Monday, March 31, 2008

Cholesterol; statins kill?

Just a quickie.

Go read Dr Eades' blog here. For anyone who has read the J-litt study, or more especially line one of table 6 on page 1092, none of this will come as a surprise. There is a level of LDL below which repair cells just won't get enough cholesterol and lipid to patch the hole in the intima left by the apoptosis of an endothelial cell. The repair will then be botched with a next best like Lp(a).

Interesting development.



paul said...

Hum, as the first commenter to Eades' article noted, this is not science. "Heart disease went up, I don't like statins, therefore I'm going to say that the people with increased heart disease must have been taking statins...". I am not for a moment disagreeing with all the well-founded argument against statins, but this isn't it. I have seen Eades play fast-and-loose before, he's very popular but not a particularly reliable source,

Peter said...

"this is not science" Absolutely. I would be very dubious about the very long thin and tortuous set of links Eades proposes. But the J-Litt study controlled its variables rather well and obviously has me convinced. All of the modern statin studies must generate data within group which would allow outcome to be be assessed by cholesterol concentration a la J-Litt. So a study comparing one a dose of atrovastatin with a different dose of simvastatin could generate two J-Litt type studies, one from each group. This never happens. Why? Perhaps J-Litt would be repeated...


Anonymous said...

Peter, what is your conclusion from the J-Litt study? Your posts didn't convince me of anything really. The fundamental problem is this - total mortality is the key variable. I do not pay much attention to any study talking about death from one cause. When they record total mortality is when I begin to take notice. I know that total mortality tends to go up in response to toxic pharmaceutical drugs. Anyone who accepts drugs for health problems is a fool, IMO. (Do they think disease is the result of drug deficiencies, or a crummy diet and/or lifestyle? Surprisingly, too many people choose the former. They continue to do the same things that made them sick and put their health in the hands of doctors and CEOs of drug companies. Tragic and somewhat disturbing when you think about it. One of these days, a few billion of these sheep will die from the "side effects" of these toxic drugs.

That much we agree on, but I am far more dismissive of studies that you seem to base your life on. As Eades often notes most studies today "are not worth the paper they're printed on." My views are more in tune with someone like Steven Milloy. Studies are garbage unless they check total mortality over a long time. Markers and test tubes are meaningless. The reality is infinitely more complex.

Andrew S said...

There are no large-scale, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, clinical, prospective studies that look at Paleo diets, and I'm not sure that the studies that have looked at Atkins or Zone meet all of those requirements.

So if one is waiting for unassailable evidence to stop eating PUFAs and gluten and HFCS, it might take a while. We might all be dead first.

Markers and test tubes are suggestive, and it IS possible to read between the lines. The result might not be certainty and knowledge, but I'd rather go with strong theoretical support plus non-prospective studies (such as those on 20th-century hunter-gatherer societies) than stick my head in the sand and refuse to believe ANYTHING until it's there in a large-scale, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized, clinical prospective study. I have to eat *something.*

I don't *know for a fact* that vegetable oils are evil, but that's the proposition with the strongest support. That's what I believe, and that's how I eat.