In this podcast we talk about cholesterol.
We look at what the research actually says about it.
Does high cholesterol cause heart disease?
We also talk about statin (cholesterol lowering) drugs.
We discuss an editorial that was written in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found for every 100 people taking a statin…
2 avoid a myocardial infarction
98 don’t experience any benefit
0 mortality benefit
5-20 experience muscle aches, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, increased risk of diabetes.
We also talk about the paper from 17 international physicians based on a review of patient data of almost 1.3 million people.
The paper found no evidence that high levels of total cholesterol or of “bad” cholesterol cause heart disease.
We also talk about the real causes of heart disease and the best natural approaches you can take to prevent the disease.
TRANSCRIPT OF TODAY'S EPISODE
Dr. Martin Jr.: 00:00 You’re listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast from MartinClinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical, and in our opinion awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It’s strictly for informational purposes, so enjoy. Hello, I’m Dr. Marin Junior.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 00:26 I’m Dr. Martin Senior.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 00:27 And this is The Doctor Is In Podcast. This is episode 157. Today we want to talk a little bit about statins, cholesterol, and heart disease. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about this again, so I figured we would talk about that now. What’s interesting is there was a paper written in, it was an editorial done in The American Medical Association Journal. So the Journal of the American Medical Association. The name of the editorial was called Statins, which are cholesterol lowering drugs, for Primary Prevention. The subheading is the debate is intense but the data are weak.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 01:05 Basically, what they found is this, for every 100 people who take statins for five years, so you got 100 people, for every 100 people who take statin for five years, this is what they’ve boiled down to. Two people will avoid a myocardial infarction. Two people out of 100 will avoid it. 98 get no benefit whatsoever. It has zero effect on mortality. So there’s no benefit to mortality, which at the end of the day that’s what it’s supposed to be doing, right? It’s supposed to keep you living longer.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 01:38 Anywhere between five and 20 out of 100 will experience symptoms, some significant symptoms. Muscle aches, fatigue, decline in cognition, increased risk of diabetes. Again, the drug doesn’t do anything to increase mortality. And a majority of the people absolutely won’t get any benefit whatsoever. But yet, it’s the first line of defence for … I mean, they just lowered again. What I find interesting is this, they got together not long ago, and kind of redid the guidelines to physicians on when they should be prescribing statins. The way that they did it, pretty much every adult needs to be on statins. It’s just insane. Yet, the data does not back that up.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 02:27 Yeah. When they really look at it. The research is not showing-
Dr. Martin Jr.: 02:31 It’s not showing. Like we mentioned in the last episode, you would think with the amount of people on statin drugs that you would’ve seen a correlation at least, a decrease at least, in the number of cardiac events or cardiovascular disease. It hasn’t. It’s not like we’ve seen a significant reduction in any of those things. Again, even just based on correlation, it doesn’t seem to have a correlated effect at all in any way. I find that interesting. Here’s the thing, and this is another paper that was done. This is another study. I find this one is just interesting as well.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 03:14 Basically, the conclusion of the study was that there’s no evidence that high levels of total cholesterol or so called bad cholesterol cause heart disease. This was a paper done by 17 international physicians, so from all around the world. They based it on a review of patient data of over 1.3 million people. They’re saying cholesterol does not-
Dr. Martin Sr.: 03:37 You mean it’s not the bogeyman?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 03:38 … yeah, it’s not the bogeyman. It’s not what they’ve pinned. Cholesterol was a patsy. It literally was framed, poor cholesterol, I mean, they were railroaded, it was a kangaroo court. Cholesterol was railroaded. They came along, they had to find, they had to pin it on somebody, because people wanted answers. Why are people dying of heart disease more and more? They needed a victim and they found one, cholesterol. The cholesterol didn’t have a good lawyer or something. Next thing you know, everybody was talking about cholesterol like it’s the worst thing. Foods.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 04:14 Did you see that commercial in the states where the guy, it’s a fireman, he comes down the pole.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 04:20 I’ve seen that one, yes.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 04:21 He races down that pole, he almost falls out of the-
Dr. Martin Jr.: 04:24 [inaudible 00:04:24].
