News You Can Use – January, 2012

Some days the news from the medical world makes you want to bang your head against the wall, yet you’ll never see that information appear on the ten o’clock news. Some days there’s startlingly good news, so good that you’ll never see it on the ten o’clock news either.

That’s because in both cases, making the information widely known to the public-at-large would do two very, very bad things. First, it would give patients the courage to question their doctors. Second, it would give patients the information they need to stop supporting the gold-plated toilet bowl lifestyles of Big Pharma Execs. Since neither of those things will ever be allowed to happen (in my lifetime at least), the moral of the story is to do continual research on the subjects that interest you the most. That said, let’s look at two pieces of news (bad and good) that you never heard about this month. It is likely that some information in each type will affect every person reading this now.

First the head-banging news. If there is anyone reading this who doesn’t know someone or a friend of someone who takes a statin, raise your hand. What? No one? Didn’t think so.

On January 10, 2012, the Los Angeles Times ran the following article: Statins Raise Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Older Women, Study Finds.

The summary:

“Older women who take statin medications to ward off heart attacks are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who do not take the widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs, a study has found. The report, published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that, in a large group of post-menopausal women, those who took a statin of any type were, on average, 48% likelier to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t.

And it was a very large study indeed:

“The new study was based on data collected over 12 years on almost 154,000 women ages 50 to 79 who had participated in the landmark Women’s Health Initiative, which explored the influence of diet, hormone treatment and other factors on the health of almost 162,000 women. But researchers not involved with the study said that its findings probably also applied to men.”

In case you’re rubbing your eyes and running for a newer pair of reading glasses, you did read that number right. Nearly HALF of all women taking statins are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. One out of every two women. One out of every two.

If you’re thinking: “My word, they must be informing all doctors and planning to put a black box warning on the labels” you’d be thinking like a rational human being who would never purposely want to cause suffering. Naturally then, you’d be wrong.

Because here’s what the authors had to say about their own study: “The authors did not recommend changes in current medical guidelines for statin use, and urged women taking statins not to stop.”

Translation: “Our study was funded by statin manufacturers, who already know that everyone taking statins is at high risk for developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (likely Alzheimer’s, too) but they had no idea how high a risk we would uncover. Since we need to continue to be funded, we’re damn well not going to rock the boat and suggest that anyone stop taking a pill that will likely cripple or kill them in the end.”

Profit matters. People don’t. And of course the Statinators already knew about the increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. It’s why they stopped the Crestor study after two years, which was two years sooner than they initially told the government the trial would run. That’s because in every single statin study that lasts longer than two years, the bodies start piling up. Overall mortality rates are higher for those on statins than for the control group of people not taking them. Test subjects start dropping like flies. Not just “older women” (who have higher than normal rates of breast cancer on statins) but everyone, including men, who generally tend to develop heart disease instead of diabetes, though some get that, too.

Imagine any drug-maker today attempting to get FDA approval for a new drug that gives half the people who take it a chronic and debilitating disease (or worse: cancer), under the rubric that “well, at least they won’t get a heart attack.” Aside from the fact that the rubric isn’t true (see more below), they’d be laughed out of the office. They’d never even get to clinical trials. But despite the mounting evidence that statins do no good at all, yet do a lot of bad (this is the latest study to show that, but not the first), the FDA won’t pull statins off the market, nor will they issue a black box warning.

That’s because they, like the government, the medical profession, the mass media and most Americans, are still under the misguided notion that eating fat makes you fat and gives you high cholesterol, and that high cholesterol gives you heart disease. Like this nonsense from the study:

“The evidence that statins drive down the risk of heart attacks is far better established for men than it is for women — partly because early trials on statins enrolled lots of men and very few women. Thus, in the case of men, the increased risk of diabetes while on a statin is offset by a much larger likelihood that the medication will prevent a heart attack or even death, said cardiologist Sanjay Kaul of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.”

Prevent a heart attack or death, my Aunt Fanny. Here’s a bit of what Dr. Mike Eades has to say about this study: Please read it all.

“You’ll notice my repeated assertions that statins don’t provide any benefits. What I’m talking about is the fact that statins have never been shown to decrease all-cause mortality. (See the first sentence in the Lipitor product insert above.) In other words, if you take a statin, you gain no increase in life expectancy. If I, myself, am evaluating a drug that I might have to take, I would certainly want to make sure it didn’t simply replace one risk factor for another.”

But before you rush out to buy either The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcolm Kendrick, or the new Cholesterol Delusion by Ernest Curtis to find out why lowering cholesterol is a very bad idea, you can read about why having true normal cholesterol (defined for a century as 240, until the Statinators came among us) is good. Read:

Cholesterol, longevity, intelligence and health by Ray Peat, who says among other things:

“Around 1985, a big study in Hungary showed that lowering cholesterol with drugs caused a huge increase in the cancer death rate. Hundreds of publications appeared in the U.S. saying that wasn’t possible, because low cholesterol is good, the lower the better. The extreme increase in cancer mortality in the Hungarian study was probably the result of the drug that was commonly used at that time to lower cholesterol, but the pattern of mortality in that study was approximately the same pattern seen in any group with very low cholesterol. In the last 20 years, there have been many studies showing that lowering cholesterol increases mortality, especially from cancer and suicide, and that people with naturally low cholesterol are more likely to die from cancer, suicide, trauma, and infections than people with normal or higher than average cholesterol.”

