Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Medical Myths of Cholesterol-What You Need to Know About Heart Disease

The Medical Myths of Cholesterol-What You Need to Know About Heart Disease

 Cardiovascular disease kills almost one million Americans each year. This number accounts for 41 percent of all deaths in the United States. In fact, cardiovascular disease claims more lives than the next eight leading causes of death combined, including cancer, accidents, and AIDS. And, despite an aggressive campaign launched by the American Heart Association to counter the epidemic of heart disease, one person dies every 33 seconds. For nearly four decades, we have relied on medical myths to guide us in our attempts to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease. We have been told to reduce our cholesterol, saturated- fat intake, and to take lipid-lowering medications. Unfortunately, these recommendations have been shown to actually increase the risk of premature death, strokes, heart attacks, depression, suicide, senile dementia, and congestive heart failure.

Medical Myth Number One
Most health organizations and the public at-large are sold on the idea that high cholesterol is the main cause of arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

However, a growing body of research is dispelling this medical myth. The prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, reported in 1994 that most individuals with coronary artery disease have normal cholesterol levels!  Forty percent of all heart attacks occur in individuals with normal cholesterol levels. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that there is no evidence linking high cholesterol levels in women with heart disease. In fact, low cholesterol levels, especially after the age of forty-seven, increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, depression, and early death. As reported in The Journal of Cardiology, “low cholesterol increases the risk of a heart attack.”
To cite the medical experts from the famous Framingham study: For each 1 mg/dl drop of cholesterol there was an 11 percent increase in coronary and total mortality (death from all sources).

Your body needs cholesterol. Cholesterol makes up eight percent of brain-matter. It is essential for proper brain function. The importance of cholesterol is far reaching. Cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D and other hormones that are needed for sustaining a healthy life. Cholesterol is one of the key substances at nerve synapses needed to transmit information. Cholesterol helps regulate brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Low cholesterol can cause depression, fatigue and neurological disorders (nerve pain, tingling and numbness).
Individuals with low cholesterol are three times more likely to suffer from depression as normal adults.

Medical Myth Number Two
Cholesterol lowering drugs are a safe and effective way to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Over the last twenty years, the pharmaceutical companies have promoted cholesterol-lowering statin drugs with such fervor that they’ve become household names: Lipitor, Crestor, Vytorin, Zocor, and others. Sixteen million Americans take Lipitor, the most popular statin drug. Statin sales in the U.S. alone are over 12.5 billion dollars a year.
No doubt, the statins lower cholesterol levels and perhaps do lower the risk of dying from a heart attack, at least in patients who already have had one, but the size of the effect is unimpressive. In one of the experiments for instance, the CARE trial, the odds of escaping death from a heart attack for a patient with manifest heart disease was 94.3 %, which improved to 95.4 % with statin treatment. This is a difference of 1.1 percent. Surely not worth all the hype these medications have received. Especially since the potential side effects from these drugs may include congestive heart failure.
The acknowledged side effects of statins include muscle pain and weakness, nerve damage, and a potentially fatal muscle-wasting disorder called rhabdomyolysis. One statin, Baycol, has been withdrawn because it was linked to 31 deaths from rhabdomyolysis. Interference with production of Co-Q10 by statin drugs is the most likely explanation. The heart is a muscle and it cannot work when deprived of the essential nutrient, Co-Q10. A deficiency of CoQ10 can lead to nerve damage and congestive heart failure.
While heart attacks have slightly declined, CHF (congestive heart failure) has more than doubled since Lipitor and other statins were first prescribed in 1987.
Taking statins for one year raised the risk of nerve damage by about 15 percent. Researchers studying CoQ10 have estimated that as little as a 25 percent reduction in bodily CoQ10 will trigger various disease processes, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer, immune dysfunction, and fatigue.

Medical Myth Number Three
The drugs used to treat chest pain, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure are safe and effective.