Dr. Martin Sr.: 04:24 … out of the second floor to come down that pole to yell, “I got my cholesterol down.” You know what? So what?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 04:34 The funny thing is, is that now you feel like shouting back at him, there was a voice in the background, [inaudible 00:04:40], now your chances of dying younger have increased, and your chance of your brain being healthy have also decreased. So congratulations.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 04:48 So congratulations.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 04:48 But your cholesterol numbers are good.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 04:49 Oh yeah, you’ll look good in the casket.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 04:51 Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 04:52 You know, it’s unbelievable how they have taken this and made it into, like you say, kangaroo court, all this and that cholesterol, and every day, every day, every day in the clinic it’s incredible. Because it’s a big conversation, because people, there’s a lot of pressure put on people right to take cholesterol [crosstalk 00:05:13].
Dr. Martin Jr.: 05:12 Sure. I mean, it’s scary, right? You’re 40, 45, 50, you walk into your doctor’s office, they do some blood test, they come back and they say, “You cholesterol is high.”
Dr. Martin Sr.: 05:24 Based on what, though? First of all.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 05:26 Yeah, exactly. But they’re saying that, your cholesterol is high. Everybody knows somebody who had a heart attack, or a heart disease-
Dr. Martin Sr.: 05:36 They don’t want that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 05:37 … no, who wants that, right? They’re like, “All right, what can I do?” They’re like, “I got just the thing that bring that cholesterol down.” So then they bring your cholesterol down, and then they find out that, what’s 70% I think it is lately? Of people that have a heart attack have normal cholesterol levels?
Dr. Martin Sr.: 05:54 Yeah. [inaudible 00:05:55] this morning, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 05:57 70%. Is that what the numbers are or I’m just making that up?
Dr. Martin Sr.: 06:00 No, no, no. I think it’s above that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 06:02 Okay. For some reason 70% popped in my head.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 06:05 Think about what … I know guys, I know we’re preaching to the choir, people listening to us, but let me just tell you what cholesterol is. People, you can’t live without cholesterol.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 06:16 When it’s so important that your body doesn’t trust you to eat enough of it, so it makes it for you.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 06:21 85% is made in your liver. You can’t live without cholesterol, you don’t want to, “Hey, I got my cholesterol down.” Wait a minute, you got less FedEx trucks on the highway delivering your hormones. Your cell membranes, all of your cell membranes, your brain.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 06:35 Even for a guy, you need it for testosterone.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 06:37 Yeah. It transports your testosterone.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 06:40 Yeah, you need [crosstalk 00:06:40] testosterone.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 06:40 Why the heck … so when you get on a statin drug, and you feel really unwell, right? Oh yeah, they’re so scared of having a heart attack, and I don’t blame them. They’re not the doctor, they’re not the physician. They scare the living life out of you. I get a lot of people, “I didn’t really want to take it.” I say, “What was your numbers?” I don’t even want to get into what we are trying, what’s the right numbers? Because we talk about this. What’s your insulin? We’re always talking about insulin. Give me those numbers. I’m much more interested in what your insulin. What your triglycerides are, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 07:15 Yeah, [crosstalk 00:07:15] is a better indication. But you’re right. But they’re still to this day, still to this day, handing that stuff all [inaudible 00:07:23].
Dr. Martin Sr.: 07:23 They’ll look back in 20, 30 years from now, I’m convinced of it, that if somebody is just being objective, and somehow the pharmaceutical industry is not the ones that if they weren’t allowed to even sponsor the TV shows in the United States like they do, I think they’re going to look back and go, “I can’t believe we got duped on statin drugs like we did.”
