Published on January 2nd, 2018 | by Dr. Doug Pucci0
Insulin Resistance Bigger Heart Disease Risk than Cholesterol
by Doug Pucci
Cholesterol has been vilified for many years as the top contributor to cardiovascular disease (CVD), to the point where lowering that number has practically become an obsession. The medical community’s answer to this is to prescribe statins, which have dangerous and many times, permanent side effects that can impact a patient’s quality of life.
The number of people being prescribed statins for the wrong reason increases every time doctors further lower the acceptable range for cholesterol; even children as young as 8 are being prescribed statins instead of taking into consideration what would have a better long-term health benefit. Sweeping recommendations that everyone over 50 should automatically be put on statins as life-savers to prevent cardiovascular disease are frightening and wrong.
There is great division within the medical community, with a number of highly respected medical professionals questioning the risk-to-benefit ratio of statins and pointing out the flawed methodology, industry sponsorship and statistical deception used to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of statins.
It seems that achieving the lowest cholesterol number possible is perceived as a good thing, when cholesterol, a structural component of cells, is actually necessary to aid in hormone production and play a role in digestion. Approximately 80 percent of the cholesterol in the body is made by the liver, while the rest comes from the foods we eat. If our diet doesn’t contain enough cholesterol, the liver will try to make up for the shortage by manufacturing more. A very low cholesterol count is associated with a number of serious health problems, including cancer, depression, anxiety and more.
New studies reported in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Journal show strong evidence that it is insulin resistance, not cholesterol, that is at the root of cardiovascular disease, as well as Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Populations in the U.S. and around the world were studied, and it was found that body mass index, weight and cholesterol were ineffective, inconsistent or misguided as risk markers for CVD, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
It was also found that rather than focusing solely on caloric intake, the important factor was whether the calories were coming from processed foods or whole foods and the metabolic changes that resulted. The Lyon Diet Heart Study looked at the effects of different types of food on insulin resistance and found that the Mediterranean diet, which is filled with healthy fats and fresh vegetables, was one of the best for heart health.
The report noted that medications prescribed to improve insulin sensitivity were only mildly successful, and one type of drug actually increased mortality in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The conclusion was that CVD risks need to be redefined, and that lifestyle interventions were by far more successful than drug interventions. Those that reverse insulin resistance can have positive impacts in other areas of health, as well. Besides lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, these changes can help maintain a healthier weight, reduce inflammation and improve gut function.