Nothing could be further from the truth. These drugs are dangerous. Calcium Channel blocking drugs (Cardizem, Procardia, Calan, Norvasc, and others) increase the risk of having a heart attack by five-fold.
Beta-blocking drugs (Atenolol, Inderal, Toprol, Tenormin, and others) may cause congestive heart failure, heart block, depression, type II diabetes, tingling in the hands and feet, fatigue, and many other unwanted side effects.
Diuretics increase the risk of developing type II diabetes by fifty percent.

Medical Myth Number Four
Heart surgery, including coronary bypass and angioplasty are safe, effective, and proven procedures.

In fact, neither surgery has been subjected to double blind placebo controlled trials. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has estimated that 90 percent of Americans who undergo bypass surgery receive no benefits. A Swedish study revealed that 12 percent of those undergoing bypass suffered obvious brain damage, including strokes. Other studies have shown that the majority of patients are more likely to die from the surgery, up to 10 percent, than a heart attack. Studies also show that patients who elected not to have the surgery actually lived longer than those who did have surgery.

Medical Myth Number Five
The test to determine if someone needs heart surgery, known as an angiogram, is a safe and accurate diagnostic procedure.

Over one million angiograms are performed each year, costing over $10 billion. These tests use a long catheter with a tiny camera for the purpose of observing arterial blockages. A study that measured the blood flow in 44 blocked arteries, as demonstrated by angiogram, found that heart arteries with up to 96 percent blockage had the swiftest blood flow. While arteries with only a 40 percent blockage had a reduced flow. The authors concluded the angiogram is an unreliable diagnostic tool and should be considered worthless.

Medical Myth Number Six
Traditional medicine continues to promote these 5 medical myths while perpetuating the greatest myth ever; nutritional supplements are unregulated, aren’t proven, and are dangerous.

This is probably the most unscrupulous myth of all. The medical journals are overflowing with studies (over1, 000 of them) that demonstrate the effectiveness of various nutritional supplements for treating high blood pressure, alone. The Federal Drug Association fought for 20 years and spent millions of dollars to prevent the following statement from being used on bottles of fish oil supplements “Consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Fortunately, truth and justice prevailed. A recent American Heart Association’s study showed that individuals who took 1,000mg of fish oil a day had a 41 percent reduction in heart disease and sudden death. CoQ10 supplements have been proven to be more effective in reversing congestive heart failure than traditional drugs. Normally class IV or terminally ill congestive heart patients live only a matter of days. The majority of those receiving CoQ10 survived 2 years or more.

A number of studies have shown that vitamins help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Vitamin E has been shown to cut subsequent heart attacks by 77 percent. In fact taking vitamin E reduced the chances of death from all causes by 42 percent. B vitamins have been shown to decrease the amount of plaque in the carotid (neck) arteries by 10 percent.

Traditional medicine and its political organizations, including the American Heart Association, have failed to stop the rising epidemic of heart disease. Given heart disease’s epidemic proportions and that most of the traditional therapies commonly used to treat it may actually cause more deaths than the illness itself, it’s time to put these dangerous myths to rest.

What can you do to reduce your risk of developing heart disease? Well, first of all, please quit being stressed out about fats and cholesterol. Stress will kill you, literally. Eat all the free-range eggs, meat and butter your heart desires. Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Avoid hydrogenated oils and excess sugar.  Supplement your diet with a good multivitamin and at least 1,000mg of fish oil each day. Above all, avoid falling prey to the medical myths of heart disease.

About Dr. Murphree

Dr. Murphree is a board certified nutritional specialist and chiropractic physician who has been in private practice since 1990. He is the founder and past clinic director for a large integrated medical practice located on the campus of Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham Alabama. The clinic was staffed with medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, and massage therapists. He is the author of 5 books for patients and doctors, including "Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won't Tell You,’” "Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression with Orthomolecular Medicine," and
"Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome."
He can be reached toll free 1-888-884-9577 or at 205-879-2383 His website is at

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Anti-depressants-Study Says They Are Worthless

