Dr. Uffe Ravnskov is probably the world’s leading cholesterol skeptic, and he is surely the most highly credentialed one, being a medical internist, a board-certified nephrologist (kidney specialist) , a professor of Medicine, and widely published medical researcher. Here are the highlights from his April newsletter.
It mostly concerns statin drug treatment, and statins are still the most widely prescribed medicines in the world. He starts by referring to Dr. Duane Graveline's book ”Lipitor: Thief of Memory.” Dr. Graveline suffered terribly and almost died from statin treatment, and ever since, he has become a leading voice against statins. Impaired memory is one of the many serious side effects of statin treatment. Thousands have reported cognitive problems from statin use, and for many of them, the problems disappeared after discontinuation of statins, which was also the case for Dr. Graveline. Dr. Ravskov reports that, finally, a few months ago, the FDA officially admitted in a new "safety alert" that such problems exist. It’s about time! Fortunately, many newspapers reported it, including the New York Times and the Boston Globe.
Reports to the FDA of memory problems from statins began over ten years. So, why did it take them so long to act? Dr. Ravsnkov cites Dr. Marcia Angell from her book, ”The Truth About the Drug Companies. How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It”. Dr. Angell is the former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine. Here is what she said:
”Congress also put the FDA on the pharmaceutical industry´s payroll . . . Fees . . . soon accounted for about half the budget of the agency´s drug evaluation center. That makes the FDA dependent on an industry it regulates.” (page 208)
”The FDA is subject to industry pressures through its eighteen standing advisory committees on drug approvals. These committees, which consist of outside experts in various subspecialities, are charged with reviewing new drug applications and making recommendations to the agency about approval. The FDA almost always takes their advice. Many members of these committees have financial connections to interested companies . . . Members of FDA advisory committees are said to command unusually high consulting fees from drug companies.” (pages 210-211).
This issue has touched me close to home. I had an uncle who died recently, and officially, he died of Alzheimer’s disease. His mental deterioration was very gradual. It started over 12 ago, soon after he began statin treatment for high cholesterol. By the end, he was in full-blown dementia. But, for most of his adult life, he was a very brilliant man, an engineer by profession, and a mechanical genius; he could fix anything. So, it was very sad to see him decline the way he did. But, did he really have Alzheimer’s? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. There is no blood test for it, and a definitive diagnosis requires a brain autopsy. Is it possible that his statin use contributed to his dementia? It is very possible. Even probable, I'd say. He lived to the same age as his father, 91, and his father (my grandfather) never had Alzheimer’s. My grandfather was lucid until the very end. And he never took statins.
So, why didn’t I intervene for my uncle? I tried to. I spoke to my aunt about it, his sister. And she took what I said very seriously. She spoke to his adult children about it, and she even called his doctor and balled him out. But, I don’t believe the statin was ever stopped. And of course, as he deteriorated, they started giving him lots of other drugs as well. As with so many people, Modern Medicine had a ruinous effect on my uncle's health and on his life. And he was previously, a very vigorous man- until he started with all that medical stuff.
I had my annual blood work done this month, and the results were good. My total cholesterol was 170, and I am happy with that. It’s not as low as the cholesterol haters strive for, but cholesterol is a very vital substance that is used constructively in many, many ways, including to make hormones, bile acids, cellular membranes, intracellular membranes, Vitamin D, and even for the immune system and the brain. Cholesterol is so important to the brain that it makes its own cholesterol, and I mean a lot of it.
My HDL was 60, and my LDL was 110, which is 10 points higher than the upper limit of what is now considered normal, which is 100. What I plan to do about it is absolutely nothing. As it is, I eat largely a plant-based diet, and the only animal food that enters my diet occasionally is an organic egg. I could cut it out, but I don’t think I will. And that’s because I feel good, and I am not the least bit worried about it. I don’t take statin drugs, and I am not interested in taking anything to lower my cholesterol. That's one boat I ain't rockin'.