But the benefits were actually tiny -- about 0.72 percent of the statin takers in the trial had a heart attack or stroke, compared with 1.5 percent of those taking placebos.
Instead of a statin drug that comes with dangerous side effects, try these six measures instead:
- Stop smoking. Smoking hardens the arteries and increase inflammation. But research shows you can reverse all the damaging effects to your arteries within 10 years of quitting.
- Think olive oil, fish, and nuts. People who stick with a Mediterranean-style diet based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and olive oil can lower their levels of inflammation. It works by increasing the amount of foods you eat that are rich in omega-3 fats, which fight inflammation.
- Get active. Exercise a great way to lower inflammation without any of the side effects associated with medications.
- Shrink your waist size. If you're a woman with a waist measurement of over 35 inches or a man with a waist of over 40 inches, you probably have high inflammation. Whittling a few inches off the waist by reducing your portions and increasing activity can go a long way toward solving that problem.
- Get enough sleep. A new study shows that elderly people with high blood pressure who sleep less than 7.5 hours a night have dramatically elevated chances of having a stroke or heart attack. Other research has shown that both too little and too much sleep increases inflammation. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
- Reduce stress. High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals.
I can’t tell you how pleased I am that the “latest and greatest” study on statin benefits, called JUPITER, has been exposed by even mainstream media as being both deceptive and steeped in conflicts of interest. I commented on this study just last week.
With at least 12 million Americans taking statins, and “experts'” recommending that another 23 million “should” be taking them, it's important to educate yourself on the use of these drugs.
Statins are already one of the most widely prescribed class of drugs, and the JUPITER study’s misleading conclusions about the benefits of Crestor have the potential to push their already vastly inflated usage over the edge.
Don’t fall for it.
The language used to publicize their results has been thoroughly massaged and manipulated to make the drug sound vastly better than it really is. A staggering 5,000 percent better, to be precise. Because whereas headlines are boasting a 50 percent or higher reduced risk of heart attack and strokes, the REAL difference in cardiovascular events between those taking the statin drug Crestor and those taking a placebo was just 1.2 percent.
The REAL “benefit” of Crestor is this: If 100 people are treated with Crestor for one year, only ONE will be spared a cardiovascular event they otherwise might have had.
I for one am underwhelmed by these findings.
Exposing 100 people to the potentially lethal side effects of Crestor, or any other statin drug, to save one person from a cardiovascular event that could have been prevented with lifestyle changes, is not what I call good medicine.
Why are Statin Drugs Prescribed to Otherwise “Healthy” Individuals?
The JUPITER study involved 17,800 people who had high C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, which is a good indicator of inflammation, and hence, heart disease risk, even among those otherwise considered healthy.
Statins are now frequently prescribed to individuals who have normal cholesterol levels if they have elevated C-reactive protein levels, to combat inflammation, and presumably reduce their risk of developing heart disease.
But taking a statin in this case will NOT resolve the underlying problem causing the increase in inflammation!
Elevated C-reactive protein levels are due to chronic damage being done to your arteries, which leads to inflammation. This is how your body responds to invaders; it’s your body’s natural and purposeful response to healing.
The REAL problem is what’s causing the damage in the first place, such as having chronically elevated blood sugar. The sugar molecule, in fact, causes far more damage than any other molecule.
If you decide to take cholesterol-lowering drugs instead of addressing the underlying problem of excess sugar in your blood stream, you are not only stopping your body’s natural healing process, you are also exposing yourself to drugs that are loaded with side effects and can deteriorate your health even further.
Instead, the CRP screening test could be a handy indicator showing that lifestyle changes are in order to naturally lower your body’s excess inflammation, which will naturally decrease your heart disease risk – no drugs required.
Your Diet – The Most Important Way to Reduce Inflammation
It’s important to realize that there are different sizes of LDL cholesterol particles, and it’s the LDL particle size that is relevant, as small particles get stuck easily and causes more inflammation.
Naturally, the drug companies really don’t want you to know this. Statins do not modulate LDL particle size, so if this became widespread knowledge it would severely limit the number of people going on cholesterol-lowering drugs.
The only way to make sure your LDL particles are large enough to not get stuck and cause inflammation and damage is through your diet. In fact, it’s one of the major things that insulin does.
So rather than taking a statin drug, you really need to focus on your diet to reduce the inflammation in your body, which is aggravated by:
- Oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs)
- Eating lots of sugar and grains
- Eating foods cooked at high temperatures
- Eating trans fats
Other Lifestyle Changes That Will Naturally Reduce Inflammation
In addition to the six excellent recommendations in the article above, and avoiding the dietary hazards just mentioned, here are a few more recommendations that can have a profound impact on reducing inflammation in your body and reducing your risk of heart disease.
- One of the most important steps in lowering your heart disease risk is to take a high-quality krill oil that is chock full of beneficial omega-3 fats.
- Make sure you’re eating the right foods for your body’s unique nutritional type.
- Optimize your insulin levels. If your fasting insulin level is not lower than three consider limiting or eliminating your intake of grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level.
- Make sure your vitamin D levels are optimized. Most people are not aware that vitamin D can have a profoundly dramatic impact on normalizing blood pressure and lowering your risk for heart disease.
Your best source of vitamin D is through your skin being exposed to the sun. In the wintertime, however, you may need to take an oral supplement. Just make sure you’re taking the right form of vitamin D in the appropriate amounts to reap the benefits, and remember to get your vitamin D levels tested regularly.