Anacetrapib – The Latest Cholesterol Pill to Fail?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A new cholesterol drug is set to hit pharmaceutical shelves in the not too distant future that will lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.

Did you say, “Stop”?

You should have, because this is the same old song and dance we’ve heard before from cholesterol-lowering pharmaceutical companies. And all too often, the promises run hollow, as the drug is inevitably taken off the market because of health concerns.

Just this past August, for example, the Food and Drug Administration pulled the cholesterol drug Baycol off the market because of increases in reported deaths associated with taking it. It also increased the incidence of a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis. This occurs when cells are stripped away from muscle tissue and into the bloodstream, causing a host of painful symptoms like vomiting, nausea, weakness, fever and muscle tenderness.

So you’ll have to excuse my skepticism when I hear how the latest drug invention could provide cholesterol-lowering benefits that are “unprecedented,” according to the study’s lead researcher.

Dr. Christopher Cannon of Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston tested the effectiveness of this drug, called anacetrapib, after recruiting 1,600 patients who had unusually high levels of LDL cholesterol. Over an 18-month period, patients were instructed to take ancetrapib along with the statin they were already using.

One-third of the way through the study (i.e. six months), the doctors saw dramatic improvements in cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol levels (the bad kind) dropped precipitously – going from an average of 81 to an average of 45 – while HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind) rose, going from an average of 41 to an average of 101. The positive effects continued through to the end of the trial.

A larger scale study is scheduled to take place over four years. If there aren’t any serious side effects, you can expect to see anacetrapib on pharmacists’ store shelves some time in 2015.

If anacetrapib passes with flying colors, people battling heart disease will no doubt turn to it for help. And if they do, so be it; I’m in no position to tell people how to live. After all, the rate of heart disease is not going down, and one of the chief risk factors for heart disease is high cholesterol. I just wish that more people believed in the power of all natural supplementation and turned to it first, not the almighty pill.

Heart Disease: Still an Epidemic

As I mentioned, the rate of heart disease in this country is enormous. More people die from heart disease than any other disease – 635,000 people per year, in fact. So the mere possibility that a pill could potentially lower that grim statistic comes with a high degree of fanfare.

There’s another way to potentially lower one’s risk for heart disease, though, one that is guaranteed not to cause any unwanted side effects.

According to a study down under (i.e. Australia), aged garlic may reduce one’s systolic blood pressure by as much 10 points. And a 10-point drop can take someone from being hypertensive, to normal, thus reducing his or her risk for heart disease.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide discovered this after recruiting 50 people that had elevated systolic blood pressure levels (over 140 mmHg). Some of them took a placebo; the rest took approximately four grams of a Kyolic-brand garlic product (i.e. four grams of Kyolic is the equivalent of about two grams of fresh garlic).

After 12 weeks, the researchers saw a “marked difference” in the cholesterol levels of those taking the aged garlic; they had an average drop in systolic blood pressure levels of 10 mmHg.

Similar to the cholesterol-lowering study, the results were convincing enough to warrant a larger, longer study.

The study is published in the medical journal Maturitas.

And if you want more details about the study, you’re going to have to go there, because do you think you will hear the results of the garlic study on tonight’s evening news? I doubt it. I’m not exactly sure why, either. I don’t think it’s done as a result of politics or money. And I don’t think it’s because people don’t buy into the natural health lifestyle. I think it’s because we as a nation have become so conditioned to look to pharmaceuticals as the primary resource for healing all our ills.

That’s just not true.

The only way we can detach ourselves from that line of thinking is to look to natural healing methods first. The mainstream media can help that process along by reporting on findings that people can take advantage of now, not reporting a study that may prove beneficial if everything pans out right five years from now.

Other Ways Garlic Can Improve Your Health

Garlic has long been known as a heart healthy supplement, so this study isn’t a breakthrough. It does, however, add to the growing body of literature that supports garlic’s effectiveness for heart health.

Garlic’s magic touch lies in its richness in allicin. Allicin is what gives garlic its signature scent, but it’s also what relaxes the body’s blood vessels, which reduces tension and lowers blood pressure.

Garlic can be a boon to other aspects of your life. Several studies have shown garlic to be cancer preventive. Speaking to the BBC in 2000, Professor Lenore Arab of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said, “There seems to be a strong, consistent protective effect for people who are regular garlic consumers.”

It can even be helpful with more bothersome, less serious conditions like the common cold. A particularly illuminating study on garlic’s effectiveness was done in late 2001, when 146 volunteers took either a placebo or a garlic supplement for 90 days.

At the end of the three-month study, there was a marked difference in cold incidence. There were 65 colds among those taking the placebo. Among the garlic-supplementing group – less than half of that (24 people got a cold).

What’s more, the 90-day trial was done during the height of the cold and flu season!

From libido enhancement, to eye health, weight control to greater iron absorption, garlic and all natural supplements like it can do wonders for your health. Look to it as your first line of defense in the ongoing battle to stay as healthy as possible

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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