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Statin users more likely to pig out thus gaining weight eating less healthy.......

This goes hand in hand with the thread I created earlier in the week regarding the AMA reclassifying obesity as a disease. Now it seems a decade worth of study now show's that many of the benefits of taking a statin's is now lost.

The cycle is created, take this to artificially (medicinally) lower your cholesterol, then when your weight increases, take these weight loss medications -or- better yet have this surgery. I just shake my head at this stuff and how people don't realize -our lives-our health, is being manipulated by big pharma and they laugh all the way to the bank.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStor...

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  1. The dirty secret is that there are virtually no net benefits of taking statins, only severe risks. Statins totally screw with hormonal function.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      My old doctor (retired) told me never to take cholesterol drugs, they were bull. I miss him.

      Sometimes I think older doctors weren't as easily swayed by Big Pharma as the newbies fresh out of Med School.

      1. re: Jerseygirl111

        http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/...
        A Randomized Study of How Physicians Interpret Research Funding Disclosures
        "CONCLUSIONS
        Physicians discriminate among trials of varying degrees of rigor, but industry sponsorship negatively influences their perception of methodologic quality and reduces their willingness to believe and act on trial findings, independently of the trial's quality. These effects may influence the translation of clinical research into practice."

        http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/n...

        1. re: paulj

          Market pressure and consensus guidelines bought by pharma have gotten them to to the line, to very great shareholder benefits. You lose your license if you don't go along to get along.

    2. There are some problems with statins - it's a complicated issue.

      But the article you link to is not really about a statin-specific problem. It's a common psychological phenomenon that applies to all sorts of things. Most token efforts at living healthier can result in people rewarding themselves in ways that counteract and in many cases outweigh the benefits of whatever 'good' thing they were doing in the first place (whether or not statins are 'good' in the first place is another matter). This commonly applies to light, infrequent exercise; quite possibly to diet sodas and most 'diet' foods. It also seems to apply to token acts of charity versus living in a compassionate and generous manner on a daily basis. Healthy living (or compassionate living, or just about anything else in this vein) is a daily habit to be cultivated, not a couple pills to be taken or half-assed effort to be made when you feel like it.

      10 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        There is zero evidence of psychological issues, just conjecture.

        1. re: mcf

          In fairness, it is conjecture shared by the author of the article posted in the OP and by the editor of the journal the original study was published in, not just my own. This kind of psychological phenonemon has been studied and documented in several other fields. It may still be conjecture to apply it to statins, but it's not exactly baseless.

          I'm assuming you are of the opinion then that statins actually increase your appetite, seeing as that is the most reasonable alternative explanation for the study's findings, which you don't appear to question. Though I'm aware of the modest increase in diabetes rates associated with statins and the ensuing presumption that they mess with your endocrine system, it should be pointed out that this view is also, currently, conjecture.

          (it's even possible that poor nutritional advice is the single biggest culprit here anyway)

          1. re: cowboyardee

            I question the interpretations, and don't know the veracity of the data. I do know that statins significantly increase diabetes risk and that is caused by metabolic disorder, including a drive to eat more. That is an effect, too, of the diet rx'ed by statin rx'ing docs.

            Poor nutrition advice from guidelines fought for and bought by sugar and grain lobbies is what causes the targets traditionally used to sell statins. Don't get me started on how much of our money goes toward dialysis and amputations.

            I keep reminding my husband that our retirement savings are more comfortable than many simply because we will never be the old folks with a big box or cabinet filled with prescription drugs we don't need. I hand back all sorts of rx's and say no thanks. "Just mark me down as non compliant."
            I choose doctors who are amenable to this discussion and underatand why.

            I'm not a casual complainer here; my robustly healthy and active mother died of statin sequelae,after not much time taking two of the drugs for not every long. The only problem she had before that were some hearing loss and a small thyroid dose she'd been on since her 30s. She was a web surfing, science fiction reading granny who loped up and down stairs like a teenager til she took those statins.

            Her endocrinologist said she had no need for a statin and urged her to discontinue it, but she didn't want to risk the wrath of her PCP. She loved hearing what a "good patient" she was. IMO, such patients are tragedies waiting to happen.

            In fact, a vascular surgeon, the day before she died from the cascade of post statin events said she had zero evidence of plaque or blockage in her arteries, they looked like those of a very healthy 40 y.o. He was shocked and wanted to operate, but by then, her ship had sailed.

            I know someone whose father had LDL of 395 life long. He died at 95 of other than CVD causes, due to his large, fluffy LDL particle size.

