My Thoughts About Statins Prescribed to Prevent Heart Attacks – by Gary Smolker
I’ve struggled for more that three years trying to decide whether I should take the “recommended” dosage of a statin medicine to prevent having a heart attack.
Various of my friends have struggled with the same question.
Below is a copy of a string of emails between me (Gary Smolker) and my good friend Paul Cook about whether he or I should take a statin prescribed by our physicians.
I have struggled with that questions for years because I never received a satisfactory answer to my question why should I take a statin, even though I’ve asked many physicians for their answer and have read more than ten books on diet, exercise, life style/healthy living in terms of what to do to prevent heart attacks/heart disease/diabetes, etc. etc.
The Unanswered Questions
I would like to know how much longer I would live if I took the recommended dosage.
I would also like to know what harmful/distasteful side effects would I experience if I took the recommended dosage.
What would be my quality of life over time if I took the recommended dosage vs. if I don’t take the recommended dosage?
My Personal Belief About Longevity
The principle which I used to make my decision about what dosage of statin, if any, to take was based on the following personal belief and principle.
“Its not the years in your life that counts its the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
My Personal Belief About Diet
Your diet consists of more than the food you eat. It’s also the books you read, the shows you watch, the people you associate with, the people you are surrounded by, the people you meet, the places you see, the things you do, what you think about, your total environment. Your “diet” also consists of what you drink and the air you breathe (i.e. second hand smoke from tobacco products, etc.), and especially including the water you drink.
My people believe the water they drink is poisoned (Flint, Michigan), the air they breathe is poisoned (Beijing) and food we all eat causes medical problems, including deformed babies, drug addicted babies, and miscarriages.
According to a recently published WHO (World Health Organization) Report, exposure to polluted environments is associated with more than one in four deaths among children under the age of five. Research finds that some 1.7 million children’s death across the globe are attributable to environmental hazards such as exposure to contaminated water, air pollution, and other unsanitary conditions.
Exposure to hazardous chemicals through air, food and products used in every day life is also associated with hindered brain development in children.
In my opinion:
- The poorest man is not the man without a penny. It’s the man without a dream, a man without a purpose.
- Work without passion is slavery.
- There are seven days a week and “someday” isn’t one of them.
- An ambitious person working 9 to 5 their entire life is like a lion choosing to be caged at the zoo.
- HEALTHY LIVING is a giant multidimensional topic.
Drinking And Wellbeing
I’ve read that there are thirteen minerals that are essential for human life and all of them can be found in wine. Coincidence? I think not. Is that true? I don’t know. I would like to think so.
Hard driving stressed-out men, imagine this situation: It’s overcast today, You chill by the fire with a pair of cocktails for yourself and your lady. You each each have the following drink in your hand: Anejo tequila, washed in browned butter, in a cup of coffee, garnished with Netflix and a warm blanket.
- 1 oz browned butter washed Gran Centenario Anejo
- .75 oz Borghetti coffee liqueur
- .25 oz Cynar 70
- Barspoon 2:1 demerara – 3 oz hot coffee
- Top with hand-whipped cinnamon cream
Don’t Just Exist. Glow.
Does the woman in the picture below look like she is having a good time?
She is totally focused on her work.
Does the woman in the photo below look like she is going to have a good time?
Have A Good Time.
Make sure you have a good time.
Laugh a lot.
Laughter is good medicine.
My Personal Belief About Mistakes
Creative people don’t make mistakes. They make discoveries.
Creativity is contagious. Pass it along.
Below is a copy of recent personal correspondence between myself (Gary Smolker) and one of my friends (Paul Cook) about taking stains to prevent heart attacks/heart disease.
The last [most recent] piece of correspondence is at the top, the first piece of correspondence is at the bottom of the string of email correspondence below.
Neither Paul Cook not I are/is a physician.
Neither one of us has any medical training.
Both of us have declined to take a dosage of a statin drug that we have been told/advised that we should take in order to prevent having a heart attack.
Thoughts for the Day
Consider the following before reading the correspondence below between Paul and me.
- Science is not decided by vote. There is no consensus, there is only our best current understanding.
- If the “experts” had it right we would be living on a “flat Earth” around which the Universe revolves praying to Zeus for our lives.
- The practice of medicine today is better than it was fifty years ago and in fifty years from now the practice of medicine will be better than it is today.
- TODAY: More people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals combined.
- TODAY: The average human is far more likely to die from binging at McDonald’s than from drought, Ebola, or an aL-Qaeda attack.
