Cholesterol. It’s had an up-and-down history in terms of medical recommendations. I remember when my dad had his open-heart surgery and his doctor demanded that he eat only 1 or 2 eggs a week. This was killer for my father who adored his bacon-and-eggs breakfast. But he stuck to it… For six years. And then his doctor told him, well, it looks like dietary cholesterol doesn’t really contribute that much to the cholesterol levels in the blood. Can you imagine how angry my father felt?
Yes. Now here’s a man who’d religiously (pun intended) adhered to the Catholic Church’s ” no meat on Fridays” command – on pain of hell and damnation. And then, suddenly, it was no longer a mortal sin to eat meat on Friday? My dad stopped going to church for many years because of that one.
For many of us it’s becoming increasingly clear that statins can have novel types of negative side effects – with far-reaching consequences for the ingenuous patient who is following the doctor’s insistence on taking this medicine. Here’s one about how statins disregulate the cholesterol balance and thus cause swelling in the brain that leads to memory loss (American College of Cardiology).
Here’s one about how statins are associated with unexplained muscle pain (American College of Cardiology). I actually knew a woman who was going through this – she could barely walk for the pain in her feet. Her doc took her off statins and the pain disappeared.
And my favorite today, a study that shows a pronounced connection between statin therapy and the reduced ability of the body to benefit from exercise (Disease Models and Mechanisms). Can you imagine the dilemma for docs here? On the one hand they’re insisting their patients take cholesterol medication and, on the other, they’re telling them to exercise. But oh, too bad, the exercise won’t do you any good because of the medicine.
Thank God they didn’t have cholesterol medicines around when my dad was alive.