Broad Review of FDA Trials Suggests Antidepressants Only Marginally Better than Placebo
August 24, 2010 — A new review of 4 meta-analyses of efficacy trials submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that antidepressants are only "marginally efficacious" compared with placebo and "document profound publication bias that inflates their apparent efficacy."
"We found that out of the 4041 patients initially started on the SSRI [selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor] citalopram in the STAR*D study, and after 4 trials, only 108 patients had a remission and did not either have a relapse and/or dropped out by the end of 12 months of continuing care," lead study author Ed Pigott, PhD, a psychologist with NeuroAdvantage LLC in Clarksville, Maryland, told Medscape Medical News.
These means that only 2.7% of patients taking anti-depressants actually go into remission!
Sustained Benefit "Jaw Dropping"
"In other words, if you're trying to look at sustained benefit, you're only looking at 2.7%, which is a pretty jaw-dropping number," added Dr. Pigott.
Overall, "the reviewed findings argue for a reappraisal of the current recommended standard of care of depression," write the study authors.

Yep, I agree, pretty jaw dropping when you learn the potential side effects of taking a worthless drug.
Read the entire study at the link below-
The Truth About Anti-depressants
If you want to know the truth about anti-depressant meds take a look at my article “The Depressing Truth About Anti-depressants” which natural provides the protocols I use for my patients with mood disorders.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Deadly List

A Deadly List

The May 2007 issue of SELF-magazine featured a story entitled The Deadly Twist. This story is about patients who’ve had strokes following a chiropractic cervical adjustment. The article is quite painful to read. I can’t help but feel a tremendous amount of sorrow for these folks.
The article reveals a study, reported in Neurology 2003, that shows “patients with strokes caused by hemorrhaged or torn vertebral arteries are nearly five times more likely to have had a recent neck adjustment than those with strokes caused by something else.” The above statement probably sent shivers down the spine of every reader who’d ever had a chiropractic adjustment. However, reading between the lines, we need to realize that most strokes come from clots, not torn vessels. The majority of strokes occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of oxygenated blood to a portion of the brain. This is known as an ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke can be caused by a blood clot that forms inside the artery of the brain (thrombotic stroke), or by a clot that forms somewhere else in the body and travels to the brain (embolic stroke).

Americans experience over 700,000 strokes a year. Ischemic strokes account for 83% of this number. In the U.S., approximately 3,000 cases of vertebral hemorrhage occur annually.
Chiropractors see roughly 10 percent of the U.S. population a year. You do the math, it is highly improbable that chiropractic adjustments could be causing thousands of strokes a year as some web sites have promoted. In fact, the incidence of stroke following chiropractic adjustments has been estimated to be less than 1 to 3 incidents per million adjustments. One study covered a period of 28 years, while another involved reviewing about 110 million chiropractic visits. The results of these studies show conclusively that the risk of stroke from a chiropractic adjustment is so small as to be statistically insignificant. Certainly this doesn’t warrant such malicious anti-chiropractic diatribe from the Chiropractic Stroke Victims Awareness Group or Stephen Barrett’s virulent anti-chiropractic commentaries on his site. Those who live in glass houses should be careful about throwing rocks.
If these folks are really concerned about protecting the American public from dangerous health practices, they should look no further than their own medical profession.
Over 700,000 Americans die each year from government sanctioned, FDA approved, AMA sponsored medicine.

Iatrogenic, or doctor induced, illnesses take the lives of 783,936 American each year. This makes conventional medicine the number one killer in the United States, ahead of heart disease and cancer. And, beware that as few as 5% of iatrogenic events are ever reported.
This implies that iatrogenic deaths are much higher and would be equivalent to six jumbo jets falling out of the sky each day. Now that’s news!

An October 2003 JAMA study from the US government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reported 32,000, mostly surgery-related, deaths costing $9 billion and resulting in 2.4 million extra hospital days in 2000. Americans submit to over 600,000 bypass surgeries each year. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that up to 10% of bypass patients die from the surgery. Yet, the National Institutes of Health has estimated that 90% of Americans who undergo bypass surgery receive no benefits. Another study involving 14 major heart hospitals around the world showed that one-third of all heart bypass surgeries were unnecessary and actually increased the risk of death.