Dr. Martin Jr.: 07:49 Those commercials are funny because if the commercial is a minute, 20 seconds is talking about the drug, and 40 seconds is the side effects. It’s so funny, right? Then they’ll say at the end for a complete list of side effects, [inaudible 00:08:04] add in, and they’ll put a magazine that nobody will buy, that’s so to get the full list. With their total analysis, like the partial list, if you want a full list of side effects, go check out our ad in this magazine. I mean, it is a funny thing. It’s funny when a drug company will market directly to the consumer, skipping over the doctors, because they want the patients to come in and say-
Dr. Martin Sr.: 08:28 “Ask your doctor.” Are you kidding me? Why do you have to ask your doctor?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 08:33 It is funny.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 08:35 But your doctor should be telling you, right?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 08:37 Let’s come at this just for a second from the other side here. There was a study done, fascinating, where they took 200 people and they measured them for insulin resistance. What they did is they divided them into thirds, based on results. The lowest third, middle third, and highest third based on insulin resistance. What they did is they tracked them for six years. Then they wanted to see who got heart disease, who had strokes, who had cancer, who had hypertension, high blood pressure, and who had diabetes. All right? For six years they tracked them based solely on-
Dr. Martin Sr.: 09:19 On insulin.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 09:20 … insulin resistance. And you know what they found? Not one person, not one, in the lowest third, became ill with anything. They didn’t get heart disease, they didn’t have a stroke, they didn’t have a cancer, they didn’t have high blood pressure, they didn’t have diabetes. If that isn’t crystal clear on what the cause of all those things are deep down, then I don’t know what to tell you. To me, if you are worried about heart disease, you want to get your insulin down to the lowest third, in a sense. You want your insulin low. Because next to somebody with high insulin, all things being equal, that person is going to be at a much higher risk for everything.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 10:01 Now listen, there are other factors. We’re not saying that the only cause of heart disease is insulin resistance, but I would say well over 80% would be that long standing high insulin. Right? Again, that study I found very fascinating in terms of looking at it from a lifestyle perspective. So insulin resistance is a massive cause of heart disease. It’s a massive cause of stroke, high blood pressure. We get that questioned a lot. How can I naturally lower my blood pressure? Magnesium, stuff like that, there are a lot of great things you can do for high blood pressure, but the ultimate cause, you want to bring your insulin down. There’s no question.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 10:47 Yeah. It’s part of metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 10:49 Yeah, exactly. It is a symptom of metabolic syndrome. I mean, that’s coming at it from that perspective. Now, there are other causes of heart disease. So we talked about a big one, the biggest cause, let’s talk quickly about a couple other causes as well, because you and I were talking at lunch about one of the greatest accelerators of inflammation in the body, which is cortisol. You and I were talking about if somebody was overhearing our conversation they would think, “Man, these guys are boring.” They would think, “Man, these guys are boring-“
Dr. Martin Sr.: 11:25 A couple guys moved, did you see that?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 11:28 I did see that. They were having coffee beside us.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 11:29 They were sitting beside us, and they said, “Oh boy.”
Dr. Martin Jr.: 11:32 They’re hoping to eavesdropping on a better conversation. We’re geeking all on the cortisol and inflammation, so it was so funny.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 11:39 But it’s funny, we pick each other’s brains, because it sort of reinforces all the stuff that we look at all day long.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 11:47 Well, they always said stress is hard on the heart, but now you’re starting to understand more why that is. Cortisol kills your sleep, brings up your inflammation, it weakens your immune system, kills your gut, I mean, you could see how there are so many factors on how … so I you add cortisol, like it’s like the worst combination. If you have high insulin, and you throw cortisol in there, it’s an accelerant, it’s terrible. In my opinion, it just accelerates the effect that insulin has. So high cortisol is a big cause as well for people when it comes to heart disease. It just-
Dr. Martin Sr.: 12:25 I love your illustration of it being an accelerant, right? Like if you got a fire started, boy oh boy, does it ever add fuel to that fire. Right? This is where I’ve [inaudible 00:12:38] in heart disease in men, and it’s my pet theory, is that most men don’t have trouble with cholesterol at all. Their biggest problem is [inaudible 00:12:48] cortisol. Because cortisol hits a woman differently than a man. Generally, this has been my experience with it. Women, when they have high levels of cortisol, they can’t sleep-