- With respect to taking steps to have a high quality life, prevent heart attacks, etc we are dealing with (a) lots of uncertainty, (b) incomplete information, (c) a very complex situation, and (d) lack of significant and/or meaningful understanding of physical, biological, biochemical, and physiological processes and in particular we have an almost complete lack understanding of brain function brain health brain chemistry and cognitive processes.
- Risk changes as we get older.
- Much to my astonishment I read that taking statins can lower testosterone (in effect eliminate/lower sex drive and sex function), destroy cognitive function (make it more difficult to process information and to think, destroy short term memory, destroy long term memory), increase the chance of having Alzheimer’s disease, increase the chance of having diabetes, and speed up the aging process. I don’t know if any of that is true (i.e., if there is any correlation between taking a statin and losing sex drive, or getting Alzheimer’s disease or if any of those dreadful potential side effects would happen to me if I took the recommended dosage of statin, now or when I became older (later)).
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Thank you for the vote of approval and confidence in my point of view.
According to David B. Augus, M.D., a pioneering cancer doctor and researcher [he is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine), the top ten causes of death in the United States for the 2010 calendar year according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed as deaths in the United States for the 2010 calendar year were:
- Heart disease: 597,689 deaths
- Cancer: 574,4743
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476 deaths
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859 deaths
- Alzheimer’s disease: 83,494 deaths
- Diabetes: 69,071 deaths
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476 deaths
- Influenza and pneumonia: 50,097 deaths
- Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364 deaths
Assuming you are going to eventually die, if you had a choice of cause of death which cause of death would/do you prefer?
For example: Do you prefer to die of heart disease or cancer?
In general, chances are if you don’t die from heart disease, you most likely will die from (1) cancer, or (2) chronic lower respiratory disease, or (3) stroke or (4) an accident/unintentional injury, or (5) Alzheimer’s disease, or (6) diabetes, or something else listed above.
Do you have any idea what it would be like to die from a heart attack or from cancer?
By the way, statistics are valuable for understanding a population as a whole, but much less valuable for predicting an individual.
From: Paul Cook
To: Gary Smoker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sat, Mar 4, 2017 6:18 am
Subject: Re: Context: The Missing Ingredient
Sent from my iPhone
I appreciate your input! I was told that if I took x mg of Statin I would lower the risk of stroke and or heart attack some exact %…. not necessarily so. But that’s what his computer said!
On March 3, 2017 at 3:50 PM Gary Smolker <email@example.com> wrote:FYI—–Original Message—–
From: Gary Smolker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Fri, Mar 3, 2017 3:48 pm
Subject: Context: The Missing Ingredient
Mayer,My criticism of advice regarding what to eat and do to accomplish the goal of preventing heart attacks and other physical, mental and medical disasters is that RAW DATA is only useful when we put it in context.
The advice given is usually too general or too wrong headed or on mere speculation.
ALWAYS medical advice given to me regarding taking statins has never been a full disclosure of what is known of practical significance.
Compounding the problem the public on the whole would be like swine being fed pearls if anyone would attempt to provide HONEST FULL DISCLOSURE of the plus and minus and percent chance of achieving various results.
Too little is known for any MD to be able to say with a high degree of certainty if you take a statin of any particular dose you will live a specific amount of time longer.
Sent: Mon, Feb 20, 2017 6:19 pm
Subject: Fwd: Home Remedies That Work (and Some That Don’t)
Copyright © 2017 by Gary Smolker, All Rights Reserved
Posted on March 4, 2017, in diets, Medicine Is A Way of Life and tagged Abraham Lincoln, aging, aging process, air pollution, Alzheimer's Disease, biological processes, books, Borghetti coffee liqueur, brain, brain chemistry, brain development, brown butter washed Gran Centenario Anejo, cancer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children, coffee, cognitive function, correlation between taking statins and medical conditions effected, Cynar, David B. Augus MD, diabetes, diet, food, hand-whipped cinnamon cream, health, healthy living, heart attacks, hot ooffee, influenza and pneumonia, information processing, laughter, long term memory, McDonald's, medicine, Medicine Is A Way of Life, memory, Netflix, people, preventative health measures, quality of life, respiratory diseases, risk, risk assessment, sex, sex drive, sex function, short term memory, side effects, statins, statistics, stroke, suicide, testosterone, the practice of medicine, unsanitary conditions, water pollution, wellness, Wine, World Health Organization. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.