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Here’s the most interesting drug in a long time: Forxiga (dapaglipflozin – a SGLT2 inhibitor).
The interesting thing is that it’s a low-carb diet in a pill.
Forxiga is sold as a diabetes drug but comes with a side effect that will no doubt interest many: Weight loss. Continue Reading →
Cholesterol-lowering drugs, so called statins, may decrease the risk for heart disease somewhat. But they may also lead to side effects, such as: muscle pain, muscle fatigue, disorientation and a lower IQ, fatigue, impotence and so on.
One side effect that has long been known is that statins increase the risk of developing diabetes. You could, for example, have read about this on my Swedish blog three years ago and in my Swedish book The Food rEvolution, 2011. Now, a few years later, it’s been added as a “very important” update of the text in the Swedish catalogue of approved drugs, FASS: Diabetes is a possible side effect.
Hence another reason not to spread statins far and wide to heart-healthy individuals with “high cholesterol” – which is often defined as 200 mg/dl and above. Most of the healthy population has a total cholesterol number above 200 mg/dl, so this is one of the more obvious cases of disease mongering (the “selling of sickness”) you can imagine.
When it comes to heart disease (angina, previous heart attack) the benefit of statin treatment might be worth the risk. But if you treat your normal cholesterol number with statins you risk getting diabetes for no good reason. Does this sound like a good idea? Hardly, but it happens many times every day.
I’m a big fan of Ben “Bad Science” Goldacre. This new TED talk by him highlights a huge problem. A “cancer at the core of evidence based medicine”, as Goldacre puts it. We don’t really know if the drugs we use work. We just believe that we know.
Goldacre has just published a book on the subject, called Bad Pharma. You can read the foreword on his blog. I ordered a copy right away.
That’s a lot of drugs!
All this apparently started with “high cholesterol”. Of course, most healthy people have cholesterol over the arbitrary number 200 mg/dL. The number that has been defined as the cutoff for “high cholesterol”. So if you go and check your cholesterol, chances are it’s “high”.
Maybe you too can wear the T-shirt in the future.
PS: Melody Petersen has written a fascinating book titled, like this post, “Our Daily Meds”. If the post above upsets you, wait until you read the book.
PPS, added: I doubt many people need “regular chiropractic care” either.
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