Saturday, May 9, 2009
MAY 9, 2009 - "AGELESS" BY SUZANNE SOMERS, STATINS AND OLD AGE
The main reason I started natural, bio-identical hormone replacement was because I had read the book “Ageless”. I highly recommend this book to everyone, men and women alike, whether you think you have hormonal imbalances or not.
One of my biggest goals right now is to get my husband off the 6 or 7 meds he is on right now just to manage cholesterol and blood pressure. Even though he is in normal ranges now, his doc wants him to stay on them. Maybe we need to start with a new doc!
Now that he is eating healthy, my opinion is that he can get off or cut down on the meds and if his levels go back up a little initially, I know they will work their way back down eventually.
I know that the only reason he got on them in the first place was because his doctor was too quick to prescribe without first suggesting (he did not even suggest!) life style changes, like diet and exercise.
When I googled the meds he is on, even the pharmaceutical companies said that the drugs were only to be prescribed if lifestyle changes don't work!
I heard the other day that life expectancies are going up, and that, for the baby born today, the life expectancy will be 120 years. I'm not sure of the accuracy of that statement, but I'm not surprised by it - it seems logical.
Think about it... Through medical science, people can now be kept alive for long periods of time. In the "olden days" before antibiotics, if a person got a bad cut on their arm, they could easily die of infection. No more! Well, not usually.
And this is a major problem!
But how can it be a problem that we now have the medical knowledge and technology to keep people alive longer? Doesn't everyone want to live longer?
Maybe not! What about quality of life? Have you seen these really old people in nursing homes? Possibly your own parent, or grandparent? Sometimes unable to move around freely, think clearly or make their own life decisions. As the old joke goes, "You call this living?" I watched my grandmother die like that. She prayed every day for God to "take her home." She was old and useless, in her view, at 88. I don't want my grandmother's health when I am 88. I don't want to be living in a nursing home, dying of diabetes and cancer and completely out of control of my circumstances.
We need to take control of our health, and go into our 70s, 80s, 90s and yes, even our 100s in good health, vital to our families and communities, living in our own homes, supporting ourselves, managing our own lives and loving it!
This is my quest. I'm going to find out how to be healthy if it kills me!
On statins, from Ageless by Suzanne Somers (2006), interviewing Dr. Eugene Shippen on men and hormones:
ES: Statins inhibit the ability of your body to generate its own cholesterol. So if we lower cholesterol, there's a clear reduction in events with the studies on statins. There are reductions of stroke, and there is a reduction of heart attack of 20, 25, 30 percent, depending on the study.
However, long-term studies have failed to show any improvement in overall mortality rate. It's interesting that if you lower the major cause of death by 25 or 30 percent, you don't see an upside on longevity of an equivalent amount. So what's happening? We're becoming unhealthy in other ways. But they don't seem to report on what is causing these other people to die.
The brain itself makes its own little neurosteroids by manufacturing its own cholesterol in the brain. So if we inhibit the body's ability to make it's own cholesterol, are we also inhibiting the ability of the body fo make its own neurosteriods?
(Dr. Shippen goes on to explain in some detail that by inhibiting your brain's production of cholesterol, you also inhibit its production of neuroprotective hormones that control the Alzheimer's process.)
He continues: [With] high cholesterol, researchers found a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease. So people with higher cholesterol have a lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Is it because they have more precursors to making their own neurosteroids? It is an interesting question.
It makes sense that the good Lord put our cholesterol-forming enzymes in our brain for a reason. And if He wanted us tp make cholesterol in the brain, cholesterol is a good antioxidant. You know, it's not just a neutral molecule. It's not a bad guy that needs to be eliminated. It's there for a reason. Cholesterol forms the backbone of every single neuorsteriod in the brain.
(He then goes on to talk in some detail about how, if your hormones are intact, cholesterol doesn't damage the arteries.)
Later in the book, Ms. Somers interviews Dr. Larry Webster on Inflammation and the Environment.
LW: All physicians seem to care about is cholesterol, which is really an indicator of low thyroid more than anything else. Generally, they don't look at cardio-protective compounds such as CoQ10 or L-carnitine. But men are given Lipitor, Mevacor, and other statin drugs, which basically displaces CoQ10 from the body. CoQ10 provides energy and increases cardiac efficiency. So what happens when you take statins is that the body can run out of energy, and ironically, the heart may be affected. So instead of treating high cholesterol with a statin, a doctor should be looking at the thyroid levels first. In fact, this connection is well accepted in the textbook of endocrinology, where it explains hypercholesterolemia is related to hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). So when a man comes in with high cholesterol, I first check thyroid TSH, T4 and T3. But more than blood results, you have to go on symptoms such as cold hands and feet, tiredness, high cholesterol, hair loss, weight gain, all symptoms you see in both men and women with underactive thyroid.