            1. re: mcf

              I'm not going to argue with you that statins are over-prescribed for people who don't need them or who are possibly even harmed by them - mainly because I tend to agree. That said, I still think it's both possible and likely that taking them creates a psychological effect in some that results in poorer dietary habits (whether or not they also increase one's appetite - which, again, is possible but unproven).

              The other caveat I might add is that statins actually have a pretty good track record in studies when given to people who have already had an MI. I don't like getting too deeply into the issue, since it tends to border on giving medical advice over the internet. As with most drugs, there are a lot of individual factors to consider, and it's a little hard to label em strictly 'good' or 'bad.'

              1. re: cowboyardee

                No one *needs* a statin.

                And I'm not buying wild ass conjecture about the psyches of statin takers when the drug has strong hormonal effects.

                Statins do NOT have any good track record not assembled by drug companies proven to be misreporting and corrupting the entire process.

                Independent eval by statisticians put the lie to that. Wish I had a link to their assessment.

                1. re: mcf

                  "Wish I had a link to their assessment."
                  ______
                  Me too. I'd like to read it. Anyone who has a link or citation to said assessment is welcome to post it.

                  "And I'm not buying wild ass conjecture about the psyches of statin takers"
                  ______
                  I'm sure the author of the study referenced in the OP will appreciate your strongly worded letter as much as I've enjoyed your impenetrably biased replies to my posts in this thread.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    I get it; I didnt post conjecture, as if it came to me on stone tablets. I've conversant with the relevent research and independent and unafraid analyst's opinions.

                    http://www.whp-apsf.ca/pdf/statinsEvi...

                    http://www.health-heart.org/malpracti...

                    The problem is, these are very high risk drugs and the benefits are surrogate end points, not health, wellness and especially not all cause mortality when any objective expert analyst looks at the stats.

                    Very low LDL has long been associated with higher mortality, and with higher suicide rate, not just memory, personality and other cognitive changes. I'm grateful to have found a wise and unafraid cardiology chief of dept. who knows all this for my MIL. Too late for my mother.

                    Statins lower sex hormones and industry is pushing to get them rx'ed to children. Without knowing ahead of time how badly that screws with developmental processes, body and brain.

                    For a great lay analysis by an assiduous reader of just about every related topic, read Dr. Eades' blog, he makes his case and cites his authority, answers your questions and comments there: http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/?s...

                    1. re: mcf

                      "Statins lower sex hormones and industry is pushing to get them rx'd for children."

                      Hmm, you don't suppose this has anything to do with latest "low testosterone" craze. "Low T" I believe they call it. All over the commercials here.

                      Now they're dragging kids into it later on in life. Why am I not surprised.

                      1. re: mcf

                        "Statins lower sex hormones and industry is pushing to get them rx'd for children."

                        They need something to cancel out the effects of the extra hormones in the meat and dairy.

                        ;-/

                        1. re: mcf

                          "The problem is, these are very high risk drugs and the benefits are surrogate end points, not health, wellness and especially not all cause mortality when any objective expert analyst looks at the stats."
                          ______
                          I would like to see a solid analysis to back up this point. The links you provided don't really do it***.

                          There are indeed large meta-analyses on statins that show them to be associated with drops in all-cause mortality (depending on the population prescribed to them), not just an 'improvement' in markers or lowering of cardiovascular events. One example:
                          http://www.bmj.com/content/338/bmj.b2...

                          12% reduction in all-cause mortality across >67,000 study participants, split into statin- and placebo-treated groups.

                          It's certainly not impossible that the study linked is flawed in some major way. Tampering by industry is not impossible, for starters. Or it's possible that the timeframe of the studies involved skewed the data, by stopping before side effects had time to do their worst damage.

                          But a convincing refutation of these findings and all-cause mortality reductions found in similar studies is not to be had in the links you provided, best I can tell.

                          *** Of the three, Dr Eades comes the closest. The first link, to the Evidence of Caution PDF, was focused exclusively on women, and relied on smaller and older studies, without addressing some of the more convincing and larger meta-analyses like the one I linked above. The second link was also focused on women, and frankly tortured its data to a point that appeared deliberately misleading (though it may well be correct in its central claim that statins are largely ineffective for women or the elderly).

                          As for Dr Eades, I admittedly haven't yet read all of his articles on the subject. There are many, so I could be missing something. A dedicated critic of statins, even he admits that statins appear to lengthen lives in populations of males under the age of 65 with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. I'm not sure that he is not also torturing his data to some extent - I'll have to read more. However, I thought the following entry was very relevant and useful for understanding why even strong measurements like all-cause mortality should always be put into context when evaluating drug studies:
                          http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/st...

