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If not "cholesterol," WHAT? - 19

Summary:


Statins have multiple modes of action - called "pleiotropic."

One mode is antibiotic

Would you take an antibiotic for life? If you are taking statins, that is what you are doing, and the drug companies know this.


 

If not cholesterol, what IS the cause of heart disease

 

From my book, "Health Freedom Lost."


Statin Drugs are Antibiotics -


This is the only reason for some meager benefits from these awful drugs.


Most of us are antibiotic-phobic. We will tolerate a 10-day treatment for Lyme disease or acute infection. However, would you take antibiotics for life? If you take statin drugs, you are doing just that.


Steven Schmidt is a medicinal scientist who worked for Warner-Lambert on the development of Lipitor. Pfizer eventually bought Warner-Lambert and Lipitor became the most profitable drug of all time until recently surpassed by the COVID-19 injections.


When Dr. Trempe of Harvard Medical School suggested to Schmidt that statins were antibiotics, he replied, without hesitation, "We know that."


Here are some recent research titles that add credibility to the idea that statins are (and work because they are) antibiotics that reduce infection and inflammation.

  • “Studies on the antibacterial effects of statins-in vitro and in vivo.” [i]

  • “Antimicrobial action of Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin.” [ii]

  • “Antibacterial activity of statins: a comparative study of Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, and Rosuvastatin.” [iii]

  • “Antimicrobial Effect and Immunomodulation of Atorvastatin.” [iv]

  • “Nontraditional Anti-Infectious Agents in Hemodialysis.” [v]

  • “Effect of statin therapy on mortality from infection and sepsis: a meta-analysis of randomized and observational studies.” [vi]

  • “View of statins as antimicrobials in cardiovascular risk modification.” [vii]

  • “Antimicrobial Effect and Immunomodulation of Atorvastatin.” [viii]

  • “Unexpected antimicrobial effect of statins.” [ix]

  • "Anti-tuberculous Effects of Statin Therapy: A Review of Literature."[x]

  • "Repurposing of Existing Statin Drugs for Treatment of Microbial Infections: How Much Promising?"[xi]

This last article includes some profound statements about the action of statins. "In the medical literature, various studies have reported some encouraging results regarding the antimicrobial use of existing statin drugs. Further, some clinical studies have also shown statin drugs' inconsistent and meager protective effect in reducing morbidity is due to action against chronic infectious agents, but a complete understanding is still lacking. Thus, there is a need for a better understanding of the use of statin drugs, especially in the context of antimicrobial effects."


Lewis: There is NO NEED to understand the antibiotic effects of statins because the detrimental side effects will ALWAYS be there.


Interestingly, the term “antibiotic” is not in any of these titles. Instead, synonyms are used. Thus, these researchers are “softening the blow” to the statin industry. Another interpretation is that the statin drug industry is powerful enough to squelch that term in any publications or even deny the publication of a paper with this term. Yes, this happens. However, anti-infectious, antibacterial, and antimicrobials are all terms for antibiotics.


Is the meager absolute reduction in cardiovascular deaths due to "cholesterol" reduction or their anti-inflammatory/antibiotic actions?


David R. Nalin,[xii] a “Science Hero,” weighs in on statins. He authored “Comment on Unexpected antimicrobial effect of statins.”[xiii] He astutely pointed out that statins may have an antibiotic effect against Chlamydia pneumoniae and that testing should be done. Chlamydia organisms are well documented to be in the plaques of cardiovascular disease (and Alzheimer’s).


He concludes that “the demonstrated benefits of certain statins in reducing the progression of atheromatous (heart) disease may partly relate to their antimicrobial efficacy against chlamydial organisms and their immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.”


The problem with Dr. Nalin’s suggestion is there are known and better drugs and drug combinations for battling chlamydial infection without the profound side effects attributable to statins. We need to stop our romance with statins and ask doctors to carry out the right tests, make the right diagnoses, and choose the right treatments for cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular disease may show declining trends and stop being the number one killer if medicine becomes an honest discipline.


