As if our children’s breakfast of Ritalin and Prozac wasn’t enough,
new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (A.A.P.) are recommending cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins to our children starting as early as age 8 in hopes of preventing heart problems as adults.
The push to aggressively screen and medicate for high cholesterol in children is creating controversy among parents and even some of the pediatricians in a continuing debate about the use of prescription drugs in children.
While some doctors support the idea, others were unconvinced. These doctors called attention to a lack of evidence that the use of statins in children would prevent heart attacks later in life.
“What are the data that show this is helpful preventing heart attacks?” asked Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, a pediatric cardiologist and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “How many heart attacks do we hope to prevent this way? There’s no data regarding that.” Other doctors said the recommendation would distract from common-sense changes in diet and exercise.
Also not being considered are the side effects of these statins such as headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, headache, rash, weakness, and muscle pain. The most serious side effects are liver failure and rhabdomyolysis, a serious side effect in which there is damage to muscles. It is also believed that statins can cause cognitive side effects such as muddled thinking and forgetfulness.
“To be frank, I’m embarrassed for the A.A.P. today,” said Dr. Lawrence Rosen of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, Vice Chairman of an academy panel on traditional and alternative medicine. He added: “Treatment with medications in the absence of any clear data? I hope they’re ready for the public backlash.”
Comments From Dr. Esposito
I am a little more than embarassed for the A.A.P. and am utterly disturbed by their recommendations. I have already been concerned for years at the medical establishment’s management of high cholesterol in adults. Regardless of the American Heart Association recommendations of proper diet and lifestyle choices, it is rarely addressed in the medical office. The typical protocol is from lab test to prescription pad without passing, “Go!”
The thought of taking Lipitor before gym class in
fourth grade just doesn’t sit right with me.
Statin drugs cause liver failure…plain and simple. The only question is how long it will take until it causes liver failure. In additional to liver damage, statin drugs can cause asthma, weight gain, depression, impotence and many other symptoms.
You’re getting the point. Statin drugs aren’t just dangerous, they’re REALLY dangerous.
In addition to side effects, statin drugs block the ability to absorb an important nutrient called CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10). The dichotomy about the blockage of this compound is that you are taking statin drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease, but this nutrient is needed for proper cardiac function! The process of helping one factor while damaging another is a common outcome when you lean on synthetic drugs to obtain health.
If statin drugs were the only method to reduce cholesterol levels, I may consider the risk and benefits of the medication. However, that is not the case. Dietary changes and nutritional supplementation is a proven clinical method to reduce cholesterol levels, as efficiently, and in some cases, more efficiently than the medication without the side effects.
If your child has high cholesterol, I would recommend they embrace a higher fruit and vegetable diet, eliminate soda and other simple sugars and take a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil, a potent mulitvitamin and extra fiber if needed.
If the cholesterol levels do not drop, I wouild recommend using a natural anti-cholesterol product called, Chol-X. This product contains a special form of niacin (niacin hexaniacinate) that has a strong affect on cholesterol levels and won’t cause the normal flushing which occurs with regular niacin at high levels. Chol-X also contains a special form of chromium, as well as artichoke leaf and gugul resin which all have a positive affect on managing cholesterol levels.
If your level of cholesterol was the only or most important factor regarding heart disease than it may also entice me into considering the medication. However that is not the case. Other factors that affect cardiac health are as important or more important than cholesterol. C-Reactive Protein is an inflammatory indicator that can cause cardiac inflammation and increase the risk of a heart attack. Dietary and nutritional supplementation such as fish oilsand enzymes such as turmeric and quercetin have been shown to lower the levels of C-Reactive Protein.
Another important but not commonly known factor in heart disease is homocysteine. This compound causes damage to the lining of the blood vessels. Fixing this build up of homocystiene requires the simple addition of an inexpensive vitamin, B complex. This will dramatically drop the levels of homocysteine and protect the blood vessels. Since the solution to this problem is nutritional versus pharmaceutical drugs, it is not researched by the pharmaceutical companies and it is not picked up by the media giants. You and your family are left to rely on the pharmaceutical industry’s media campaigns to understand how to manage your health. That is a losing proposition.
After fifteen years of caring for patients, I can’t count on all my fingers and toes how many patients came in the office with severe knee and leg pain; once they got off the statin drugs their pain went away. We have seen this same scenario with many of the additional symptoms caused by statin drugs.
Our children’s generation will have a harder time managing the abuse of pharmaceutcals because every year there are more and more presecription drugs dumped on the market. I would recommend teaching them how to embrace their body’s ability to heal itself and urge them to question authority in regards to the use of synthetic compounds when trying to enhance their health.