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    DoloresTeresa posted:
    Somewhere on his website Esselstyn says that using statins and diet provides better long term results than diet alone or a moderate diet with statins.

    He says on one of his videos that he used statins because "he was wearing suspenders and a belt", and cites the results of a fellow doctor who followed his program without statins and reversed his heart disease. After listening to Esselstyn speak, one would think he uses only diet.

    What do you all think? Are you under the impression that those with high cholesterol should use statins as well as diet? Is there any point at which one should be able to discontinue use of statins? I am reluctant to take any meds regardless of the cholesterol number as long as I am eating a good plant based diet. I know my brother was getting very low cholesterol numbers taking statins and not eating a plant based diet. Now he is eating the plant based diet but his doctor has kept him on the statins which my brother is anxious to discontinue. I have been encouraging him to get his doctor to discontinue the statins and bp meds, but after reading Esselstyn's website (which seems to be different from what he says when speaking publicly), I am wondering what is what and if I am giving my brother bad advice. (He has no diagnosed heart condition but his bp and cholesterol were high so he is on the meds. You simply do not get the impression from any of the plant based, low fat diet guys that statins are necessary.

    xring responded:
    Dr.'s John Abramson & Nortin Hadler cite several studies that show statins may provide a small benefit to someone who has already had a heart attack before age 50-60, but provide no protection to anyone else.

    It really makes no sense to me that if we'd all just swallow toxic drugs every day, we would be protected from disease, especially when studies that show any benefit were funded by the companies that manufacture the drugs they are selling. Besides, the data is always adjusted to achieve the conclusion they want - a technique Dr. Hadler calls "Data Torturing."
    Politicians should serve two terms. One in office and one in prison.
    EngineerGuy responded:
    Hi Dolores,

    Yes, Esselstyn absolutely uses statins, niacin and any appropriate medication for all of his patients, except Dr. Joe Crowe (the dramatic reversal angiograms), who refused statins. Dr. Fuhrman also prescribes statins, niacin, etc for his patients. The goal is to improve the health to wean off the medications. Dr. Ornish did not use statins in his publication demonstrating reversal of atherosclerosis, in 1990. Statins were quite new then. I would assume that Dr. Ornish does prescribe statins for his patients today, as required.

    The Pritikin Center has published that their patients who arrived on statins, with 20% average cholesterol reduction from the statins, lowered cholesterol an average of an additional 19%.

    It is true that lifestyle is much more effective than medications, by any reasonable yardstick. However, this is not a competition. People should use both, and reduce dosage in time, and eventually stop the medication, if appropriate. Some people's heredity mean that they cannot discontinue medication.

    My own LDL is above 100some of the time, and HDL below 40. I'm repeating the IMT test, to see if my atherosclerosis is continuing to reverse. If not, I'll have to cut down my occasional cheating, and consider taking niacin, which is ideally suited to familial lipid profile B. This is high LDL, mostly the worst small dense LDL, and low HDL, mostly the one bad HDL, the small dense HDL. Wish me luck !!

    At social occasions, I continue to fail to break the diet in moderation. Hey, you have to laugh at us pathetic creatures.

    Advice to folks is to continue statins, etc, while improving lifestyle, and reduce the dosage as blood tests or IMT results suggest.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    twinb63 replied to EngineerGuy's response:
    When discussing heart health with anyone, which is rare, I keep my opinions to myself about what they should do. This is especially true with family members whether or not they are being seen by a physician. I'll tell them what I'm doing if they ask, but I'll keep it short and sweet. I've found most folks may be being polite by asking me how I am & don't really want to know most of the details. I always ask myself "What if their doctor is right and I'm wrong?". The treatment of heart diseases, including atherosclerosis, is by no means 100% certain to heal or to cure. Joe.
    josvin84 replied to twinb63's response:
    When I started on this lifestyle adventure I made one important decision "Heart disease is always 100% curable." Never mind what my doctor says.

    If I did not believe that then in my situation I might as well get the multi-bypass operation and hopefully win a few more years.

    As far as statins are concerned I think the side effects are worse then any so called benefits. So if you have the courage stop like I did. Five years after stopping I am still doing fine.


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