Healio is a medical news journal that provides education and information for physicians and health care practitioners. Steven Lome, Cardiologist at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, CA contributed an article titled, "Statins are Antibiotics…is THAT the Pleiotropic Effect?"[xiv] His article is reproduced here.


"Statins have pleiotropic effects, i.e., the ability to slightly reduce heart disease risk and cardiovascular death via an unknown mechanism, certainly beyond the LDL cholesterol lowering they can achieve.


Researchers have known for quite some time about these beneficial effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (also known as “statins,” such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin). However, the physiology behind this phenomenon remains unclear. Why statins have these pleiotropic effects is largely unknown, but let me throw out an interesting theory, and you form your own opinion.


Statins are antibiotics that kill the undiscovered organism responsible for the entire process of atherosclerosis.


Let’s look at some facts first. Many don’t know that the first statin, mevastatin, was discovered in 1971 in the fungus Penicillium citrinum. As the name implies, this is the same fungus from which the first antibiotic, penicillin, was found. What was the role of penicillin in this fungus, you ask? To kill the surrounding bacteria, so they do not invade the fungi’s space, allowing the Penicillium citrinum species to grow and spread more easily ... survival of the fittest!


Then, what is the role of mevastatin in this fungus? According to researchers, it is the same: Blocking cholesterol synthesis in the invading bacteria and other fungi, acting like an antibiotic.


Think about this, as well: It takes decades for atherosclerotic plaques to form, and it is an inflammatory process. We know that the early use of statins immediately during an Acute Coronary Syndrome (ischemia) slightly reduces mortality in only very high-risk individuals according to multiple clinical trials, including PROVE IT-TIMI 22 and the MIRACL trial. This benefit is thought to be from acute plaque stabilization, decreased thrombogenicity, and decreased inflammation that occurs immediately after statin administration.


How does this make any sense if the only thing statins do is reduce LDL levels through inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase? How should short-term administration improve long-term outcomes, considering the chronic nature of atherosclerosis? Why do these beneficial effects occur? Why is inflammation reduced so quickly? Again, maybe statins are antibiotics!


Quite an intriguing theory, that statins are antibiotics and kill the pathogenic cause of atherosclerosis, isn’t it? Of course, I was not the first to think that atherosclerosis may occur from an infection. The organisms contributing to atherosclerosis include Chlamydia pneumoniae, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and Helicobacter pylori. Here is a look at some studies that test this theory."


Interesting side note: Mevastatin caused liver tumors and severe muscle problems in animal studies and therefore was never brought to market (although it is one of the naturally occurring statins in red yeast rice extract, which millions take ... not good).


We know that CRP is a measurable inflammatory marker that is significantly elevated during states of inflammation, including atherosclerosis, acute coronary syndrome, inflammatory arthritis, and, of course, during infection (including sepsis). We know that statin therapy reduces CRP marginally, independent of reductions in LDL cholesterol. So, putting these together, infection increases CRP and statins decrease CRP. This association, of course, does not prove the antibiotic theory but is a bit intriguing.


Statins have been shown in more than one analysis to decrease the incidence of sepsis (severe infection with a systemic inflammatory response, usually bacterial) and decrease mortality in patients with bacteremia - a bacterial disease of the blood.


Please appreciate that our immune system is decidedly antibiotic in nature thus, antibiotics may be helpful against a wide range of diseases.


However, due to their pleiotropic properties, statin drugs, exert more than one effect and can cause and prevent infections. Earlier in this chapter, skin and oral infections were shown to be worsened by statins. They also lower CoQ10. So, when are statins beneficial, and for whom? Nobody knows. What we do know is the risk-benefit ratio is so VERY VERY low AND OFTEN NEGATIVE (cause disease).


