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Statins - do they lower the cholesterol molecule? - 7

NO!


What do they do? The lower LDL production in the liver and makes cholesterol and other fat-soluble substances LESS AVAILABLE to repair your worn-out tissue.


Statins reduce the production of your body's SOAPs.



Does this matter? I suppose not if you are not interested in being healthy for life.


A concept seldom discussed in medicine is the concept of half-life. This is the time it takes for the concentration of something to decrease by 50%. Here are a couple of examples:


Red blood cells. The half-life is ~ 15 days. What this means is in 120 days, EVERY SINGLE RED BLOOD CELL IN YOUR BODY NOW - IS GONE AND REPLACED. (see below for more on half-lives)



How are new red blood cells built?

"The RBC membrane is essentially a two-dimensional (2D) structure comprising a cytoskeleton and a lipid bilayer, tethered together. The lipid bilayer includes various types of phospholipids, sphingolipids, cholesterol, and integral membrane proteins, such as band-3 and glycophorin."


Can you rebuild new and healthy red blood cells if the main source of structure is made less available? LDL, the substance that carries lipids to tissue, is reduced by statin drugs.


If you are building a wall in your house and do not have ample studs or nails, will it be adequately strong?


A schematic of the red blood cell membrane.


Well, who cares, it is only red blood cells and we have plenty of them.


Oops....




The Cell Membrane: It is also known as the plasma membrane or plasmalemma (Greek, lemma=bark). It is a tri-laminar membrane


  • made up predominantly of lipids (fats).


It is 7.5 nm in thickness and so thin that it can be seen only by an electron microscope.

  • It also contains a small number of proteins and carbohydrates.

  • These are the lipids like phospholipids, cholesterol, and glycolipids and proteins like integral membrane protein, peripheral membrane protein, and glycoproteins.

  • The different types of proteins help in the active transport of chemicals, food, and wastes.

  • The membrane basically keeps the cell together, separated from the surrounding, gives a definite shape, and maintains the same. In case it breaks, the contents of the cell will spill out.

  • The membrane shows selective permeability being highly permeable to oxygen and water but limited to that of sodium ions, potassium ions, etc. Some of the large molecules enter the cell by endocytosis.

  • They also bear specific receptors for specific enzymes or hormones. Some cells are also specialized to engulf foreign materials by a process called phagocytosis. When engulfing small molecules of fluid, the process is called pinocytosis.


This is biology class information - not medical school content. I believe all doctors need to return to school before seeing their next patient and take a comprehensive refresher course in biology and chemistry. Yes, we need to include physics in the mix too.


My point? With 10th grade biology knowledge, anyone who paid a little attention to the class would understand that reducing LDL is a


VERY BAD IDEA


Unless, of course, our bodies are not made of cells.

 

Challenge to doctors, scientists, thinkers, and dummies (some on this list may fit into more than one category)


Name one substance that our bodies naturally produce that does more harm than good. For now, I'll accept just harm. Name one thing produced in our liver and other tissues that is made (synthesized) to cause harm.


Is cholesterol the only one? Hmmm.


 

Cell and Tissue Renewal:


The question of cell renewal is one that all of us have intuitive daily experience with.

  • We all notice that our hair falls out regularly, yet we don’t get bald (at least not until males reach a certain age!).

  • Similarly, we have all had the experience of cutting ourselves only to see how new cells replaced their damaged predecessors.

  • And we donate blood or give blood samples without gradually draining our circulatory system.


All of these examples point to a replacement rate of cells that is characteristic of different tissues and in different conditions, but which makes it abundantly clear that for many cell types, renewal is a part of their story. To be more concrete, our skin cells are known to be shed and then renewed constantly. Red blood cells make their repetitive journey through our bloodstream with a lifetime of about 4 months.


We can connect this lifetime to the fact calculated in the vignette on How many cells are there in an organism. There are about 3×10 to the power of 13 red blood cells to infer that about


100 million new red blood cells are being formed in our body every minute!

(I pity the fool on a statin drug_

Replacement of our cells also occurs in most of the other tissues in our body, though the cells in the lenses of our eyes are a special counterexample.



Table 1: Cell renewal rates in different tissues of the human body. Values are rounded to one significant digit. Giving context through daily life replacement processes, we note that hair elongates at about 1 cm per month while fingernails grow at about 0.3 cm per month, which is about the same speed as the continental spreading in plate tectonics that increases the distance between North America and Europe.



Half-lives:


This approach allows exact determination of protein half-lives ranging from 10 to >1000 hours. We identified 4000–6000 proteins in several non-dividing cell types, corresponding to 9699 unique protein identifications over the entire data set. We observed similar protein half-lives in B-cells, natural killer cells and monocytes, whereas hepatocytes and mouse embryonic neurons show substantial differences.

 

LDL, it turns out, is a 4-letter word - SOAP. Yes, the drug companies have grossed $1 trillion dollars by demonizing soap.

 

Index & Upcoming (short) blogs

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"

Number 9: Niacin and other "cholesterol" management treatments

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

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

Number 12: Idiot doctor from Johns Hopkins, Roger Blumenthal

Number 13: Who says statins do NOT extend life?





 

Weekly Webinar Links: Join us for detailed health information - at no charge. All are welcome.


Monday at noon EST -

https://zoom.us/j/94642492535?pwd=c2IyOTRoQTdNQ3JhTFdlVXpPMGErUT09


Wednesday at 8 pm EST -

https://zoom.us/j/96863715606?pwd=VTRCNTQ1dEVoWnlRQjRkeGJYRXlSdz09

 


Be Bold - Be Brave - Stay Well




 

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I have enjoyed these latest series of blogs on cholesterol. You can feel the frustration attached to a satirical spin. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away from statins before I met Dr. Lewis. He complained about taking too many meds. If I knew then, what I know now, no doubt he would still be alive today. It is heartbreaking. Do not let this happen to your loved ones. Dr. Lewis is not writing these blogs out of boredom. He is writing these because they are critically important. Please pass this information on to family members before you regret it. It is never too late to stop taking statins!

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