Cholesterol & Children -Part II

The studies have obviously shown a direct link between
lower levels of LDL and a lower risk of heart attacks but
consumer groups have pointed out that the new
guidelines are tainted by the influence of U.S.
pharmaceutical companies, which share in a $26 billion
market for these chemicals.

These same consumer groups have pointed out that
eight of the nine cholesterol experts received consulting
or speaking fees, at one time or another, from
manufacturers of anti-cholesterol drugs. While
attempting to inform the public of this fact would have
been acceptable, few have done so.

A Chemical Problem

Critics of statins say that the drugs are a “risky fix” to a
bigger problem. Side-effects typically include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Muscle pain, weakness and inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Nerve damage
  • A possible break down of muscle tissue
    which can be fatal

Darshak Sanghavi, chief of pediatric cardiology at the
University of Massachusetts Medical School in
Worcester, has observed that the FDA approved some
statins for use in treating children without ever having
studied their long-term effects in children.

Additionally, other pharmaceuticals have proven to
increase cholesterol. A team of researchers from the
University of California San Francisco found that
Accutane, an acne medication typically given to teens,
raised the cholesterol in almost half of those tested who
had previously normal levels.

Diet First

Cholesterol lowering chemicals make it possible for
these children and their families to avoid the necessary
lifestyle changes required to live healthier. Simply
decreasing fat consumption can have a positive effect
on cholesterol levels, but increasing the intake of
several other food items has proven to have a
beneficial effect as well:

  • Garlic – 2400 scientific studies have shown garlic
    to be beneficial for the cardiovascular system
  • Soluble fiber – reduces LDL cholesterol by
    reducing its absorption in the intestines
  • Found in oats, barley, rye, peas, beans as
    well as some fruits and vegetables, actually
    binds with the cholesterol so that it is
    excreted instead of absorbed.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – studies have shown that
    this vitamin lowers bad cholesterol and increases
    good cholesterol

The Underlying Issue

Andrew Weil, M.D., the author of “Why our Healthcare
Matters” has noted a serious issue in modern
medicine’s approach of treating symptoms. In a nutshell,

way too much money is spent on disease
maintenance and not enough on cure and prevention.
In 2006, Americans alone spent $280 billion on
medications, almost the same amount spent by the
rest of the world combined.

Dr. Weil believes that one of the biggest contributors
to the current health care crisis is a lack of wellness.
Much of the population of the world eats too much
(and it’s typically the wrong food), exercises too little
and suffers the effects of too much stress and not
enough sleep.

In 2008, prescription sales in the United States alone
exceeded $291 billion with Lipitor, a statin, leading
the way. The only way to address the current
healthcare crisis is to introduce a new understanding
of wellness, and promote health instead of trying to
treat disease.