rate, it won’t be very long before someone suggests that everyone take them, cradle to grave. The companies that make the drugs would certainly approve of that idea.

Although the AAP maintains that these new guidelines have nothing to do with any commercial entities, the New York Times uncovered some pretty glaring connections.

For starters, the AAP has received contributions from several drug makers, including:
  • $433,000 from Merck
  • $835,250 from Abbott Laboratories’ Ross Product Division
  • $216,000 from the Bristol-Myers Squibb company Mead Johnson Nutritionals
Meanwhile, several members of AAP’s nutrition committee, which developed the new guidelines, also have ties to drug makers:
  • Dr. Stephen Daniels has consulted for Merck and Abbott Laboratories (although not on cholesterol drugs)
  • Dr. Nicolas Stettler of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia worked on clinical trials for Merck’s Mevacor and a failed Pfizer cholesterol drug
  • Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, chief of neonatology at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, has listed financial relationships with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Mead Johnson unit, Abbott’s Ross Products and Dey Laboratories, which is affiliated with Merck
Cholesterol-lowering drugs are already the most used prescription drugs in the United States, so their makers really didn’t need to target the youngest members of society to increase their bottom lines, but they did anyway.

Five cholesterol drugs have already been approved for kids with genetic cholesterol disorders:
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pravachol
  • Pfizer’s Lipitor 
  • Merck’s Zocor and Mevacor
  • Novartis’s Lescol
But the new guidelines push it even beyond kids with a genetic disorder; they also include children who have high “bad” cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure and other factors.

Why Cholesterol Drugs are Bad for You … and Even Worse for Your Kids

You should know that among the many dangers of statin drugs is an increased risk of heart disease. This is because patients taking statins become depleted in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness and, ironically, heart failure.

The FDA has had a petition to label statin packages with a warning about statin-induced CoQ10 depletion for years, but nothing has been done about it. Some of the other risks of statin drugs include:
  • Weakness
  • Muscle aches
  • An increase in cancer risk
  • Immune system suppression
  • Serious degenerative muscle tissue condition (rhabdomyolysis)
  • Potential increase in liver enzymes so patients must be monitored for normal liver function
These, of course, are the risks to adults. But when you give drugs designed for adults to children, anything can happen because children metabolize drugs differently. At least one expert has expressed concern that statin drugs may impact a child’s endocrine system, which regulates growth and development.

And there is absolutely no long-term data showing that statin drugs are safe for kids, who will likely be put on the drugs for many years, if not a lifetime.

If You are Worried About Your Child’s Cholesterol …

First, keep this in mind: It is VERY rare for anyone to need cholesterol-lowering drugs. Among the more than 20,000 patients who have come to my clinic, only four or five of them truly needed these drugs, as they had genetic challenges that required it. If you or someone you know is taking them, odds are very high, greater than 100 to 1, that you or they don't need it.

And this applies to children too.

Most often, cholesterol becomes high as a result of excess inflammation in your body. Far from being harmful, the cholesterol is released into your bloodstream to help repair damage by producing new cells.

So the solution is not to lower your cholesterol, it’s to address what is causing the excess inflammation. In kids, this is caused largely by the very same things it is in adults:

1. Eating too many sugar and grains
2. Eating trans fats
3. Not exercising
4. Emotional stress

If these items sound familiar in your family’s lifestyle, now’s the time to change it. You do not need drugs to get healthy, you just need to follow these eight steps:

1. Make sure you and your kids are getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega3-fats. I prefer those from krill oil.

2. Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars in your family’s daily diet.

3. Eat the right foods for your nutritional type and make sure your kids are eating right for theirs.

4. Make sure your family eats a good portion of their food raw.

5. Get the right amount of exercise. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has the opportunity to spread.

7. Address your emotional challenges. I particularly love the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) for stress management. EFT is also easy for kids to learn and use.

8. If you are having troubles following this advice (exercising regularly, staying away from sugars, and eating right for your type) then you might want to try the hypnosis program I recommend for diet and exercise adherence.

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