From Dr. Mercola:

By Dr. Mercola

The idea that saturated fat is bad for your heart and should be avoided to prevent heart disease is misguided to say the least.

There’s no telling how many people have been harmed by this dangerous advice, as scientific evidence shows that a lack of healthy fat actually increases your cardiovascular health risks, but the number is likely significant.

Adding insult to injury, cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) have become the go-to “preventive medicine,” despite ever-mounting evidence showing that these drugs can do far more harm than good as well.

Taken together, a low-fat diet and statins is a recipe for chronic health problems, and I cannot advise against falling into this trap strongly enough.

One in four Americans over the age of 45 currently take a statin drug, despite the fact that there are over 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk—not to mention an increased risk for heart failure!

Questions have also been raised about statins’ potential to cause amnesia and/or dementia-like symptoms in some patients. According to Scientific American,1 hundreds of such cases have been registered with MedWatch, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) adverse drug reaction database.

Statin Guidelines May Hurt Millions of Healthy People

In November 2013, the US updated its guidelines on cholesterol,2 focusing more on risk factors rather than cholesterol levels—a move estimated to double the number of Americans being prescribed these dangerous drugs.

According to the highly criticized new guideline, if you answer “yes” to ANY of the following four questions, your treatment protocol will call for a statin drug:

Do you have heart disease? Do you have diabetes? (either type 1 or type 2) Is your LDL cholesterol above 190? Is your 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 7.5 percent?

Your 10-year heart attack risk involves the use of a cardiovascular risk calculator, which researchers have warned may overestimate your risk by anywhere from 75 to 150 percent—effectively turning even very healthy people at low risk for heart problems into candidates for statins.

The guideline also does away with the previous recommendation to use the lowest drug dose possible.3 The new guideline basically focuses ALL the attention on statin-only treatment, and at higher dosages.

The UK followed suit in July 2014, recommending statins for otherwise healthy people with a 10 percent or greater 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). As in the US, this was a dramatic change in recommendation, raising the number of Britons eligible for statins by about 4.5 million.

Pediatric Statin Guidelines Dramatically Increase Number of Teens on These Dangerous Drugs

Even teens and young adults are now being placed on statins. In 2011, the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) issued new guidelines4,5 for reducing heart disease in children and adolescents, recommending statin treatment if cholesterol levels are at a certain level.

Meanwhile, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) have far tighter restrictions on the use of statins in those under the age of 40.

According to a new study,6 if doctors follow the NHLBI’s guidelines, nearly half a million teens and young adults between the ages of 17-21 will be placed on statins. As reported by Medicinenet.com:7

“Gooding’s team found that 2.5 percent of those with elevated levels of ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol would qualify for statin treatment under the NHLBI cholesterol guidelines for children, compared with only 0.4 percent under the ACC/AHA adult guidelines.

That means that 483,500 people in that age group would qualify for statin treatment under the NHLBI guidelines, compared with 78,200 under adult guidelines…

It’s common for abnormal cholesterol levels and other heart disease risk factors to start appearing when people are teens, but the two sets of recommendations offer doctors conflicting advice, the researchers said.

For now, they recommend that physicians and patients ‘engage in shared decision making around the potential benefits, harms, and patient preferences for treatment…’”

Statin Drugs Can Wreck Your Health in Multiple Ways

Ironically, while statins are touted as “preventive medicine” to protect your heart health, these drugs can actually have detrimental effects on your heart, especially if you fail to supplement with CoQ10 (or better yet, ubiquinol, which is the reduced and more effective form of CoQ10).

For example, a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis8 showed that statin use is associated with a 52 percent increased prevalence and extent of calcified coronary plaque compared to non-users. And coronary artery calcification is the hallmark of potentially lethal heart disease.

Statins have also been shown to increase your risk of diabetes via a number of different mechanisms, so if you weren’t put on a statin because you have diabetes, you may end up with a diabetes diagnosis courtesy of the drug. Two of these mechanisms include:

Increasing insulin resistance, which contributes to chronic inflammation in your body, and inflammation is the hallmark of most diseases. In fact, increased insulin resistance can lead to heart disease, which, again, is the primary reason for taking a statin in the first place.

It can also promote belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

Raising your blood sugar. When you eat a meal that contains starches and sugar, some of the excess sugar goes to your liver, which then stores it away as cholesterol and triglycerides. Statins work by preventing your liver from making cholesterol. As a result, your liver returns the sugar to your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.

Drug-induced diabetes and conventional lifestyle induced type 2 diabetes are not necessarily identical. If you’re on a statin drug and find that your blood glucose is elevated, it’s possible that what you have is just hyperglycemia—a side effect, and the result of your medication.Unfortunately, many doctors will at that point mistakenly diagnose you with “type 2 diabetes,” and…

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