Americans using FDA sanctioned drugs, as directed, are dying at the rate of one every three to five minutes. In fact, the average American has a 26% chance of being hospitalized from a drug injury from the effects of a lifetime of drug taking. Of the 30 million people admitted to hospitals each year, approximately ten percent, or 3 million, are admitted specifically because of adverse drug reactions. In 1995, a JAMA report noted that, “…approximately 280,000 die annually as a result of these injuries.” And to top it off, hospital born infections kill another 26,000 (conservative estimate) patients each year. The General Accounting Office reports, “of the 198 drugs approved by the FDA between 1976 and 1985, 102 of them or 51% had serious post approval risks including heart failure, myocardial infarction, respiratory failure, seizures, and kidney failure.

The FDA estimates that NSAIDS cause 200,000 cases of gastric bleeding annually, leading to 10,000 to 20,000 deaths. Calcium channel blockers increase the risk of stroke by five-fold.
Americans take over 5 billion sleeping pills each year. And each year, 15,000 Americans die from these same sleeping pills. The heart drug Digoxin causes over 28,000 cases of life-threatening or fatal adverse reactions each year.

The very drugs that are being used to treat various illnesses are causing more American deaths in one year than occurred in the entire Vietnam War! Yet, in spite of the fact that these FDA approved drugs are killing over 100,000 Americans each year, people still believe health comes from a doctor prescribed pill bottle. Annual spending on drugs continues to grow by 12% or more each year. The public and the medical profession have been brain-washed into believing drug therapy is a safe and effective way to “cure” every ailment known to man. This starts at an early age as our kids become jaded and used  to the idea of lining up for the school nurse to dispense their Ritalin and other psychotropic drugs. To safeguard their stranglehold on public perception, the pharmaceutical industry makes sure doctors are thoroughly duped with half-truths and pseudo-science about the newest, greatest wonder drugs.

In 2001, drug companies paid for over 60% of the costs of all doctors’ continuing education classes. And over 80,000 drug reps give away $11 billion worth of samples each year. There is now one drug rep for every doctor in the United States.

However, today’s latest greatest drug is often tomorrows widow maker. Does Rezulin, Zelnorm, Baycol, Fen-Phen, Propulsid, Avandia, Vioxx, and Bextra ring any bells?
Vioxx alone has been linked to 27,000 cases of heart attack. The diabetes drug Avandia, increases heart attack risk by 43% and increases risk of death from heart disease by 64%. Dr. David Graham of the Food and Drug Administration estimates that Avandia may have caused 30,000 to 140,000 heart attacks or deaths since it was introduced in the U.S. in 1999.
As a chiropractor who cares deeply for his patients and his profession, I believe that I’m providing a life-enhancing service every time I deliver a cervical adjustment. I believe that the scientific data, as well as the clinical experience of thousands chiropractors and their patients from around the world, all provide irrefutable proof that cervical adjustments are safe and beneficial.

Instead of hyping the tragic, yet rare, danger of the Deadly Twist, SELF and other media sources should be sharing the ever-growing “Deadly List” of conventional medical dangers.

Randy Southerland, Today’s Chiropractic Lifestyle. Dec 2006.

U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics Report, vol. 51, no. 5, March 14, 2003.

Leape LL. Error in medicine. JAMA 1994 Dec 21:272(23):185-7.

Carolyn Dean. Death By Modern Medicine. Matrix Verite Inc. Ontario, Canada 2006

Silverstein FE, et al.Misoprstol Reduces Serious Gastrointestinal Complcations in Ptients with Rheaumatoid Arthritis Receiving Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Ann of Int Med Aug. 15, 19995. 123 (4):241-9.

Impact of Hosputal-Acquired Blood System Infections. Medscape.

Coile RC Jr. Internet-driven surgery. Russ Coiles Health Trends. 2003 Jun;15(8):2-4.

Rutkow IM. Surgical operations in the United States: 1979 to 1984. Surgery. 1987 Feb;101(2):192-200.

Sidney Wolfe, Worst Pills Best Pills, Pocket Books,New York, NY. 1999.
People’s Pharmacy, 1997 and 1998.