Interviewer: The thought for so long was that cholesterol was a bad guy.
Dr. Murray: Mm-hmm.
Interviewer: That seems to be softening a little bit. What's the real story like, as we know now about cholesterol?
Dr. Murray: Well, I'm not sure it's softened.
Dr. Murray: Just this last week they came out with new guidelines and they're trying to double . . .
Dr. Murray: . . . the number of prescriptions for Statin drugs and I think that's misguided, I really do. I understand what their thinking is, but I don't agree with it. About half of all people that die from a heart attack have normal to low cholesterol, levels. So, it's not the real culprit for most people. We have to look a little deeper and I think the real culprit for most people suffering a heart attack or having a stroke relates to the nutritional factors. Obesity being the most important.
Dr. Murray: When people become resistant to insulin, that sets the stage for a lot of inflammation and eventually that could lead to diabetes, it could lead to heart attacks, strokes, cancer, Alzheimer's Disease. Insulin resistance I think is a real focus of where we should be in terms of helping people. When people start gaining weight around their abdomen and when their waste is larger than their hips, they will likely be insulin resistant. So, we have to help them eat and live in a manner to improve the sensitivity of cells throughout their body to this important hormone and that can be done.
Unfortunately, that doesn't get sent to the patient.
Dr. Murray: The patient is told hey, you need to do this and that and it usually involves taking drugs and they're not getting at the real issue and I think as a result we're not going to solve the issue.
Interviewer: Mm-hmm. You mentioned it but as we tape this, new guidelines have recently been . . .
Dr. Murray: Yeah.
Interviewer: . . . established for cholesterol and then Statin drugs. Why the continued push then to lower, lower, lower cholesterol all the time?
Dr. Murray: It's the whole argument for use of Statin drugs is a house of cards and eventually it'll come crashing down.
Dr. Murray: Because they just keep trying to grow the net for possible candidates to the drug and I do think there are definite indications for the use of Statin drugs, but about 80% of the prescriptions for Statin drugs today are for people where these drugs are likely to provide no real benefit but have some significant side effects. When they double the number of people on these drugs like they want to do then only about 10% of people who really need to be on those drugs will be on them and 90% of the people are just fattening up the wallets of the . . .
Dr. Murray: . . . investors and the drug companies.
Interviewer: So, who are the people that these drugs actually benefit, Statin drugs?
Dr. Murray: I think they benefit people who have had a heart attack, who have . . .
Dr. Murray: . . . very significant clinical documentation of heart disease. People who have uncontrolled risk factors that make them likely to have a heart attack within the next five to ten years. People who have sky high levels of cholesterol and particularly the LDL cholesterol, but I don't think driving cholesterol levels down in people who have no other significant risk factors is really the right thing to be doing.
Dr. Michael Murray discusses one of the most popular classes of prescription drugs. He says the close to 80 to 90 percent of these drugs provides no health benefit to it's patients, yet it leaves them open to the many side effects, which can often lead to other drugs. Are you on one of the most prescribed drugs that likely provides no benefit?
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