          2. I'm with cowboyardee: statins and other medications for the management of obesity, CV conditions and metabolic syndrome are more complicated than what the ABC report purports to present.

            The issue is not with taking the medication, it's with changing the lifestyle.

            Medications can/will help with controlling the cholesterolemia/hypertension/insulin etc but I've already seen more than my share of patients (and clinical study participants) who think that getting the medication obviates them from doing the hard lifestyle changes. Most people don't do well when there is a hard task with no immediate gratification (e.g. gym subscriptions and attendance in January/February of each year), so the prescription(s) in very simplistic terms have many reasoning "I now have this so I don't need to take care of that".

            The consumer model and the instant gratification aspects of marketing is another layer to further complicate both the argument and the patient management.

            1 Reply
            1. re: wattacetti

              I've seen too many doctors who don't do very good homework and let drug companies dictate what's a disease and what's prevention or appropriate treatment.

              Statins are the new Premarin; decades of iatrogenic injury for no benefits compared to high risks.

              Doctors are complicit in using high risk treatments and selling them as "prevention."

              Campbell of Harvard was right: by buying off and miseducating doctors, "drug companies own medicine."

              Physicians have settled for being little but drug delivery systems for corrupt pharma. Then blame patients who get advice that doesn't work.

              As a 16 year diet controlled diabetic in low normal numbers who reversed long standing kidney and nerve damage, not to mention high TGL and low HDL with diet alone 16 years ago, I know why patients literally get no reward.

              They're being prescribed the worst possible diet, one that promotes/causes diabetes, and statins too. The diet makes folks tired, hungry all the time and worsens their condition. And fatigue, cognitive losses and worse from statins.

              The chief of cardiology I took my 80 y.o. healthy MIL to in order to prevent another doctor from rxing a statin to a woman with no health problems other than memory loss said: "why would you prescribe drugs that destroy cognition to a person who tells you that's her only problem?" She had high LDL, but HDL of 102, TGL of 77 and no disease at. If only there were more independent thinkers who do their own analysis of drug study reporting before handing out rxs.

              My TGLs dropped in 2 weeks from 300 to 120 when I reduced starch and sugar and ate high protein and fat instead. My HDL doubled from 34 to 78 and has stayed there 16 years. With LDL variable and often near 300, cardiologist is not worried, my VLDL is always very low, my LDL is not atherogenic.

              Providers should stop blaming patients for the profession's failures. Every patient is not as proactive and motivated as I am, but they have no chance of feeling better on the current regimes and pill for every ill you guys are geared to.

              I wonder how many patients would accept a statin rx if they knew all their sex hormones and adrenal steroids depend on having enough of it and that the body making more is part of an endocrine feedback loop and homeostasis?

            2. For a broader survey of recent research on statins I ran a search on Sciencedaily:

              http://www.sciencedaily.com/search/?k...

              1. 'more likely to pig out' - more than what? More than other people not on statins? More than people on statins 10 years ago? More than they would have if their doctors had stuck to hectoring them about eating cholesterol and saturated fats?

                Is there a link to the actual study(s) or at least the abstract?

                2 Replies
                1. re: paulj

                  Full article is available online. The Discussion section is much more informative than all the 'Big Pharm' ranting that passes for 'food' discussion on this thread.

                  https://archinte.jamanetwork.com/arti...

                  1. re: paulj

                    You confuse accurate reporting with ranting. When academic doctors like Campbell at Harvard and medical journal publishers like Marcia Angell sound the alarm and the pharm companies are routintely found to be buying off doctors and paying them to give "educational" talks about drugs they've never rx'ed but are told what to say by sales reps, it's just facts.

                    We know that drug companies ghost write treatment guidelines that doctors lend their names to for money and those become the community standard. Docs who don't toe the line do it at their peril.

                    I am friendly with and related to a significant number of doctors. I've never known one to deny it; most are very disturbed by it, but intent on keeping their incomes.

                2. What an individual will do when taking a statin, or any other medication for lifestyle-controllable problems, will vary from person to person. Some will see it as a warning and change their habits. Others will take the med, not change the rest of their behavior, and assume whatever risks accompany the improvement in their test results. And some will regard the medication as a free pass to indulge even more. Pick your cycle.

                  If there were pills that would guarantee diet-less weight loss without side effects, or allow people to drink unlimited amounts of alcohol without apparent negative health effects, most people would take them enthusiastically regardless of rumored risks. I find a fair amount of hypocrisy on this thread.