The enlightened country of Switzerland considers statins to provide insignificant benefits even though they are relatively inexpensive. The quality-adjusted life year or quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) is a generic measure of disease burden, including the quality and the quantity of life lived. It is used in economic evaluation to assess the value of medical interventions. One QALY equates to one year in perfect health. The Swiss Medical Board (SMB) reports that costs per quality-adjusted life years are extremely unfavorable ($225,000/QALY) for statins in primary care in Switzerland when administered for 5 years.[xv]

Translation: Statins, although cheap, are a waste of money and harmful simultaneously.


[i] Bergman, Peter, et al. "Studies on the antibacterial effects of statins-in vitro and in vivo." PloS one 6.8 (2011): e24394.

[ii] Welsh, Anne-Marie, Peter Kruger, and Joan Faoagali. "Antimicrobial action of atorvastatin and rosuvastatin." Pathology 41.7 (2009): 689-691.

[iii] Masadeh, Majed, et al. "Antibacterial activity of statins: a comparative study of Atorvastatin, Simvastatin, and Rosuvastatin." Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob 11.1 (2012): 13.

[iv] Ahmadalizadeh, Elahe. "Antimicrobial Effect and Immunomodulation of Atorvastatin." Life Science Journal 9.4 (2012).

[v] Sedlacek, Martin. "Nontraditional Anti-Infectious Agents in Hemodialysis."

[vi] Wan, You-Dong, et al. "Effect of statin therapy on mortality from infection and sepsis: a meta-analysis of randomized and observational studies." Critical Care 18.2 (2014): R71.

[vii] Kozarov, Emil, Teresa Padro, and Lina Badimon. "View of statins as antimicrobials in cardiovascular risk modification." Cardiovascular research (2014): cvu058.

[viii] Ahmadalizadeh, Elahe. "Antimicrobial Effect and Immunomodulation of Atorvastatin." Life Science Journal 9.4 (2012).

[ix] Jerwood, S., and Jonathan Cohen. "Unexpected antimicrobial effect of statins." Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy 61.2 (2008): 362-364.

[x] Tahir, Faryal, et al. "Anti-tuberculous effects of statin therapy: a review of literature." Cureus 12.3 (2020).

[xi] Rana, Ritika, Ruchika Sharma, and Anoop Kumar. "Repurposing of existing statin drugs for treatment of microbial infections: how much promising?" Infectious Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-Infectious Disorders) 19.3 (2019): 224-237.

[xiii] Nalin, David R. "Comment on: Unexpected antimicrobial effect of statins." Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy (2008).

[xv] Romanens, Michel, et al. "Medical costs per QALY of statins based on Swiss Medical Board assumptions." Cardiovasc Med 17.4 (2017): 96-100.



 


Index & Upcoming (short) blogs on cholesterol and statins


Number 1: Cholesterol fun (true) facts - completed

Number 2: Is the actual cholesterol molecule important? c - completed

Number 3: What is an optimal TC value? Remember, no one knows their actual cholesterol molecule value. - completed

Number 4: Surprising fact about cholesterol as an antibiotic - completed

Number 5: TC simple math - dumb doctors - completed

Number 6: What is LDL really? - completed

Number 7: Statins - do they lower the cholesterol molecule? - completed

Number 8: What did we learn from the new "biologics" to lower "cholesterol" - completed

Number 9: Niacin and other "cholesterol" management treatments - completed

Number 10: What did Natasha Campbell-McBride say about cholesterol/lipids? - completed

Number 11: What is a QALY, and how does it relate to "cholesterol"? - completed

Number 12: Idiot doctor from Johns Hopkins, Roger Blumenthal - completed

Number 13: Statins cause Alzheimer's and ALS - THEHIGHWIRE - completed

Number 14: Statin drugs CAUSE diabetes - completed

Number 15: The statin merry-go-round to poor cardiovascular outcomes - completed

Number 16: How statins CAUSE heart disease - completed

Number 17: How statins CAUSE heart disease - part 2 - completed

Number 18: Women and statin drugs - completed

Number 19: If not "cholesterol," then what? - completed

Number 20: If not "cholesterol," then what? - part 2

Number 21: Who says statins do NOT extend life?





 

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