Dr. Martin Jr.: 12:59 No, and their hormones is getting destroyed.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 13:00 … and it messes up their thyroid, we talked about that last week I think, or a couple of weeks ago I think in one of our thyroid, we were talking about the link in women cortisol to their thyroid. Men are just completely different, because what cortisol does over a period of time sinks that testosterone. I believe that it creates such an acute, it’s almost like an infection in the heart. These guys, they can have a massive heart attack. So stress, cortisol over a period of time for a man is much more dangerous than it is for a woman, in the sense that in terms of cardio. I think women are more susceptible to cancer, because I believe that it’s a-
Dr. Martin Jr.: 13:43 [crosstalk 00:13:43] effect it has on estrogen.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 13:45 Yeah. The estrogen, the thyroid is not working properly. Thyroid doesn’t work properly, it doesn’t [inaudible 00:13:52] your thyroid hormones metabolized in your liver, your estrogen takes off. One is [inaudible 00:14:00]. But heart, men sudden they’ve been under a lot of stress with cortisol, over a period of time, cortisol has gone up, it creates inflammation, big time around the heart. And I believe that man, that’s their biggest, biggest issue when it comes to statin, what does statin do for that? Statins do nothing for that.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 14:20 No. Talking about statins really quickly again. A guy needs cholesterol to make testosterone, or to have healthy levels of testosterone. They get on a statin drug, and it, again, a lot of men, one of their complaints when they’re on a statin, they don’t even know it’s from that, they feel weak.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 14:39 Muscle.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 14:39 Yeah, they just don’t feel strong. They feel weak. Again, there are so many causes of that, but one of them is definitely the muscle effect of the statin drugs, but then also I think that it can affect their testosterone levels, and then you also need, and this is interesting. Your heart needs a normal testosterone levels in order to function properly. A big cause of heart disease in men is chronically low levels of testosterone, again, which is interesting.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 15:06 Heart disease is very complex. There are some more common. Like if you were to do the 80-20 rule, I would definitely recommend insulin resistance, keeping insulin low. But there is a lot of different causes. So to blame it on cholesterol, like that’s the cause, is idiotic. I mean, it hasn’t helped. How many people have we heard from that had so many side effects, especially pain, their muscle wasting. I mean, they don’t get full rhabdomyolysis, which is just muscle wasting. But they get a lot of joint and muscle pain. It’s incredible.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 15:44 So again, I guess just to summarize, if you want to keep your blood pressure normal, and you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, keep your insulin low.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 15:55 That’s food, guys. It’s food.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 15:57 Yeah.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 15:57 Think about it.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 15:58 So people would ask that question. Again, that’s right. That has to do with how we eat.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 16:04 Go on the cereal killer [crosstalk 00:16:06].
Dr. Martin Jr.: 16:05 Yeah, a lot of crappy carbs people eat. High, high … again the worst combination that you can put together is when you combine a lot of fat and a lot of carbs. Especially if you make it a crappy fat.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 16:20 You mean puts in?
Dr. Martin Jr.: 16:22 Crappy carb, which is high, high vegetable oils.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 16:26 Potato chips. I like the potato chips.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 16:29 A lot of people do. A lot, a lot of people do. As you and I, we’ve talked over before when they design the crunch of a potato chip, they do it for a very specific reason, right? It is interesting. But yeah, at the end of the day, if you are worried about your heart, you’re worried about cardiovascular disease, diet, specifically keep your insulin down, strong muscle, strong heart, so exercise in specifically weight training. Weight training is fantastic-
Dr. Martin Sr.: 16:58 Because it lowers your insulin.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 16:59 … for your heart. That’s right. It’s fantastic for your heart.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 17:02 It’s the exercise that lowers insulin.
Dr. Martin Jr.: 17:04 We’re out of time again. We want to thank you for listening. If you have questions you can easily get ahold of us, there’s a lot of ways to do that. One of the ways is you can get ahold of us just email us at email@example.com, we’d love to answer your questions. Again, thank you for listening and have a great day.
Dr. Martin Sr.: 17:20 Thanks for listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast from MartinClinic.com. If you have any questions, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It’s a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.