And if that article, the Eades blog, or either of the cholesterol books aren’t enough to convince you, Google: “Women’s Mortality World-wide, Cholesterol.” After reading those charts I will never allow my cholesterol to go lower than 230!

On To The Good News you didn’t hear about this month:

A friend recently asked me how much longer I would stay on Metformin, now that my insulin resistance has greatly lessened and my insulin sensitivity has greatly increased. I said then that I didn’t know. I was wrong. I do know. I intend to take Metformin at a reduced dose for the rest of my life. Why?

It now appears that Metformin not only reduces the risk of developing cancer by as much as 50% (you read that right), it acts as a cancer preventative too, in new ways that cancer researchers never thought of using because it was too ‘difficult’ to do.

On January 18, 2012 Science Daily ran the following article: Solving the Mystery of an Old Diabetes Drug that May Reduce Cancer Risk.

“In 2005, news first broke that researchers in Scotland found unexpectedly low rates of cancer among diabetics taking metformin, a drug commonly prescribed to patients with Type II diabetes. Many follow-up studies reported similar findings, some suggesting as much as a 50-per-cent reduction in risk.

In a paper published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal reported an unexpected finding: they learned that exposure to metformin reduces the cellular mutation rate and the accumulation of DNA damage. It is well-known that such mutations are directly involved in carcinogenesis, but lowering cancer risk by inhibiting the mutation rate has never been shown to be feasible.

“It is remarkable that metformin, an inexpensive, off-patent, safe and widely used drug, has several biological actions that may result in reduced cancer risk — these latest findings suggest that it reduces mutation rate in somatic cells, providing an additional mechanism by which it could prevent cancer, explained Dr. Michael Pollak, professor in McGill’s Departments of Medicine and Oncology, researcher at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Jewish General Hospital and the study’s director.”

On that same page you’ll find other, similar stories about Metformin:

Diabetes Drug Shows Promise in Reducing Risk of Cancer, Study Suggests (Nov. 27, 2011) — An inexpensive drug that treats Type 2 diabetes has been shown to prevent a number of natural and human-made chemicals from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells.

Diabetes Treatment May Also Provide Protection Against Endometrial Cancer (Apr. 6, 2011) — New research has found that metformin, a drug treatment used to treat diabetes and also in women with polycystic vary syndrome (PCOS), may potentially provide protection against endometrial cancer

Metformin May Prevent Lung Cancer in Smokers, Early Research Suggests (Apr. 20, 2010) — Metformin, a mainstay of treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes, may soon play a role in lung cancer prevention if early laboratory research is confirmed in clinical trials.

Metformin Increases Pathologic Complete Response Rates In Breast Cancer Patients With Diabetes (June 2, 2008) — Metformin, the common first-line drug for type 2 diabetes, may be effective in increasing pathologic complete response rates in diabetic women with early stage breast cancer.

Although researchers seem to be mystified by these recent findings, they should come as no surprise to anyone who has studied all the metabolic hormones and their pathways. We know, for example, that cancer cells prefer glucose to all other forms of fuel. My guess is that those diabetics who were in the 50% lower risk category of Metformin takers, were those who gave up sugar, and/or lowered protein. Because when you think about how Metformin works on insulin resistance, it seems self-evident. Metformin prevents the precursor enzyme required for gluconeogenesis (glucose made from protein) from rising, and it makes insulin more efficient, so it can easily handle any glucose from other sources like veggies. Thus a reduction of cancer, and of breast cancer in particular, makes a great deal of sense. Which is why if you do have the PCOS ‘flavor’ of insulin resistance, lowering your protein intake is as important as your eating a lot of fat and fewer carbohydrates!

My mother had breast cancer, and two of her sisters as well. That puts me at very high risk for the disease. Given the safe, non-toxic long-term use of this amazing drug, I will not only never eat sugar again, I will happily continue to take my Metformin until they pry it out of my cold, dead hands. After they pull away my Emile Henry Flame collection, of course. 😀

Now that you’ve read this thread a few times, and followed all the links, ask yourself this: given the crucial nature of these two discoveries, why have you heard not a single word about them in any mainstream press? Why hasn’t the news been shouted from the rooftops? Why haven’t any of you on statins gotten a call from your doctor’s office to say: Put that pill down and step away. Just. Step. Away.

And why have those of you with the PCOS variant of insulin resistance had to fight, beg, plead and then beg some more to obtain Metformin? Why have you been told instead to eat less, exercise more and oh by the way, would you like a little something for your delusions?

Maybe the answer to all those questions is the same: OCCUPY DOCTORS.

Yours in humor AND frustration,


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3 Responses to News You Can Use – January, 2012

  1. Deana says:

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve been ramping down metformin. I was told it also blocks human growth hormone and we need to get off it. Well, after reading this post I immediately refilled my rx!

    • Deana, in all my Metformin research I’ve never heard about it blocking anything. And given Metformin’s pathways, I don’t see how blocking HGH could even be possible. I’d also like to remind my readers that unlike the obscene cost of the medicine Paula Deen is now peddling ($6000 a year for a drug that does essentially the same thing), a three-month prescription of Met costs $10. Forty bucks a year for a drug that does so much for so many women is astounding, and underscores how important it is to enforce the laws that let generics be manufactured as soon as a brand-name drug patent expires.

  2. Lisa says:

    In case no one has told you today, YOU ROCK, SugarFree!!!

    Thanks for all you do and, most importantly, thanks for sharing it freely with the rest of the world!

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