The TV commercial begins, “You eat healthy, take statins…” and then goes on to describe a new class of drug designed, “to lower LDL-C when added to a high-dose statin” (my emphasis). That’s what gets me riled. Folks, if you’re “eating healthy,” unless you have a very rare condition called “familial hypercholesterolemia,” you shouldn’t need to take a statin, much less another drug in addition to a high-dose statin. Geez…
Of course, this claim all revolves around what you (or they, the drug maker) call “eating healthy.” The drug maker will claim, rightly, that their “eating healthy” is what you have been told to eat by All the Powers that Be in our culture: The USDA/HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from 1980 through 2015, with only minor modifications, ChooseMyPlate.gov, and the entire medical establishment – the AMA, the AHA, the ADA, etc.
So, if you “eat healthy” in the way they prescribe, you very well may need to take a statin. And if it doesn’t lower your LDL-C sufficiently to satisfy the Total Cholesterol and LDL-C Standards of Medical Practice for a lipid profile, established by the corrupt practices of those government/medical entities, you’re going to be cajoled relentlessly to start taking a statin, and if a high-dose statin doesn’t “do the job,” to start taking this new drug.
In 2002, I had been a diagnosed a T2D for 16 years and was still eating the Standard American Diet. I was on 3 classes of oral antidiabetic drugs (maxed out on 2), and still “out of control.” To help me to lose weight, my doctor suggested I start eating Very Low Carb (VLC), i.e. 20g of carbs a day. The first day I had a hypo, and 2 more that week. He took me off 1 drug and cut the other 2 in half TWICE. And in 9 months I lost 60 pounds.
Then in 2003, following the prescribed standard, my doctor started me on a high-dose statin and in no time got my LDL-C down to “target” (<70mg/dl). In 2006 I rededicated myself to VLC and lost another 100 pounds in a year. By 2008 I had lost 170 pounds total and lowered my blood pressure to 110/70 (on the same BP meds).
But I also transformed my lipid panel. While my Total Cholesterol (TC) and LDL-C remained about the same, I doubled my HDL-C and lowered my triglycerides (TGs) by two-thirds. When my doctor saw these outcomes, he used his clinical judgment and took me off statins completely. That was 2008, 10 years ago. I still basically eat VLC most of the time, and my latest lipids were TC 189; LDL-C* 83; HDL-C 92; non-HDL 97 and TG 56mg/dl.
* Calculated by Quest using Martin/Hopkins; previously Quest calculated LDL-C by the Friedewald method.
A chart below illustrates my TC and LDL-C while off, then on, then off again a statin, from 1980 to the present.
So, I think it’s reasonable to ask, “Is your ‘eating healthy,’ (the way the USDA/HHS and the AMA, AHA and ADA have been telling you to do all your life), the reason your doctor has you on a high-dose statin and is now twisting your arm unremittingly to take yet another drug to lower your LDL-C?” I think so. And my doctor apparently agreed. Do you suppose if you changed the way you eat, you wouldn’t “need” to take a statin?