Operation Transformation is an Irish TV show which has been on our screens for the last 6 years. It’s great TV and highly entertaining; probably not quite as good as it was when Gerry Ryan was the main man, but a great show all the same. It’s about people losing weight and changing their lives for a happier and healthier existence.
I thought part of last night’s show was (in part) quite ironic. One of the five leaders is Gavin from Tallaght. His description on the website states “Recently separated, Gavin (35) is starting over but his weight is preventing him from moving on. Originally from Tallaght, he now lives in Kill, Co. Kildare. He has four children, who he sees regularly and are a major source of motivation to him.” Gavin seems like a really nice fella and I was particularly interested to see that he works at Pfizer. Even his friends, the Pfizer staff, seemed lovely. Meh! (Now I feel like I can’t write about Pfizer’s wrongdoings but you can always Google it yourself). I must be going soft! Now Pfizer, you may be aware make Lipitor, a statin which lowers cholesterol. Wiki: “The best selling drug in pharmaceutical history, sales of Lipitor since it was approved in 1996 exceed US$125 billion, and the drug has topped the list of best-selling branded pharmaceuticals in the world for nearly a decade.”
Statins are the drug of the moment and doctors have effectively pushed this family of drugs on a huge percentage of our population. Huge pharmaceutical marketing campaigns have led the majority of us to believe that these drugs are a wonder drug for all. Side effects rarely get a mention. I had never heard of the book ‘Lipitor, Thief of memory‘, until today when I read this post on the ‘Hayden Institute’. Here’s a quote from this site:
“The most common side effect associated with statin drugs is muscle pain and weakness. The symptoms are most likely due to the depletion of CoQ10, a nutrient that supports muscle function. One study found that 98 percent of patients taking Lipitor and one-third of the patients taking Mevachor (a lower-dose statin) suffered from muscle problems. A Denmark study that evaluated 500,000 patients found that taking statins for one year raised the risk of nerve damage by about 15 percent—about one case for every 2,200 patients. For those who took statins for two or more years, the additional risk rose to 26 percent.”
Another quote from an article in ‘Time’ magazine from Prof Healy:
“If you [look at] statins to lower cholesterol or drugs for osteoporosis, there’s no obvious benefit like there is from wearing a parachute when you jump out of a plane. You often just don’t feel good and you may feel a good deal worse. There isn’t even a proven benefit at the end. What you’ve got is proof in the sense of demonstrating that over a six-week period, you can show a marginal change that we have agreed to call a change for the ‘better.’ [The point is that the measure doesn’t necessarily mean your health will improve, but rather is just a marker linked with a reduction in risk.]“
So my point? Doctors are increasingly pushing statins on the general population, including the healthy. Now that’s ingenious marketing! Ignoring the pharma industry’s billions spent on marketing and doing our own research may be a better idea. Again, informed consent. These drugs may possibly cause muscle damage, memory loss, energy loss, diabetes, and depression, for very little gain. Check the side-effects (of any drug) on RxISK. Again, seriously, were we all born with inherent defects which only the billion dollar pharma industry can fix? C’mon, wake up and smell the coffee/bull.
Doctor Ava raises a good point. Gavin reduced his cholesterol in less than 4 weeks, from 6.8 to 4.3 with diet and exercise. Are the possible side-effects of taking statins worth the risk, when it’s entirely possible to lower cholesterol unaided as Gavin has shown?