Letter to The Editor: Why we are not surprised about the failure of a cholesterol lowering drug in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Dr Rath has been right all along!
The recent two-page paid public response in USA Today by Merck and Shering-Plough Pharmaceuticals continues their misrepresentation about the value of pharmaceutical drugs and the profit-driven motive of the pharmaceutical industry.
Merck and Shering-Plough’s response commented on the recently released deliberately delayed) two-year study results with Vytorin, a widely prescribed cholesterol lowering multi-drug combining Zetia with the statin drug, Zocor. Not only did the study reveal this treatment to be ineffective in reducing the buildup of arterial plaque, but it also showed a two-fold increase in plaque development leading to an elevated risk of heart attack and stroke. Although some may be surprised with the results, we at the Dr. Rath Research Institute are not.
The cholesterol-based theory of heart disease fails to explain basic questions in cardiology such as why we get heart attacks but not nose or other organ attacks, why blockages occur in the arteries but not the veins, and many other aspects of heart disease. It is useful, however, as a marketing tool for cholesterol-lowering drugs driving $40 billion in annual sales business.
More than a decade ago Matthias Rath, MD presented a new concept, backed by scientific evidence, showing that the arbitrary lowering of cholesterol will not prevent heart attacks because high cholesterol is a symptom but not the cause of heart disease. The production of cholesterol increases in response to a weakening of the arterial wall structure and the need for its biological “repair.” Most frequently, such vascular dysfunction is triggered by a chronic deficiency of micronutrients such as vitamin C, Lysine, vitamin B6, copper and others that support the production of collagen and connective tissue in our blood vessel walls. The process of a biological repair of such vitamin-deficient vascular walls by cholesterol leads to atherosclerotic deposits, heart attacks, and strokes. Details of Dr. Rath’s groundbreaking research are described in his popular book “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks, but People Do.”
Since cholesterol cannot be a primary cause of heart disease, its lowering without optimizing the healthy function of the arteries cannot prevent the buildup of arterial plaque. Nutrients can do that! We have published a clinical study which clearly demonstrated that micronutrients can stop the growth of calcified plaques in the heart arteries, and can even trigger a natural reversal of early cardiovascular deposits (J. Appl. Nutr, 1996). We also clinically documented that the synergy of nutrients supporting the function of the blood vessels can decrease blood cholesterol levels. This includes not only LDL cholesterol but also its more atherogenic type – Lp-a. Why? Because these nutrients target the CAUSE – not only SYMPTOMS of heart disease.
An almost two year delay in the release of the Vytorin study results by its manufacturers, Merck and Schering-Plough, is not a surprise. The reason is always the same: MONEY.
During this time the flood of advertisements for Vytorin continued with the same repeating phrase, “Ask your doctor about Vytorin,” and so drug sales continued to rise. They have brought more than $4 billion in revenues for Merck and Schering-Plough. It is highly significant that in their “damage control” advertisement in the January 21, 2008 edition of USA Today they could not state that there is any proof that cholesterol lowering drugs reduce heart disease. Their hiding behind the American Heart Association and The American College of Cardiology stating that cholesterol lowering is “important” is an admission of a defeat, especially since two-thirds of their two full-page advertisement had to list side effects and warnings for the use of their products.
We should ask why these marketing tricks are allowed to be made at the expense of our health? Who takes the patient’s rights into account? Unfortunately, the case of Vytorin is not an exception – IT’S A RULE! This is why Dr. Rath and our organization have been fighting for years to stop this business with disease based on the patenting of our health and our lives. How many more people have to get sick or die before these unscrupulous business practices are stopped?
Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki
Dr. Rath Research Institute, Santa Clara, California