By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical WriterMon Mar 13, 11:11 AM ET
People in a new study got their "bad cholesterol" to the lowest levels ever seen and saw blockages in their blood vessels shrink by taking a high dose of cholesterol drug, researchers reported Monday.
Doctors say it is the best evidence yet that heart disease actually can be reversed, not just kept from getting worse.
Two-thirds of the 349 study participants had regression of heart artery buildups when they took the maximum dose of Crestor, the strongest of the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs on the market and one under fire by a consumer group that contends it has more side effects than its competitors.
It's too soon to tell whether this shrinkage of artery blockages will result in fewer heart attacks, but doctors were excited by the possibility.
"The holy grail has always been to try to reverse the disease," and this shows a way to do that, said Dr. Steven Nissen, the Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who led the research and reported results at the American College of Cardiology meeting.
The study was paid for by AstraZeneca PLC, the maker of Crestor, a drug that a consumer group has been lobbying to have pulled from the market. Some reports have linked Crestor to higher rates of serious muscle problems and kidney damage, especially among Asians.
The Food and Drug Administration last year refused to order the drug off the market but required a warning of the side effects on its label.
In the study, Crestor got people's LDL or "bad cholesterol" levels to around 60 milligrams per deciliter of blood, down from roughly 130 at the start of the experiment. HDL or "good cholesterol" levels rose modestly, from 43 to 49.
"The body needs about 40 LDL, so we're getting pretty close to what the body needs for general repair," said Dr. Christopher O'Connor, a Duke University cardiologist who had no role in the study.
Study results were released Monday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, which will publish it in its April 5 edition.
Comment: It might be true that Crestor can reverse HD, but there are side effects:
Body aches or pain ; congestion; cough; dryness or soreness of throat ; headache; hoarseness; runny nose; tender, swollen glands in neck; trouble in swallowing; voice changes
Accidental injury; accumulation of pus, swollen, red, tender area of infection near a tooth; acid or sour stomach; arm, back or jaw pain; arthritis; back pain; belching; bladder pain; bloated; bloody or cloudy urine; blurred vision; bruising; burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles" , or tingling feelings; burning feeling in chest or stomach; chest pain or discomfort; chest tightness or heaviness; chills; constipation ; depression; diarrhea; difficult, burning, or painful urination; difficult or labored breathing; difficulty having a bowel movement (stool); difficulty in moving; discouragement; dizziness; dry mouth; excess air or gas in stomach or intestines; excessive muscle tone; fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse; fatigue; fear; feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings; feeling of warmth or heat; feeling faint; feeling sad or empty; flatulence; flushed, dry skin; flushing or redness of skin especially on face and neck; frequent urge to urinate; fruit-like breath odor; full feeling; general feeling of discomfort or illness; heartburn; increased hunger; increased thirst; increased urination; indigestion; infection; irritability; itching skin; joint pain; lack of appetite; lack or loss of strength ; large, flat, blue or purplish patches in the skin ; light-headedness; loss of appetite; loss of consciousness; loss of interest or pleasure; lower back or side pain; muscle tension or tightness; nausea; neck pain; nerve pain; nervousness; noisy breathing; pain; pain or swelling in arms or legs without any injury; pain, swelling, or redness in joints; pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones; painful or difficult urination; pale skin; passing gas; pounding in the ears; sensation of spinning; shivering; shortness of breath; sleeplessness; slow heartbeat; sneezing; sore throat; stomach pain, discomfort, tenderness, or upset; stuffy nose; sweating; swelling of hands, ankles, feet, or lower legs; tightness in chest; troubled breathing; trouble concentrating; trouble sleeping; unable to sleep; unexplained weight loss; unusual bleeding or bruising; vomiting; wheezing.
I prefer this option, which has no side effects that I am aware of except loose stools, if you go too high to soon, but it's not life threatening.
Dr Linus Pauling's Unified Theory of Cardiovascular Disease ...Over ten years ago, the two-time Nobel prize Laureate, Dr Linus Pauling and his associate Dr Matthias Rath, advocated and published a definitive thesis on the root cause, treatment, and actual cure for all forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including congestive heart failure, heart disease, and stroke. Today, cardiovascular related health problems together comprise fully one half of all causes of death in the US. Pauling and Rath's brilliant analysis of CVD is absolutely compelling and amply supported by numerous epidemiological and clinical studies. His unified theory of CVD constitutes one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern science, and yet has been almost completely ignored by the mainstream medical establishment, and received almost no press.
The Only Patent for the Cure of Cardiovascular Disease:Pauline and Raths theory of CVD is so scientifically compelling and demonstrable that in 1994 they were granted the only US patent for the cure of cardiovascular disease. This was no small feat since the US Office of Patents will only grant a patent for an invention that has been demonstrated to work. The non-prescription therapy advocated by Pauling and Rath has become know as the Pauline Therapy. The efficacy of the Pauline Therapy has been amply proven in thousands of cardiovascular patients who have been so fortunate to discover the remarkable treatment. The Pauline and Rath heart protocols in lower dosage levels will prevent cardiovascular disease and in higher dosages will actually reverse arterial plaque build up and reverse heart disease! Heart patients moving to the Pauling Therapy commonly avoid open-heart surgery and angioplasty. This is accomplished by dealing directly with the root causes of CVD and arterial plaque buildup. Almost without exception patients experience rapid recovery.
For more information on the Pauling/Rath Therapy, see How to Mend a Broken Heart...
Christopher Wiechert's Healthblogger is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. If you decide to use this information on your own, it's your constitutional right, but I assume no responsibility.
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