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2023-01-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Personal Health , 626 references Ignore this thread
Two Health-Related Nasties *
[Comments enabled]

You won't like either of these.

We'll deal with the first one first: Statins, with this study going back to 2018.  Yes, its not new, but where have you seen this reported?  Has your doctor talked with you about this?  Doubt it.

What does it show?  Statistically-significant elevations in ALS incidence associated with all statins.

Results: RORs for ALS were elevated for all statins, with elevations possibly stronger for lipophilic statins. RORs ranged from 9.09 (6.57-12.6) and 16.2 (9.56-27.5) for rosuvastatin and pravastatin (hydrophilic) to 17.0 (14.1-20.4), 23.0 (18.3-29.1), and 107 (68.5-167) for atorvastatin, simvastatin, and lovastatin (lipophilic), respectively. For simvastatin, an ROR of 57.1 (39.5-82.7) was separately present for motor neuron disease.

Association is not proof of causation, but that the association varied with the type of statin adds to the evidence for a causal effect.

ALS is otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease and is nasty.

Further there is no evidence that statins have an all-cause death benefit except in those who previously had a heart attack.

This sort of study evidence takes time to show up and the really nasty part of the equation is that most people who are given these things are told they're a lifetime prescription.  Yet not one of these is tested over a lifetime first -- so how can you possibly know if they're safe when taken that way?  You can't.

There is a huge difference between taking a drug for a period of time as an "acute" treatment for a given condition, then you stop and chronic, long-term (meaning lifetime in many cases) use. Antibiotics are an example of this, as with many other medications.  You use them because there is something wrong right now and when its no longer wrong you stop using it.  The same is true for intermittent-use medications; for example, Ivermectin is known to be extremely safe in that sort of use because it has been used for forty years on an intermittent basis to control parasitic infections, typically taken once every few months.  In this sort of use pattern four billion human doses have been administered and the serious adverse event risk has been found to occur roughly once in every 600,000 people it is given to.  To put this in perspective both aspirin and acetaminophen, which are both intermittently used by millions of Americans, have a serious adverse event risk over ten times higher that Ivermectin.

This does not mean its safe to take Ivermectin on a daily basis for life; there is in fact zero evidence that this is the case and you'd be stupid to extrapolate the intermittent-use data to imply that it is safe when you use it daily.

Aspirin was for a long time recommended for older Americans on a low-dose basis as a potential stroke and heart-attack inhibitor.  We know its safe enough to sell over the counter for intermittent, acute use (e.g. for headache or fever.)  It turns out that when used daily, on a chronic basis, even in the low-dose form the data is that it may kill you due to bleeding as often as it prevents heart attacks.

Attempting to generalize acute safety to chronic, long-term safety turned out to be a bad idea.  It took decades to find this out, by the way.  Duh.

Now we have another craze -- GLP-1 agonists, which showed up about 2009 for Type II diabetes, and particularly Tirzepatide which combines a GLP-1 agonist and a GIP, is being "fast tracked" for weight reduction.

This is bone-headed stupid for several reasons and that the FDA is even considering such use, or doctors are using it, ought to get every single one of them nuked from orbit in the general case, subject to limited exceptions.

Why?

First let's talk about how these drugs work.  GLP-1 agonists promote the pancreas' secretion of insulin and GIP inhibits apoptosis (natural cell death) in the beta cells of the pancreas and promote insulin.  The problem is that this by definition is very likely to lead to hyperinsulinemia; that is, higher than normal insulin amounts in the blood.  Insulin is not a benign substance; it is necessary for the metabolic processing of glucose however it is also inflammatory.  Systemic inflammation is extremely bad.

Most Type II diabetics, by the time their blood sugar goes out of whack, have had hyperinsulinemia for years and often decades.  Type II diabetics have a functional pancreas; they have beta cells which secrete insulin in response to glucose levels in the blood.  However, the body's cells have become resistant to the insulin and thus sugar continues to rise, insulin is secreted in larger amounts, and that larger amount brings it down as the cells take up the glucose and process it.  You have formal Type II diabetes when the pancreas can no longer secrete enough insulin to overcome this resistance and thus blood sugar rises uncontrollably.

Note that it is almost-never the case that a routine test for hyperinsulinemia is done.  You can in fact test fasting insulin.  Reality, however, is that a blood draw is not really required -- all you need to do is stand upright naked against a wall, bend only at the neck and look down; if you can't see your junk odds are extremely high your fasting insulin level is high.

This tolerance reaction is extremely common and in fact is one of the nasties that underlies many drugs of abuse.  Opiate users wind up killing themselves this way on accident all the time; as you use opiates the amount you need to get "high" or obtain pain relief goes up but the amount that depresses your respiratory function rises at a much slower rate.  Eventually the two lines cross and if you keep using the opiates you die.  This is why long-term abusers often use a stimulant (often these days meth) at the same time (this used to be called a "speedball" back when I was younger) because the meth stimulates the breathing and circulatory reflexes and thus staves off what would otherwise be a lethal overdose.  That obviously has its own problems; if you keep using once you're in that coffin corner you will kill yourself either via a mistake or cardiac destruction as a result of the stimulants you're using to avoid respiratory arrest.  See Saint Floyd for a notorious example that nobody wants to bring forward as it destroys a narrative.

If an opiate addict is jailed and forced to detox when he comes out and uses the same amount he formerly tolerated it frequently kills him immediately because that tolerance reaction partially reset itself and he didn't know that.  Daily uses of marijuana have the same thing happen if they stop for an extended period of time; what was a "heh this is a fun buzz" becomes a "you're one with the couch for four hours" dose.  Fortunately the weed doesn't kill you; it just makes you very uncomfortably stoned.

Tolerance reactions raise extremely serious concerns in any drug used on a chronic basis, and in particular drugs like this which deliberately promote higher serum levels of an inflammatory substance.  It would be reasonably expected that using these drugs on a chronic, lifetime basis is going to wildly promote all manner of trouble from said inflammation, from heart attacks and strokes to various other inflammatory issues -- including, perhaps, promotion of cancer.  Given that expected reaction the burden to prove it doesn't happen across decades is on the manufacturer and until that's proved it should be assumed that this will be the result and over those decades it will kill people.

Yes, obesity is a serious problem but it is not a disease.  It occurs because you have damaged the insulin response in your body and if you test non-diabetic overweight and obese people virtually all of them will have high insulin levels even though their blood sugar is normal.   The answer to this problem is to stop insulting your insulin pathway so that the tolerance bleeds back off.  Provided your pancreas is not already critically damage it both can and will do so but not overnight -- just as you didn't develop the problem overnight.

That can only happen one way: Stop consuming fast carbohydrates on a durable basis.

There is no solution found in the pharmacy for the problem because the problem is that you are insulting your metabolic system.

The side effects from stopping that include your pants falling off.

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