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Posted: 2/7/2020 9:37:00 AM
Originally posted by Dr. Davis on 2020-02-07
on the Wheat Belly Blog,
sourced from and currently found at: Infinite Health Blog.
PCM forum Index
of WB Blog articles.
Although the video is freely available on YouTube,
mirroring it here makes it available to site searches,
and provides a means for IC members to discuss it.
Do statins reduce heart scan scores?
If you have a CT heart scan score (also
called coronary calcium score), what effect do statin cholesterol
drugs have on stopping or slowing the increase in score?
(Increasing scores pose increasing risk for heart attack and
other cardiac events.)
NONE. If you do nothing at all,
the score increases by 25% per year, on average. If you take a
statin drug, aspirin, and follow a low-fat diet, what my colleagues
call “optimal medical therapy,” the score increases
. . . 25% per year—no difference. Yet
this is the “solution” that conventional doctors push
on their patients, a “treatment” that yields little
to no benefit.
The real tragedy? There are a number of
easily accessible, inexpensive, and effective strategies that can
stop the increase in heart scan scores, even reduce the
score and, with it, reduce or eliminate risk for heart
disease—but the answers won’t come from your doctor.
Let’s talk about whether
statin cholesterol drugs can reduce a heart scan score. Statin
cholesterol drugs are drugs like Lipitor®, Crestor®, Zocor®, or
other drugs, non-statin drugs that reduce total LDL cholesterol.
Heart scan scores are sometimes called coronary calcium scores,
and all they are is an index, or gauge, of the volume of
atherosclerotic plaque in your heart’s arteries — the stuff
that ruptures, and causes heart attacks, or worsens, grows, and
causes chest pain that leads to things like stress testing, heart
catheterization, stent implantation, and bypass surgery.
text: Heart scan scores increase 25% per year (on average)
Let’s say you have a heart scan score of 500, and
let’s say you do nothing about it — you go about your
business, go to work, etc. You come back a year later, a
score of 500, increases to 625. If you continue
to do nothing, a year later the score is 781. With
each passing year, you are closer and closer to heart attack,
sudden cardiac death, need for procedures. Doing nothing is
very unwise, right, because the score will increase inevitably
25% per year on average.
Now, what if you took what my
colleagues call “optimal medical therapy”, which is a
low fat diet — low saturated fat, low total fat, lots of healthy
whole grains (they say), a high dose of a statin drug like
Lipitor® 80 milligrams, aspirin, maybe a beta blocker like
metroprolol, don’t smoke, and exercise in moderation.
How fast will your heart scan score increase?
…25% per year.
It has no impact, at all, on the rate of growth of atherosclerotic plaque.
Oddly, my colleagues, the
so-called experts in this, agreed some years back that because
they didn’t know how to stop that inevitable
25% per year increase in scores, we shouldn’t
repeat the heart scans to see it increase. Instead, they
actually said this, wait for those people to have their heart
attacks or develop symptoms, and then deal with an acute event
— in the cath lab for instance, to abort a heart attack, or
implant stents, or send them to bypass — of course ignoring
the fact that about half the people who have a heart attack
never make it to the hospital, they die en-route.
So that’s a lousy
solution. That’s no solution at all. I rejected all
conventional notions of what causes cardiovascular risk, and what
causes CT heart scan scores to increase. It took many years
to figure this out, but it led me to develop all the strategies
that now include my Wheat Belly and Undoctored programs — such as:
- We reject cholesterol testing. Instead we do lipoprotein testing
— NMR lipoprotein testing, to uncover how much small LDL particles
you have. That’s the real cause, not LDL cholesterol (which is
a crude indirect marker). We want the actual cause, which is an
excess of small LDL particles, which readily cause growth
of atherosclerotic plaque.
- Lipoprotein testing also uncovers metabolic distortions, especially
after eating rises in VLDL particles. That’s the stuff that
also causes small LDL.
- It led to uncovering the fact that vitamin D restoration has
an enormous impact on slowing the progression of coronary calcium
scores, or even reducing the scores.
- Fish oil plays a big role.
- Magnesium restoration: because we all drink filtered water and lack
magnesium. That plays a role.
- Iodine and thyroid optimization plays a role, because thyroid
dysfunction is rampant. As many as a third of all Americans now
have thyroid disease in some form. It might be a high TSH, might
be a low free T3, but it comes in many different forms,
largely due to the proliferation of industrial compounds that
block thyroid hormone activity.
- And then lastly, efforts to cultivate a healthy microbiome; that
includes such things as high potency multi-species probiotic,
enthusiastic consumption of fermented foods, and lots and lots
of prebiotic fibers.
That simple menu of strategies
reduces heart scan scores in the majority of people — no statin drug required.
So this idea that you must take
a statin in order to stop progression of your heart scan is complete,
utter, nonsense. We helped publish these data many years ago.
It’s been known for about two decades that statin drugs have
no impact the rate of progression of CT heart scan scores. But
that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. If your doctor
says “there’s nothing more we can do”, what
he’s really saying is “I have been willfully ignorant
of the factors that really can put a stop the progression of
atherosclerotic plaque. I’m going to ignore vitamin D.
I’m going to ignore the wonderful strategies surrounding the
microbiome. I’m going to ignore the fact that small LDL
particles are the real cause for coronary atherosclerosis, not
If you want to take this
conversation further, I invite you to join me in my Wheat Belly
and Undoctored conversations. My most recent update of the entire
program is now available in a single resource that I called the
Wheat Belly Revised and Expanded edition,
that’s now available in bookstores. It takes all the lessons
learned over the last many years, all the messages I deliver
through about eight different books, all put in one book
that’s called the Wheat Belly Revised and
Expanded edition, and of course subscribe to my YouTube channel.
|Tags: Agatston,CAC,CCS,CT heart scan,PCM,score,Statins,WBB