I can’t believe it! Did you see the headlines suggesting that if we take statin drugs prophylactically we will reduce our risk of heart disease? A study out of the New England Journal of Medicine was picked up by the major news outlets that if healthy people without elevated cholesterol but elevated C-Reactive Protein (CRP) take Crestor then it reduces their risk of having a heart attack. They administered 20mg of rosuvastatin (Crestor) to ‘healthy’ people that have never had a vascular event.
This is the conclusion the authors of the study came to: “In this trial of apparently healthy persons without hyperlipidemia but with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels, rosuvastatin significantly reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events.” Fair enough. Sounds like health people with high CRP and low cholesterol should take statins since it helps prevent many cardiovascular diseases and events. That is what the drug companies want doctors and the general public to believe – that millions more people should be taking statins preventatively.
But let’s look further at this study:
I am certainly a proponent of modern western medicine. It it mind boggling what can be done to save lives and better our living. However when it is used without regard to nasty side effects for financial gain then it is no longer medicine, it is business. I feel that is the case with the above mentioned NEJM article.
So what can people do to prevent first heart attacks? Well since CRP is a marker for inflammation, then reduce inflammation in the body. One of the best ways to reduce inflammation is exercise – but not over-exercise! Certainly stress reduction is also important – therefore meditation, exercise and relaxation can all reduce stress hormones. Diet is a big factor! See a nutritionist that can help you get on track with good eating habits as well as supplementation. If you have elevated inflammation shown by a high CRP blood test, then I can guarantee you do not have a statin deficiency causing the inflammation. What you do have is an imbalance in your body’s biochemistry that needs to be addressed.
Licensed Dietitian / Nutritionist
Maynard, MA & Cambridge, MA